Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for a busy weeknight or a lazy weekend. This dish is loaded with Italian flavors like sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, artichoke hearts, and spinach, and is made creamy with the addition of heavy cream and parmesan cheese. The chicken is slow-cooked to perfection, making it juicy and tender, and the sauce is rich and flavorful.
One of the great things about Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken is that it is incredibly versatile. It can be served over rice, pasta, or even cauliflower rice for a low-carb option. The recipe can also be customized to suit different tastes and preferences. For example, some people like to add mushrooms or bell peppers to the dish, while others prefer to use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts.
Overall, Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken is a crowd-pleasing dish that is sure to become a favorite in any household. It is easy to make, delicious, and versatile, making it a great option for busy weeknights or lazy weekends.
History of Tuscan Cuisine
Tuscany is a region in central Italy known for its rich culinary traditions. Tuscan cuisine is characterized by its simplicity, using fresh and high-quality ingredients to create dishes that are flavorful and satisfying. The cuisine of Tuscany has been influenced by various cultures throughout history, including the Etruscans, Romans, and Greeks.
Origins of Tuscan Chicken
One popular Tuscan dish is Tuscan chicken, which has its roots in the traditional cuisine of the region. Tuscan chicken is typically made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which are slow-cooked with a variety of herbs and spices. The dish is often served with pasta or rice, and is known for its rich and creamy sauce.
The origins of Tuscan chicken can be traced back to the rural areas of Tuscany, where chicken was a common ingredient in many dishes. The use of fresh herbs and spices, such as rosemary, sage, and thyme, was also common in Tuscan cuisine, and these ingredients are often used in the preparation of Tuscan chicken.
Over time, Tuscan chicken has become a popular dish not only in Italy but also in other parts of the world. Today, there are many variations of the dish, each with its own unique twist. Some recipes call for the addition of sun-dried tomatoes or spinach, while others use cream or Parmesan cheese to add richness and flavor to the sauce.
Despite its many variations, Tuscan chicken remains a beloved dish among food lovers worldwide, and its rich history and cultural significance continue to inspire chefs and home cooks alike.
Essentials of Slow Cooking
Benefits of Slow Cooking
Slow cooking is a method of cooking that involves using low heat for an extended period of time. This method of cooking has several benefits, including:
- Flavor: Slow cooking allows the flavors of the ingredients to meld together, resulting in a rich and complex flavor profile.
- Tender Meat: Cooking meat slowly and at a low temperature helps to break down the connective tissue, resulting in tender and juicy meat.
- Convenience: Slow cookers are easy to use and require minimal attention, making them a convenient option for busy individuals or families.
- Economical: Slow cooking is an economical way to cook, as it allows for the use of less expensive cuts of meat that would otherwise be tough if cooked using other methods.
Choosing a Slow Cooker
When choosing a slow cooker, there are several factors to consider:
- Size: Slow cookers come in a range of sizes, from small models that can hold two to three quarts, to large models that can hold up to eight quarts. Consider the size of your family and the amount of food you typically cook when choosing a slow cooker.
- Shape: Slow cookers come in round or oval shapes. Oval-shaped models are better for cooking large cuts of meat, while round models are better for cooking stews and soups.
- Features: Consider the features you want in a slow cooker, such as a timer, a keep-warm function, or a removable insert for easy cleaning.
- Price: Slow cookers range in price from around $20 to over $100. Consider your budget when choosing a slow cooker.
By following these tips, you can choose a slow cooker that meets your needs and helps you create delicious and convenient meals.
Ingredients for Tuscan Chicken
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken is made with a few simple ingredients that are easily accessible at any grocery store. The main ingredients include boneless chicken breasts, chicken stock, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. These ingredients are what give this dish its unique flavor and texture.
Herbs and Spices
To enhance the flavor of the dish, Tuscan Chicken is seasoned with a few herbs and spices. These include salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika. The combination of these herbs and spices adds a depth of flavor to the dish that is both savory and aromatic.
Substitutes and Variations
For those who may not have all the ingredients on hand, there are a few substitutes that can be used. For example, if you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes, you can use fresh tomatoes instead. You can also use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts if you prefer. Additionally, if you want to add more vegetables to the dish, you can add mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini.
Overall, Tuscan Chicken is a simple and flavorful dish that can be easily made in a slow cooker. With just a few ingredients, you can create a delicious meal that is perfect for any occasion.
