Dawn over at The Moiderer has recently bought a slow cooker and is hunting around for recipes to make in it. I thought I'd try this one as she commented the other day that a chicken dish she tried was a bit dry. It was made with just chicken breast and that might have been a factor. This recipe uses whole chicken breast so, by rights, it should be easier to keep moist whilst cooking. I got it from what is now my slow cooker bible "200 Slow Cooker Recipes" by Sara Lewis. It's actually a variation of her creamy tarragon chicken recipe which I would have liked to try, but Asda, in their infinite wisdom, do not sell fresh tarragon. Grr!
It only takes 4 hours to cook so may not work for you if you're out all day but is good for a weekend.
Creamy Pesto Chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
200g/7oz shallots, halved
1 tbsp plain flour
4 tbsp white wine
300ml/0.5 pint chicken stock
1 tbsp pesto
3 tbsp double cream
A few fresh basil leaves
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the chicken and fry over a high heat until golden on both sides but not cooked through. Remove from the pain, drain and place in the slow cooker in a single layer.
Add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring for 4-5 mins until just beginning to turn golden. Stir in the flour, then gradually mix in the stock and wine. Add the pesto, season and bring to the boil, stirring.
Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker, cover with the lid and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through to the centre. Stir the cream into the sauce. Serve the chicken, drizzled with sauce, topped with a little grated Parmesan and some chopped or small basil leaves.
(If you want to make the original recipe, substitute vermouth for the wine, 2 sprigs of tarragon for the pesto and some snipped chives for the parmesan).
This was a lovely recipe. The chicken wasn't dry at all so one for you, Dawn. We ate it with mash and some steamed veg - the recipe says you could have it mixed with some penne pasta. It was very filling but most importantly, none got left. Monkey and Missy Woo gobbled it up but they are big pesto fans anyway. I actually forgot to buy the cream when I was at the supermarket, so I stirred in some Greek yogurt instead and that gave a good creaminess to the sauce. I always have Greek yogurt in the house so I am likely to do that again, as I don't often buy cream and it seems a waste to buy a whole pot for only 3 tablespoons! The sauce is slightly green, which might put you off, but we like pesto in this house so it didn't faze us.
A definite keeper, this one. Although the easiest way to cook chicken in a slow cooker is to take a whole one, place inside, put the lid on and leave!! But this is a nice and reasonably sophisticated alternative.
(PS if you have any slow cooker recipes on your blog, please do add the linky to Dawn's page.)