We adapted this traditional Italian dish for the slow cooker. One secret to its extra-rich taste: coffee-colored cremini mushrooms (or baby porto-bellos), a more flavorful variety of the common cultivated mushroom.
Reprinted with permission from The Good Housekeeping 400 Calorie Italian 2013 by Hearst Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
|8 ounces hot or sweet Italian sausage links, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces||1 pint grape tomatoes|
|1 onion, chopped||1 package (8 ounces) sliced cremini mushrooms|
|2 cloves garlic, crushed with garlic press||1 chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces, skin removed from all but wings|
|2 tablespoons tomato paste||1/4 teaspoon salt|
|2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar||1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper|
|1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried thyme|
In nonstick 12-inch skillet, cook sausage pieces over medium heat, turning occasionally, until well browned, about 6 minutes. With tongs or slotted spoon, transfer sausages to 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add onion to skillet and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat; stir in tomato paste, vinegar, and Italian seasoning until blended, then add tomatoes and mushrooms. Spoon vegetable mixture into slow cooker and stir to combine. Do not wash skillet.
Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper. In same skillet, cook chicken (in two batches, if necessary) over medium heat until well browned, about 10 minutes.
Place chicken pieces on top of vegetable mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook as manufacturer directs, 8 hours on Low or 4 hours on High. Skim fat from juices before serving.
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