Preparing the Chicken
Before cooking Slow Cooker Tuscan chicken, it is essential to prepare the chicken properly. Start by ensuring that the chicken is fresh and free from any bones or skin. If the chicken has skin, it is best to remove it to avoid a greasy texture.
Next, season the chicken with salt and pepper. For this recipe, four boneless chicken breasts are recommended. Once seasoned, place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
Layering the ingredients is an essential step in preparing Slow Cooker Tuscan chicken. Begin by adding garlic, quartered marinated artichoke hearts, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the slow cooker.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, heavy cream, minced garlic, chopped sundried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Pour the sauce over the chicken into the slow cooker.
For a richer flavor, add sliced olives and Italian seasoning on top of the chicken. Finally, add fresh baby spinach to the sauce and stir until it wilts.
By layering the ingredients in this order, the flavors will blend together to create a delicious and hearty meal.
Cooking Times and Temperatures
To prepare Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken, the chicken breasts should be seasoned with salt, pepper, and pressed garlic. Then, they should be laid in the crockpot. On top of the chicken, combine sun-dried tomatoes (with oil and herbs), artichoke hearts, and onion. The dish should be cooked on high for 2.5-3 hours or low for 3.5-4 hours, until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.
Thirty minutes before the cook time is up, remove the chicken and add heavy cream, spinach, and parmesan cheese. Mix until well combined. Then, add the chicken back in and continue to cook. Remove from the crockpot and serve over rice or pasta.
When preparing Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken, it is important to follow safety tips to ensure the dish is cooked safely. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Always wash hands and surfaces with soap and water before and after handling raw chicken.
- Cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any harmful bacteria.
- Do not leave cooked chicken at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store cooked chicken in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
By following these safety tips, you can ensure that your Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken is not only delicious but also safe to eat.
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken pairs well with many sides, including pasta, rice, or roasted vegetables. For a lighter option, try serving it with a side salad dressed in a light vinaigrette. The dish also goes well with crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.
To make the dish look more visually appealing, consider garnishing it with fresh herbs such as parsley or basil. You can also top it with some grated Parmesan cheese for an extra burst of flavor. Serve it in a shallow bowl or on a plate with the chicken on top and the sauce spooned over it.
If you’re serving the dish for a dinner party, consider using a large platter and arranging the chicken pieces on top of a bed of greens or roasted vegetables. This will create a visually stunning presentation that is sure to impress your guests.
Overall, Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken is a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways. Whether you’re looking for a hearty main course or a light lunch, this dish is sure to satisfy.
Storage and Reheating
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To store, transfer the chicken and sauce to an airtight container. Before storing, let the chicken cool down to room temperature. Make sure to cover the container tightly to prevent any air from getting in, which can cause the chicken to dry out.
If you want to store Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken for a longer period of time, you can freeze it. The chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, transfer the chicken and sauce to a freezer-safe container or a freezer bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing the container or bag. Label the container or bag with the date so you can keep track of how long it has been frozen.
To reheat Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken, you can use a microwave, oven, or stovetop. If using a microwave, transfer the chicken and sauce to a microwave-safe dish and cover with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. If using an oven, preheat the oven to 350°F. Transfer the chicken and sauce to an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. If using a stovetop, transfer the chicken and sauce to a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.
Before reheating, make sure the chicken is fully thawed if it was frozen. It is not recommended to reheat the chicken more than once, as this can increase the risk of foodborne illness.
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for busy weeknights. This dish is not only tasty but also packed with nutrients. Here is the nutritional information for Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken per serving:
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken is a great source of protein, with 39g per serving. It also contains healthy fats from olive oil and heavy cream. The dish is low in carbohydrates, with only 8g per serving, making it a great option for those following a low-carb diet.
However, Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken is relatively high in calories, with 355 calories per serving. It is also high in saturated fat, with 9g per serving. Therefore, it is important to enjoy this dish in moderation, especially if you are watching your calorie or fat intake.
Overall, Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken is a healthy and satisfying dish that is perfect for busy weeknights. With its high protein content and low carbohydrate count, it is a great option for those looking to eat a healthy and balanced diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I ensure my chicken thighs are tender when cooked in a slow cooker?
To ensure that your chicken thighs come out tender and juicy, you should cook them on low heat for a longer period of time. This will allow the chicken to cook slowly and become tender without drying out. Additionally, you can add some liquid to the slow cooker, such as chicken broth or white wine, to help keep the chicken moist.
What are the key ingredients for a creamy Tuscan chicken sauce?
