How to Braise Chicken Thighs in Wine in Your Slow Cooker
Wine-braised chicken thighs are incredibly tender and tasty straight out of the slow cooker, and they also make a great base for multiple other dinners during the week. I cook boneless skinless thighs frequently and love the option of using the shredded meat later in the week to make pot pies, burritos, chicken in cream sauce, or barbecued chicken stuffed potatoes. In a light wine broth, the shredded meat is great "as is," right out of the slow cooker on top of rice, polenta, potatoes, or noodles. The thighs are moist but not "fatty," and they have lots of great flavor from herbs as well as the wine. What kind of wine do you need? Something inexpensive! Because the chicken cooks for hours in the wine, the nuances of the wine (as well as most of the alcohol) will be lost, so don't use an expensive wine. My "go to" option is Aldi's "Winking Owl" pino grigio for under $3 a bottle (no, I don't get a commission from Aldi). Enjoy!
Wine Braised, Slow Cooked Chicken Thighs -- Makes a Lot!
3-4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup of white wine
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of pepper (or to taste)
1-2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs (or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke
Spritz the insert for a large slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Trim the excess fat from the chicken thighs and put them in the slow cooker in a single layer (if possible) with the onion. Pour the wine over the chicken and onions. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, brown sugar, and liquid smoke. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook the thighs on high for an hour. Turn down the heat to low and cook the thighs for 5-7 hours (or just cook the chicken on low for 6-8 hours) or until fall-apart tender. If you used fresh thyme sprigs, fish out the hard little sprigs (the leaves will have fallen off). You can serve the thighs intact, but I like to shred them in the wine broth. Serve the meat/broth over noodles, rice, potatoes, polenta, etc..