Moscato Braised Chicken
Today's offering is a little unusual, but it uses readily found, inexpensive ingredients. It's boneless, skinless chicken breasts braised to incredible tenderness and flavor in a slow cooker. That means that, once you put all the ingredients in the pot, you can wander off and do other things for quite a while. The reason the recipe is unusual is because it pairs Moscato wine with chicken. Moscato is a light, fruity, sweet wine usually served with fruit, cheese, or dessert. Nonetheless, unless you're a wine snob or rigid foodie, I think you'll find that the Moscato works really well with the chicken. The wine provides subtle flavor that enhances rather than overwhelms the chicken. One additional point to note about the wine: don't buy the expensive stuff. The wine will be used for braising, not a fancy party, so a bottle of $3.29 Moscato from Aldi will work just fine (okay, yes, you'll have a lot of wine left to drink, if you like). If you're serving kids, don't worry. The chicken and wine cook long enough for the alcohol to evaporate. Also, because the flavors of the dish are gentle, kids tend to love the easy-to-eat chicken. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts have tendency to be dry and tough, but this recipe is different. No knife is required. After the chicken braises, you shred it. The result may not be photogenic, but it's great to eat. Try the Moscato Chicken over pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes. The leftover shredded chicken also is great in burritos, soups, casseroles, or just stuffed into a microwaved potato for a super-fast meal.
Moscato Braised Chicken -- Serves 6+ With Lots of Leftovers
1 medium onion, chopped
2 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of chicken low sodium "Better Than Bullion"
1 cup of Moscato
3-4 tablespoons of sugar
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of dried sage
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
Coat a slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and turn it to high heat. Put half of the chopped onion on the bottom of the cooker. Arrange the chicken breasts on top of the onion and scatter the remaining chopped onion on top of the chicken. Combine all the remaining ingredients, whisking them to dissolve the "Better Than Bullion." Pour the mixture over the chicken. Cook the chicken on high for an hour, then turn to slow cooker to low and continue to cook the chicken for 4-5 hours more or until it's very tender. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it with two forks (yes, if you'd prefer, you can just shred the chicken in the slow cooker, being careful not to splash out the hot liquid). Return the chicken to the cooker and stir it to combine it with the juices. Sprinkle on a little parsley if you want. Serve the chicken with the juices over pasta, rice, potatoes, or whatever you'd like.