The key ingredients for a creamy Tuscan chicken sauce are heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. These ingredients combine to create a rich and flavorful sauce that pairs perfectly with the chicken.
Can I cook pasta directly in the slow cooker with the Tuscan chicken?
While it is possible to cook pasta directly in the slow cooker with the Tuscan chicken, it is not recommended. Pasta can become mushy and overcooked when cooked in a slow cooker for an extended period of time. Instead, it is best to cook the pasta separately and serve it alongside the Tuscan chicken.
Is it necessary to brown chicken before adding it to a Tuscan chicken stew in the slow cooker?
While it is not necessary to brown the chicken before adding it to a Tuscan chicken stew in the slow cooker, it can help to improve the flavor and texture of the chicken. Browning the chicken before adding it to the slow cooker can help to seal in the juices and create a crispy exterior.
How do I incorporate sun-dried tomatoes into a Tuscan garlic chicken recipe for the slow cooker?
To incorporate sun-dried tomatoes into a Tuscan garlic chicken recipe for the slow cooker, you can add them to the sauce along with the garlic and other ingredients. Alternatively, you can chop them up and sprinkle them over the top of the chicken before cooking.
Why might chicken breast come out tough when cooked in a slow cooker and how can I prevent it?
Chicken breast can come out tough when cooked in a slow cooker if it is overcooked or cooked on too high of a heat setting. To prevent this, it is important to cook the chicken on low heat for a longer period of time. Additionally, you can add some liquid to the slow cooker to help keep the chicken moist.
Here are 15 of the most frequently asked questions about Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken: A Delicious and Easy Recipe for Busy Weeknights:
What chicken parts work best in the slow cooker?
The most ideal chicken parts to use for tender, juicy results in slow cooker recipes like this Creamy Tuscan Chicken are dark meat bone-in chicken thighs. Chicken thighs result in superior texture and flavor for a few key reasons:
Tender & Succulent – Chicken thighs have a higher fat and collagen content than white breast meat. This converts deliciously into gelatin during moist cooking methods lending rich, mouth coating juiciness no danger of drying out.
Intensified Flavor – The extra fat and connective tissues also boosts overall chicken flavor coming through in every bite compared to the relative blandness of lean breast meat that tends to get lost under bold sauce notes.
Bones Add Flavor – Keeping the bone in while cooking not only infuses more taste but insulates the actual meat slightly from the heat so it retains even more natural juices without overdrying from direct simmer.
Forgiving Cook Time – Unlike finicky chicken breasts, thighs stand up well to longer slow cooker duration even exceeding recommend times unlike lean breasts risking undesirably stringy textures by overshooting cook times slightly.
For melt-in-your mouth texture bathed in lush creamy Tuscan herb gravy, always trust boneless, skin-on chicken thighs over white meat when braising for max succulence!
Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh in this recipe?
Absolutely! Using frozen chopped spinach in this slow cooker Tuscan chicken recipe not only saves prep time not having to clean and chop fresh spinach, but it actually lends some nice advantages:
Convenience – Keeping bags of prepped frozen spinach on hand means this hearty dinner comes together even quicker since no spinach stem removal or chopping becomes necessary after thawing and draining.
Uniform Pieces – Evenly sized frozen spinach bits distribute nicely throughout the chicken and sauce mixing with other veggies seamlessly in balanced ratios with every bite compared to ragged fresh spinach prepping.
Bright Color Retention – Frozen spinach maintains its vibrant dark green hues better throughout prolonged cooking compared to fresh leaves which tend to dull from heat exposure into unappetizing gray green tones by the end.
Clean Taste – Frozen spinach gets processed at peak freshness locking in flavor and doesn’t suffer risk of sliminess or off-putting tastes that storing fresh bundles sometimes yields if not cared for optimally before use.
While fresh spinach ultimately provides a subtle extra dimension of brightness, convenient frozen spinach chops make a reliable substitute allowing this cozy Tuscan chicken come together with fuss-free ease on busy weeknights without sacrifice.
How important is chicken broth vs stock vs water for the base liquid?
The liquid used as the base for this slow cooker Tuscan chicken serves the important purpose of keeping ingredients moist and tender while also building tremendous flavor. Here’s how broth, stock and water compare:
Chicken Broth – Provides the most chicken flavor infusion into sauce and meat thanks to seasoned cooking juices lending savory richness. Use high quality broths to avoid off-putting sodium bombs.
Chicken Stock – Very similar to broth, stock is cooked longer extracting more collagen and gelatin from bones for added mouthfeel, moisture and health properties. Stock adds clearer, cleaner chicken essence without strong seasoning.
