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SLOW-COOKED CHICKEN CACCIATORE

2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter
12 large white or cremini mushrooms
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
4 chicken breasts (thawed or partially thawed if frozen)
1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of dried thyme
1/2 cup (125 ml) white wine
1 cup (250 ml) chicken broth
1 large can (796 ml or 28 oz) diced Italian tomatoes
1 cup (250 ml) black olives (I use a combination of the black Calamata and the wrinkly black sun-dried kind: both kinds are easily found in olive bars in large grocery stores.)
1 cup (250 ml) water
Pepper and salt to taste

1 Melt the butter in a large frying pan on medium-high heat and thickly slice the mushrooms. When the butter is hot, brown the mushrooms quickly on each side (don’t crowd the pan, do it in batches instead, it’s faster and better) and set the browned mushrooms into the slow cooker.

2 Put the olive oil in the hot pan and brown the chicken breasts. You may leave them whole or cut them into strips before browning. When golden-brown, place them in the slow cooker.

3 Put the onion into the same pan for a minute, add the garlic and thyme, stir 30 seconds and pour in the wine. It will sizzle and bubble. Stir hard to get the browned bits up from the bottom of the pan. Pour into the slow cooker. Add broth, tomatoes, olives, and water to slow cooker.

4 Cook on low for eight to 10 hours or high for five hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper (though you’re unlikely to need the salt). Serve over noodles.

Makes four servings.

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