Slow-Cooker Merlot Chicken

Slow Cooker Merlot ChickenToday my big sister Kim–and Abraham Lincoln–are celebrating birthdays. I always thought it was neat she shared a birthday with an American President. And that her birthday was in the same week as Valentine’s Day. Double the cake, flowers and presents. Her birthday is just the beginning of all the things I think are great about her.

Kimberly Koszarek

Lately, my favorite big sister thing is her Pinterest account. Kim’s pinned about 400 more things than me, including some really tasty recipes. Whenever I’m looking for something to make for dinner or want to drool over a gorgeous cake, I just have to check  out her boards. Not only can she pin like nobody’s business, she’s always trying, testing, and tweaking the recipes she finds. She’s a cook that loves to experiment in the kitchen.

Wine and Tomatoes

Today when I called to wish her a happy birthday we talked for about 2 minutes before talk turned to food. Topics: Her red velvet birthday cake, what she was making for dinner, and if it’s okay to put bacon in Alfredo sauce. In fact, I’m not sure we ever talk on the phone without mentioning bacon.

Crock Pot with Chicken

When I texted her to ask her for a recipe last week, she responded link + Merlot Chicken. Clearly she knows I just installed one of those signs in our kitchen that says “I cook with wine…sometimes I even put it in the food.” What better way to make dinner at the end of a busy day than slow cooked in local red wine and tomatoes.

Delish! Happy Birthday Big Sis!

Slow Cooker Merlot Chicken and Pasta

Slow-Cooker Merlot Chicken 

Adapted from Taste of Home
1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 3-4 pound boiler fryer chicken, cut into pieces
15 ounces diced tomatoes
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Merlot or dry red wine
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 additional tablespoons cornstarch
Hot cooked pasta

1. Spray a 5 quart slow-cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place 1/2 of the mushrooms, onions and garlic in the bottom of the slow-cooker. Layer chicken pieces on top.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together tomatoes, broth, wine, cornstarch, basil, salt, and pepper. Pour over chicken. Top with remaining mushrooms, onions, and garlic.
3. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180°F.
4. Remove chicken from slow cooker and allow to cool for 5 minute or until able to be easily handled. Shred chicken and remove any bones.
5. Whisk additional cornstarch into the sauce in the slow cooker until no lumps remain. Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker, replace cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until heated through.
6. Serve over hot cooked pasta.

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