Water – While not adding chicken specific savory depth, water prevents drying out while allowing other Tuscan flavor components like tomatoes, wine and olives transfer their flavor cleanly into surrounding gravy and chicken. Use other seasonings to compensate for lack of chicken-y backdrop.
The convenience factor of water or vegetables stock shortcuts can’t be ignored for hurried cooks. But when time allows, flavor benefits emerge tremendously from relying on homemade or quality canned chicken broth as the fundamental simmering liquid lifting sauces considerably through rich infusion absolutely worth the minimal extra effort!
How much sun-dried tomatoes should be used in the Tuscan chicken?
When it comes to incorporating flavorful sun-dried tomatoes into this slow cooker Tuscan chicken recipe, moderation is key to prevent their intensely concentrated flavor from overpowering the other components. Here is a suggested ideal amount:
2-3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
– This translates to about 1⁄2 – 3⁄4 cup tightly packed chopped rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes
– Any more than 3 ounces risks dominating the dish with overly tart, acidic punch
– Any less than 2 ounces gets lost among other chunky vegetables and sauce ingredients
Tips for Incorporating Sun-Dried Tomatoes:
– Rehydrate dried tomatoes first in hot water for 20 mins until pliable before chopping rough
– Add them near the end of cooking during the last 30-60 mins for best texture and flavor punch
– Stir tomatoes directly into sauce base along with other seasonings to evenly coat and permeate
When harnessing the brilliant color and robust flavor power of concentrated sun-dried tomatoes, a little goes a very long way in this Tuscan chicken! Enjoy their magic in careful moderation.
What does cream of chicken soup do for the recipe? Can I substitute?
The cream of chicken soup called for in this slow cooker Tuscan chicken recipe serves several important functions:
Thickens Sauce – The soup contains starch which helps thicken up the surrounding braising liquid into lush gravy as it simmers.
Adds Richness – Creamy soup lends luxurious mouthfeel and velvety texture while also helping carry fat soluble flavor compounds from herbs and garlic integrating them throughout.
Provides Savory Depth – Condensed soup helps build considerable savory flavor base since it starts with very concentrated chicken stock then gets enriched with milk and cream elements.
Binds Ingredients – Thick soup has excellent cling properties to adhere sauce beautifully to chicken and vegetables without watering down as things reduce.
You can substitute with cream of mushroom or celery soup alternatively which will still provide needed thickening. Just season other elements like chicken stock more assertively. Heavy cream or cashew cream also works splendidly lending similar velvety richness critical for saucy success!
Can I cook this Tuscan chicken on high or low setting and for how long?
Yes, this Tuscan Chicken can be cooked on either the Low or High setting on your slow cooker with excellent outcomes – you just need to adjust the total cook time accordingly:
Low Setting (6-8 hours)
– Great for days when you have sufficient time for long, slow braising
– Allows chicken and vegetables to steep beautifully in liquid up to 8 hours
– Results in very tender, pull apart chicken texture
High Setting (4 hours)
– Ideal for weeknights when you want dinner ready more quickly
– Still ample time for chicken and veggies to become fork tender
– Creates slightly firmer but still pleasantly moist chicken texture
Internal Temperature Cue:
– For food safety, aim to cook until chicken in center registers at least 165°F internally on a meat thermometer.
The flexibility of today’s modern slow cookers makes wholesome homecooked meals like braised Tuscan Chicken achievable any night of the week thanks to customizable cook time settings suited to your schedule without sacrificing flavor!
How do I thicken the sauce at the end of slow cooking?
There are a few easy methods to thicken up the flavorful braising sauce at the end of cooking this Tuscan Chicken:
Cornstarch Slurry – Whisk together 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water in a bowl. Pour mixture into simmering juices during last 15 minutes in cooker then stir and let thicken.
Flour Sluice – Make a loose paste with 2 tablespoons flour whisked into 1/4 cup broth from the slow cooker until smooth. Pour and stir into simmering juices then continue cooking 10 more minutes for thickened gravy consistency.
Mashed Potatoes – Purée 1/2 pounds potatoes through ricer or masher into Tuscan chicken juices near end of cooking, stirring to incorporate evenly for delicious flavor and thickness boost.
Reduce further – If time allows, use a slotted spoon to remove solids to serving platter after initial cooking then set cooker to high, letting remaining liquids reduce concentrating flavors while decreasing volume for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.
