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Stout, bacon add savory flavor to chicken stew

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Ken Burris/EatingWell
Slow-Cooker Stout and Chicken Stew EatingWell
By Eatingwell
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 6:39 p.m.

Chicken thighs can take plenty of cooking without getting tough or drying out, which makes them perfect for the slow cooker. Here we braise them in Guinness stout along with hearty vegetables, with just the right amount of bacon for added savoriness.

EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating.

Slow-Cooker Stout and Chicken Stew

Active Time: 45 minutes

Slow-cooker time: 4-8 hours

6 tablespoons, plus 12 cup all-purpose flour, divided

1 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste

12 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

2 12 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 pieces bacon, chopped

1 23 cups Guinness or other stout (14 ounces)

1 pound whole baby carrots or large carrots cut into 1-inch pieces

1 package (8 ounces) cremini or button mushrooms, halved if large

2 cups chopped onion

4 medium-size cloves garlic, minced

1 12 teaspoons dried thyme

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed

Combine 6 tablespoons flour with 12 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken thighs in the mixture to coat completely; transfer to a plate.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook until well-browned, for 2 to 4 minutes per side; transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Reduce the heat to medium and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and chicken thighs. Arrange the chicken in an even layer in the slow cooker.

Add the bacon to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 12 cup flour over the bacon and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Add the stout, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Add the carrots, mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme, spreading in an even layer over the chicken. Pour the broth over the top.

Cover and cook until the chicken is falling-apart tender, for 4 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low.

Stir in the peas; cover and cook until the peas are heated through, for 5 to 10 minutes more. Season with the remaining salt and pepper.

Make ahead tip: Trim the chicken and chop the bacon; prep the onion and garlic; defrost the peas. Refrigerate ingredients in separate containers.

Makes 8 servings, about 1 13 cups each.

Nutrition information per serving: 366 calories, 13 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 88 milligrams cholesterol, 30 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber, 566 milligrams sodium

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