Recipe: Chicken Pomodoro

Serves 4  Cooking Time 2 to 3 hours on Low  Slow Cooker Size 5 1/2 to 7 Quarts

Why This Recipe Works: Classic chicken pomodoro features tender chicken braised in a rich tomato sauce; gently simmering the chicken in the sauce helps it to remain moist while enriching the flavors of both. It should be a perfect dish for the slow cooker, but most slow-cooker recipes result in a dull, ­waterlogged tomato sauce. For a pomodoro recipe with assertive tomato flavor, we’d need to perfect the sauce. Fresh tomatoes and canned diced tomatoes both released too much liquid during cooking. Compounded with the juices from the chicken, they created a thin, dull sauce. Switching to tomato paste proved to be the answer; the thick, concentrated paste, thinned with a little heavy cream and the chicken’s juices, gave our sauce the perfect consistency and bold tomato flavor. Finishing the sauce with Parmesan gave our dish a creamy, nutty flavor, and a sprinkling of fresh basil tied it all together. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

1  cup chopped onion

1/2 cup tomato paste

4  teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper

1/8  teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3  cup heavy cream

4  6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

1/2  cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


1. Microwave onion, tomato paste, garlic, oil, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper flakes in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Whisk in cream. Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 2 to 3 hours on low.

2. Sprinkle chicken with Parmesan, cover, and cook on high until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken to serving dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons basil. Stir remaining 2 tablespoons basil into sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with chicken.


On The Side Broccoli Rabe with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Stir 1 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, into large pot of salted boiling water. Cook until wilted and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain. Submerge broccoli rabe in bowl of cold water, drain, and pat dry. Whisk together 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 minced shallot, and 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add broccoli rabe and toss to combine. Serves 4.

From America's Test Kitchen's Slow Cooker Revolution, volume 2: The Easy-Prep Edition. America's Test Kitchen. (c) 2013