A comforting stew of chicken thighs and legs with carrots, potatoes, lima beans, peas, corn, and tomatoes, spiced with cayenne pepper and flavored with salt pork, this crock pot recipe by Mike Mulligan is a savory meal that is easy to prepare. It consists of two phases; the first is cooking the chicken on low heat for two hours and then adding the vegetables in the pot and simmering the whole thing for another five hours. The result is a flavorful broth and colorful and aromatic chicken recipe dish that will uplift the spirit and rejuvenate the body.
You can also use bacon for this recipe instead of salt pork. If you are using frozen vegetables, thaw them in the refrigerator or in ice-cold water with the packaging on for a few hours before adding them to the dish. As much as possible use chicken that has not been frozen, as this will have superior flavor. Chicken thighs and legs are used in healthy recipes because they can be slow cooked for long hours without becoming tough or drying. Meat from chicken breasts can become dry and tough when it is cooked on low for more than six hours.
Ingredients: 4 lbs. chicken legs and thighs, 1 ½ + 1 teaspoons salt, ¼ lb. salt pork, 4 cups tomatoes (sliced), 2 cups corn (fresh, canned, or frozen), 1 cup frozen peas, 1 cup chopped potatoes, 1 cup chopped carrots, 10 oz. frozen lima beans, ½ cup chopped onion, pepper (freshly ground), Dash of cayenne pepper
Preparation Instructions: Place the chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Add enough water to completely cover the bird. Add 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, adding additional water if it drops below the height of the chicken pieces. Add the salt pork, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, carrots, lima beans, and onion. Sprinkle with pepper and add a dash of cayenne pepper. Simmer on low for 5 hours.
While you can use boneless thighs and legs, it is best to cook the chicken with their bones on for better tasting stew. A lot of the flavor is concentrated in the bones, and leak onto the soup when cooked in water, making a delicious stock. If you prefer white meat, you can still make this recipe but cook the chicken not more than four hours. If you want the chicken to have a nice brown color, you can sear it first in the skillet with some olive oil. This also seals in the moisture of the chicken and keeps it juicy.