Foods prepared in a slow cooker usually turn out soft and tender, not crunchy. But one day as I was baking my usual version of this chicken, I got the idea to adapt it to the slow cooker, for those days when I don’t have time to tend to it. I love the result: the bread topping is added at the end so that it’s crispy, and the chicken is good hot or cold—perfect for a picnic.
For the best results, make your own bread crumbs from leftover bread or use panko, the light, flaky Japanese-style bread crumbs. If you like your chicken spicy, double the amount of cayenne.
THE MEDITERRANEAN SLOW COOKER, © 2013 by Michele Scicolone
|1/4 cup Dijon mustard||Salt|
|2 tablespoons chopped shallots or scallions||4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skinned|
|1/2 teaspoon dried thyme||2 tablespoons unsalted butter|
|1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper||3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs, made from French bread, or panko|
Spray the insert of a large slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, shallots, thyme, cayenne, and ½ teaspoon salt. Brush the chicken pieces with the mixture, turning to coat all sides. Place the chicken in the cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until the chicken is very tender and coming away from the bone.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the bread crumbs and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the crumbs are lightly toasted.
Place the chicken pieces on a platter. Sprinkle with the crumb mixture, patting it on so that it adheres. Serve hot or cold.
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