Slow Cooker Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew2013-02-02
- Course: Entree, Side Dish, Soup
- Recipe Type: Comfort Food, Easy Entertaining, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Slow Cooked
- Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken Thighs, Garlic Cloves, Green Bell Pepper, Peanut Butter, Tomato, Yellow Bell Pepper
You might be thinking, “Why buy a recipe magazine when you’ve mentioned multiple times about having binders of recipes at home?” My response: “Great question.” But in defense of my impulse purchase, I flipped through the recipes and saw a lot that I would like to adapt to become a part of my Paleo arsenal. Later, I can recycle the magazine and keep a few valuables cataloged online. If this magazine inspires a few recipes that are easily prepared and delicious, then my belly and conscience will be satisfied.
The slow cooker is a fantastic cooking tool. Little prep time with a big flavor payoff. This dish is no exception. I have one of the biggest crockpots on the market, but sometimes I still find myself wishing that there was more room to cram in another serving of meat and veggies! While leftovers may have a bit of a stigma, flavors often meld overnight making a dish taste even better the next day. With a slow cooker that is still true, but the long cooking process definitely marries all the flavors together much better than a recipe cooked in less time. This was the first time that I have put sweet potatoes in the slow cooker, and the result was a hearty sweetness that complimented the chicken, bell peppers, and small amount of peanut butter.
I took the time to cut the sweet potatoes into small cubes (about a centimeter across) that were pretty uniform, but looking back you could really be very “rustic” i.e. not so precise and small with your cubes. By cooking the dish for 10 hours on LOW (which is what I did), I could have gotten away with chopping the sweet potatoes into larger pieces. Just know that you should avoid cutting the sweet potatoes into large, thick chunks to ensure that they will cook through (whether you cook it for less time or not). Also, sweet potatoes can be crazy shapes, so don’t worry too much about forming “pretty” cubes. Just focus on keeping the pieces a similar size, to avoid some being undercooked while others started dissolving. It is truly hard to mess it up, I just didn’t want you feeling too stressed about making teeny, tiny cubes! Embrace the ease (and sometimes delightful imprecision) of slow cooker cooking!
This recipe is not considered Paleo because of the 1/4 cup of peanut butter, but it is still deliciously healthy and hearty. Peanut butter may be from the legume family, but for those not sensitive to foods in that group, peanut butter is a great source of healthy fat, energy, protein, fiber, and even potassium! In small amounts, it can not only help make a dish more satisfying, but truly accentuate and enhance the flavors of a dish.
As you know, not all peanut butters are created equal. A lot of brands add oils, sugars, syrups and a ton of unnecessary sodium. Organic is a good option, but I love Smucker’s Natural with less than 1% sea salt. Whether or not crunchy or smooth is your peanut butter of choice, make sure you read the label before you take it home. If you are going to indulge a little, you want the quality and taste to be the best.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (save skin of potato)
- 1 pkg (2 lbs) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 box (4 cups) low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, chopped
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp thyme leaves
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 garlic powder
- 1/4 onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter (I used Smucker’s Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter)
- optional: fresh or dried cilantro, for garnish
- 1. Add sweet potatoes, chicken, broth, bell peppers, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, garlic and seasonings
- 2. Cover and cook on LOW heat for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours
- 3. Remove 1 cup hot liquid from slow cooker, and stir in peanut butter
- 4. Add peanut butter mixture to slow cooker and stir until evenly distributed
- 5. Serve