This is the time of year when I’m usually trying to figure out if this is the coldest, longest winter that I can remember in Texas. I know it’s not… and it really was barely 2 months ago that I was whining about the lack of a real fall in Texas. But it’s cold. For Texas. And that sends us running for soup and chili and stew.
One of our favorite meals in rotation right now is this Chicken & Sausage Stew. It’s one of my favorites because 94% of the work is done before noon – an awesome thing since I seem to be impressively unmotivated these days. The two picky-ish eaters in the house usually go back for seconds. Voluntarily. For a dish that has the word “stew” and spinach in it.
That’s probably because it doesn’t fall into that “it tastes like every other stew that comes from the crockpot” category. I really hate that category.
I lightened up the recipe a bit by reducing the flour and using low-fat chicken broth and 95% fat-free smoked turkey sausage. It still makes a nice and hearty stew perfect for a busy, cold day.
And the 3 days after that.
Slow-Cooker Chicken & Sausage Stew
A lighter, hearty stew perfect for a busy, cold day.
- 2 lbs chicken (I used a mixture of boneless breasts & thighs)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 14 oz light smoked turkey sausage, 1/2-inch rounds cut in half
- 2 large onions, minced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
- 3 cups low-sodium/reduced-fat chicken broth, plus more as needed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 oz spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
- Parmesan, for serving
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and transfer (in batches) to the skillet to sear ~2-3 minutes on each side.
- Transfer the seared chicken to the slow cooker.
- Reduce heat just a bit and pour off all but 1 Tbsp of fat from the skillet (add additional olive oil if necessary) and add the onions.
- Cook just until beginning to brown, ~5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and red pepper flakes, and cook 1 more minute.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 more minute.
- Slowly whisk in the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Whisk in 1 cup of the broth until smooth and then transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining 2 cups of broth, the bay leaves, and the cannellini beans. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 4-6 hours on low.
- Remove the chicken and shred/cut into small pieces and return to the slow cooker.
- Discard the bay leaves and skim off any fat on the surface.
- Stir in the spinach and sausage, cover, and let cook another 10 minutes to warm through.
- Additional broth can be added to stretch the stew or adjust consistency, if necessary.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with grated parmesan.
Yields: ~8 servings
Estimated time: 6 hours 30 minutes