Slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew to warm you up on a cold day. Instructions to prepare this chicken stew in the crock pot and a video tutorial so you can’t mess it up! The flavors are enhanced by fennel seeds, rosemary, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
This recipe was updated on 23/10/2017 to include instructions on assembling ahead and freezing.
This slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew recipe is inspired by something my mom cooked for us just after Kai was born. I remember looking at this chicken stew and not thinking much of it. But then we dug in (with huge chunks of bread, completely mandatory!) and…holy yum.
The potatoes and the chicken and rosemary and THE BREAD…just so delicious, soul-warming and not a drop (or a crumb) were left behind.
With that stew as an inspiration, I set out to recreate it in slow cooker form…and this slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew was the result!
Reasons to love this slow cooker chicken stew:
- you can make it in your slow cooker or your Instant Pot (NEW: Find the Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Stew recipe now has it’s own post!)
- you can assemble it ahead and freeze it (as a freezer crockpot chicken stew)
- it’s made with clean, wholesome ingredients
- the fennel, rosemary and balsamic vinegar give a deliciously subtle flavor that makes this chicken stew recipe just a little bit different
This crock pot chicken stew recipe couldn’t be any easier to prepare: simply dump your ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
About half an hour before you are ready to serve, you will thicken your stew, and add in a splash of balsamic vinegar.
How do you thicken this Tuscan chicken stew?
Thickening your stew is optional, but it really helps give it that comfort food texture…velvety and smooth and just a little more substantial than an un-thickened stew. It also helps the delicious broth stick to the chicken, bringing it even more flavor.
For this Tuscan chicken stew, I simply mixed a bit of cornstarch with some water, add it to the pot 30 minutes before serving, and turn up the temperature to high.
Ingredient swaps you can make for this chicken stew crock pot recipe
This chicken stew is a great as written but you can totally change it up depending on what you have on hand in your fridge or pantry!
- swap the chicken thighs for chicken breasts, and adjust the cook time to 3-5 hours on low
- swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes
- add in some roasted garlic
- swap the balsamic vinegar for red wine
- swap the fennel for some fresh tarragon (add at the end of the cook time)
How to store and serve this slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew
Can you believe this slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew actually tastes even better on day 2? It makes for a fabulous lunch the next day.
I love storing this stew in these meal mugs, because you can re-heat them right in the storage container. So convenient for packing stew in your lunch.
Can you freeze chicken stew? Yes, you can, although with this particular recipe, you are going to need to re-heat gently, ie: don’t bring it to an all-out boil. Heating and stirring gently will keep the chicken and veggies intact.
More slow cooker stews for us!
- This tortilla soup-inspired Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Stew
- Or go this African-inspired Slow Cooker Ethiopian Chicken & Lentil Stew
- Or check out this round up of 19 Healthy Slow Cooker Soups & Stews!
NEW: looking for Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipes? Check this post out!
Tuscan Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
- 6-8 boneless chicken thighs
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced
- 2 stalks of celery sliced
- 1 small-medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium tomatoes diced
- 12 baby potatoes left whole or cut in half
- 1 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste optional!
- 2 tablespoon white wine
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds crushed with side of knife
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
Just before serving:
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- chopped parsley
- Toss chicken, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, wine, fennel seeds, salt and rosemary into the slow cooker.
- Cook on the lowest setting for 4-6 hours.
- 30 minutes before serving, combine the corn starch with the water and mix until no lumps remain and add to the slow cooker along with the balsamic vinegar.
- Turn heat to high, and cook for 30 additional minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Transfer chicken thighs to a clean bowl and shred with two forks or an electric hand mixer. Return to the stew and mix in.
- Remove the rosemary and serve.
To assemble ahead and freeze:
- In a heavy-duty gallon sized freezer bag, combine all ingredients except the water/cornstarch/balsamic vinegar. **Make sure to leave the baby potatoes whole**
- Remove as much air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely before cooking as directed above.