Main Courses

Slow-Cooker Chicken with Olives and Mushrooms

Slow-Cooker Chicken with Olives and Mushrooms

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Servings: 4 to 6

A true “set it and forget it” meal, this hearty chicken dish will fill your home with the intoxicating aromas of garlic, mushrooms and rosemary. Red wine and balsamic vinegar add an earthy richness to the mix, and Castelvetrano olives provide a briny finishing touch. Parmesan polenta and garlicky broccoli rabe are ideal pairings for this savoury stew.


  • 1 chicken, about 5 lb. (2.5 kg), cut into 10 pieces (2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 2 wings, 2 upper-breast portions and 2 lower-breast portions)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 lb. (12 oz./375 g) cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) red wine
  • 1 28 oz. (875 g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) chicken stock
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) pitted Castelvetrano olives


  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  • In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, or using the sauté function of your slow cooker, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken skin-side down and sear until a golden-brown crust forms, about 3 minutes. Turn the chicken and continue to cook for 1 more minute. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat these steps with the remaining olive oil and chicken pieces, and transfer the chicken to a plate.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • If using a fry pan, transfer the garlic and mushrooms to the slow cooker. Add red wine, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and chicken stock, and stir to combine. Add the chicken and submerge it in the liquid. Add the rosemary and bay leaves.
  • Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, until the sauce has reduced and the chicken is tender. Add the olives, cover and cook for 20 minutes longer. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken and sauce with polenta and broccoli rabe. Serves 4 to 6.
  • Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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