Now that’s amore! Thickened pan juices transform this chicken delight into the perfect saucy topping for mounds of buttery mashed potatoes, clouds of fluffy rice or nests of tender pasta spirals.
What makes this recipe taste Tuscan? What herbs are key?
The incredible Tuscan flavors infused beautifully into this braised chicken dish come from key Italian herb and ingredient pairings lending signature regional essence. These include:
Rosemary – This intensely aromatic Tuscan herb permeates the chicken skin and sauce lending intense woodsy fragrance with lingering piney flavor in every bite. A little goes a long way used properly.
Parsley – Fresh flat leaf Italian parsley foliage not only provides vibrant visual garnish but infuses brightness into sauce rounding flavors beautifully with herbal balance against savory background notes.
Sun-dried Tomatoes – Intense sweet yet tart sun-dried tomato flavor creates an unmistakable backdrop of rich umami only improved by condensing natural sugars slowly over hours blending flavors seamlessly.
White Wine – Dry white wines famously grown throughout Tuscany translate beautifully to the slow cooked chicken imparting fruity complexity mellowing sweet over low simmer blending exquisitely with tomatoes.
For ease, quality jarred sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil along with Tuscan herb seasoning blends capture everything needed to transform poultry into a flavor tour de Tuscan force! Now that’s amore.
Does the spinach overcook and get mushy in the slow cooker?
It’s a common concern that leafy greens like spinach run the risk of becoming a mushy mess when slow cooked for extended durations. However, there are some easy ways to incorporate spinach without compromise:
Add Near End – Hold off adding spinach until the last 15-30 minutes of cooking to allow it to wilt properly in simmering sauce without completely dissolving.
Use Frozen Spinach – The smaller pieces, thicker cell walls and moisture retention already present in frozen spinach helps it hold up extremely well stirred in at end for visual appeal.
Wrap in Parchment/Foil – Create garlic spinach packet wraps sealed with parchment paper if worried about maintaining ultimate texture preservation. The paper protects greens perfectly.
Thicken First – Ensure sauce has sufficiently thickened with starch slurry before mixing in spinach at the very end to prevent excess free liquids enabling spinach to soak up an overload of moisture compromising texture.
Don’t Over Stir – Gently nestle spinach leaves incorporating them with care rather than roughly stirring spinach reducing delicate leaves into mush through aggressive agitation and friction.
With mindful timing strategies and gentle handling, vibrant spinach emerges flawlessly in this slow cooker chicken retaining its fresh verdant color and pleasantly softened but not completely mushy leaf texture.
Can I swap the chicken for another protein like chickpeas?
Yes, you can easily swap out the chicken in this recipe for vegetarian proteins like chickpeas or white beans to make it meatless. Here’s how:
– Use 2 (15oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– Add them at the beginning if cooking on Low for 8 hours so they become very tender
– If cooking 4 hours on High, add during last hour only to retain some firmness
– 2 (15oz) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
– Add at beginning for creamy soft texture
– If firmer beans desired, add only during last 1-2 hours
– 1 lb extra firm tofu, patted dry and cut into cubes
– Add during last hour only just to heat through
– Marinating it first in Italian dressing boosts flavor beautifully
The same delicious Tuscan sauce infuses wonderfully into beans, tofu or veggie pieces with similar satisfaction. Play around freely personalizing flavors to match preference and dietary needs!
Can I prep the ingredients the night before putting it in the slow cooker?
Absolutely! Preparing your ingredients the night before helps streamline pulling together this easy Tuscan Chicken recipe on busy weeknights using the slow cooker. Here are some great make-ahead options:
– Wash and chop all vegetables like onions, carrots, spinach etc. then store prepared veggies in sealed containers in the fridge
– Measure out all dry spices and herbs needed so they’re ready to grab from the pantry
– Open cans like diced tomatoes, beans, and condensed soups so those are ready to dump in saver well
– Pat chicken dry if pre-seasoning it with salt, pepper and olive oil overnight too
Come morning, simply dump prepped ingredients from fridge atop chicken layered neatly in the slow cooker insert vessel along with chilled wet ingredients before heading out the door!
Save the quick fresh herb chop like parsley til the end or use fresh herb bunches as the flavorful finishing touch right before serving. With some easy advance organization, this no-fuss wonder emerges perfectly simmered ready right on schedule after work – how’s that for easy!
How do I make this recipe gluten free?
