Slow-Cooker Provençal Chicken Stew: Tastes Far Better Than It Looks

Food staging, food photography, food blog, chicken, slow cooker

This is one of those meals that drive me up a wall.  Why?  Because it has all the best part of a chicken parm, plus - it's slow-cooked tenderness combined with the light and slightly tangy tomato sauce and the beautifully juice-sealing pan-fried beauty of the coated chicken puts this dish at least two shelves above any chicken parm you'll find.  But it's just not a pretty dish, and I cannot find a way around that.

How often do you try to stage your food - whether it's for showing off online or for your dinner guests - it't just hard.  I love foods are are melty, drippy, messy - and sometimes I can embrace that and work that delicious disgustingness to my advantage, but 

I will take a scrumptious, interesting and almost disgusting looking meal over one a mediocre one that looks pretty any day - I'm just going to digest the damn thing anyway - but there's an art form to presentation I just can't seem to wrap my head around.  Has anyone studied this at all?  Books,. tips, tricks, thoughts, etc. - all welcome!

In the meantime, some of my food is just going to look like shit.  But trust me - I'll never post anything that doesn't taste amazing.  I'd NEVER lead you astray!

Slow cooker tomato chicken

Provençal Chicken Stew Ingredients:

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
2lb bonesless chicken breast, halved
1/4 cup olive oil plus enough to coat a pan
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups mushrooms
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the salt and 3/4 cup flour into a plastic bag, add the chicken, and shake until the chicken is well coated.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

frying chicken, coated, flour, oil, skillet

2.  Add 1/4 cup oil to a skillet, and turn the stove up to high until the oil begins to shimmer, then reduce heat

3.  While that heats up, chop your onions and and garlic

onions, garlic, ingredients

4.  Using a pair of tongs, remove the coated chicken from the back and CAREFULLY place the chicken in the oil,  The oil should be hot, but not spitting at you, so watch yourself here.  Also, try not to move the chicken around too much - let it sit and cook.

pan-fried chicken

5.  Make a roux!  Add the remaining oil to another pan, and turn heat up to 3/4.  Once heated, add the 2 tb of flour and mix well.

Easy roux vegetables

6.  Add the onions and the garlic (you'll see a few scallions I had left over from a previous recipe - just cooking up leftover ingredients from my fridge)

7.  Don't forget about the chicken...if it looks like the underside is a golden brown, go ahead and carefully turn it over with the tongs.

pan-seared, oil, fried, lightly

8.  Cook onions and garlic in the roux until the onions start to go limp and the mixture becomes fragrant - then turn up the head and add the wine.  Cook until wine reduces dramatically.

Onions, scallions, roux, garlic

9.  Once reduced, add the tomoato sauce and the mushrooms and let simmer for about 5 minutes on 3/4 heat

chicken provencal stew

10.  Once both sides of the chicken are browned, remove from oil and set on a plate with paper towels - pat carefully and drain oil.

11.  Turn your slow-cooker to low heat, add the chicken, then the tomato mixture, cover, and let cook for 6-8 hours, or until you can cut the chicken with a fork.

TenderDeliciousScrumptiousTangyTomatoyGoodness.  Enjoy!!!

Chicken provencal stew final


  1. Would it work just as well if you were to pan fry the chicken the night before and put everything in the crock pot and in the fridge, then the next morning let it cook it on low heat before going to work?

  2. Hi Russ - good question. When I did it, I cooked the chicken the night before and let it cook overnight, then brought it into work. My only concern with letting the chicken sit in the fridge is the consistency of the chicken - I'd be concerned that it may get a little rubbery. The finished dish reheats really well, so if you were to cook this over night then reheat for dinner,it would still be excellent.

    That said, if you want to try spacing out the cooking, I would suggest letting the chicken cool, then put a paper towel down on a plate, put the chicken on the paper towel, then put a paper towel on top of the chicken too - then stick it in the fridge. That will keep the outer layer from getting soggy.

    If you try it, let me know how it goes!