Transforming this creamy Tuscan Chicken dish to suit gluten-free requirements comes easy needing only a couple minor ingredient adjustments:
Use Tamari Instead of Soy Sauce – Regular soy sauce contains gluten from wheat usually added during the fermentation brewing process. Substitute tamari to replicate the rich salty flavor soy lends without the potential gluten exposure.
Verify Gluten-Free Stock/Broth – Some commercial chicken broths or stocks sneak in additives like soy sauce or maltodextrin as flavor boosters which contain traces of gluten. Opt for certified gluten-free brands through careful label readings when purchasing pre-made bases.
Thicken Sans Flour – Typical flour lacks here anyway but for any minor thickness needs near end, use cornstarch slurry instead of roux to maintain gluten-free integrity. Arrowroot starch makes a wonderful transparent stand-in as well.
Scrutinize Add-Ins – Double check any pre-mixed spice blends or jarred sun-dried tomatoes for unwanted thickening agents occasionally containing gluten too. Assess all ingredient labels diligently selecting purity assured options only.
With so many quality pre-made gluten free pantry staples like tamari readily available plus vegetable starches mimicking wheat flour’s actions, wanting for nothing makes Tuscan chicken perfection safely accessible for those with gluten sensitivities to relish completely carefree!
What sides go well with this creamy Tuscan chicken dish?
This lusciously saucy Tuscan Chicken begs for a medley of bright contrasting vegetable sides and starchy canvases to soak up every last drop of herb infused goodness! Here are some excellent pairings:
Pasta – From fusilli spirals to bow ties, the nooks and crannies of short twisty pastas capture creamy sauce beautifully. Whole wheat and lentil pasta choices work great too.
Rice – Fluffy jasmine, basil, or arborio rice offer canvas primed for sopping up pan juices spectacularly. Rice pasta can often be certified gluten-free as added bonus!
Garlic Bread – What Italian feast would be complete without tangy, garlicky, olive oiled baguette slices on the side for sauce mopping duties? Opt for gluten-free bread alternative to align diets.
Steamed Broccoli – Quick steamed broccoli florets not only provide nutritional balance with their vibrant green vibrancy but also texture contrast to tender braised Tuscan chicken pieces.
Simple Salad – Mixed greens lightly dressed in lemon vinaigrette lend pleasant acid and enzyme balance through fresh greens generating the perfect restaurant-worthy plate composition.
However you soak up the Tuscan essence – pillowy gnocchi, broad pasta sheets, cauliflower rice proxy – embrace carbs beautifully! Then dive fork first into skillfully braised herbed chicken bliss.
How do you recommend serving the creamy chicken and veggies without a mess?
Serving this splendid saucy Tuscan chicken and veggies neatly plated requires a little strategic finesse avoiding drips and spills. Here are some clean serving tips:
Over Rice – Lining plates or wide bowls with fluffy rice or creamy polenta creates an edible sponge effect soaking up free pan juices keeping things tidy.
Slotted Spoon – Use a slotted spoon when dishing out chicken and veggie pieces from the cooker rather than directly dumping contents leaving excess liquids neatly behind ready for optional sauce serving pitcher.
Thicken First – Quickly thicken braising juices with a roux, cornstarch slurry or sauce separator before plating over pieces. Thick clingy consistency won’t drip loosely off utensils before making it safely to plates and palates!
Slice Small – Cut chicken and chop vegetables into bite sizes before serving. This allows for easy singular piece coating rather than grappling with larger awkward slices prone to slide and spill during transfer.
However you plate, offer extra sauce and broth on the side for discreet ladling over top to satisfy without unleashing uncontrollable flooding. With these useful tricks, enjoyable mess-free Tuscan chicken dining emerges sensationally spill-free every time!
How long does leftover slow cooker Tuscan chicken last refrigerated or frozen?
Stored properly, leftover portions of this easy Tuscan Chicken dish will last fresh in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can also safely freeze it for 2 to 3 months. Here are some storage tips:
– Let completely cool first before transferring to sealed airtight container
– Make sure chicken pieces are fully submerged in sauce to prevent drying out
– Use within 3 to 4 days for best texture and flavor
– Let cool then transfer chicken and sauce portions to freezer bags or airtight containers, leaving 1/2 inch room at top for expansion
– Lay bags flat or containers in single layer to ensure even freezing
– Freeze up to 3 months before quality and taste decline
– Thaw overnight in refrigerator before reheating gently on stove
With some easy safeguards, insanely tender Tuscan chicken achieves refrigerator and freezer revival success for lightning-fast flavor weeks later right when you need it again!