I thought the flavor and aroma were divine and the thighs were falling-apart tender! I sauteed the mushrooms about halfway in the bacon fat and added a bit more salt to the finished recipe. I also used more broth than called for, adding it to the gravy . I didn't have Guinness, so I used a non-alcoholic beer. I couldn't actually taste the beer in the finished product. May try white wine next time -- and there will definitely be a next time.
Slow-Cooker Stout & Chicken Stew
From EatingWell: January/February 2012
Chicken thighs can take plenty of cooking without getting tough or drying out, which makes them perfect for the slow cooker. Here we braise them in Guinness stout along with hearty vegetables, with just the right amount of bacon for added savoriness.
45 Reviews for Slow-Cooker Stout & Chicken Stew
This is a wonderful variation on Flemish stew. For a more flavorful base, you must use quality protein. Skip the chain grocery store and head to your butcher. I recommend thick cut bacon that has been smoked or cured. The chicken should be recently slaughtered, and preferrably from a local source. To save a little money, de-bone and skin your own thighs. I find the amount of dark ale to be on the high side. If you would like more herbs in your stew, I recommend adding a tablespoon of coriander seeds, and a couple of bay leaves. You may also want to try a heaping tablespoon of whole-seed dijon mustard before you stew. This recipe definitely needs more acid and I notice some people opting for adding vinegar to the stew. I would recommend squeezing a slice of fresh lemon over the stew when it's being served. I really enjoy this recipe and will be making it many more times.
Recipe was easy to prepare, and I like all of the ingredients. It smelled wonderful while cooking. As the end of cook time was approaching, I found it needed a little something extra, as described in some other posts for this recipe. I added a little more salt/pepper, and my go to rescue ingredient to add some additional flavor, some Wyler's Chicken Crystals (go easy and taste when adding as to not over-salt). It still needed a little something extra (tomato-based), so I added a few squirts of ... ketchup, and that provided the vinegar zip (go easy and taste as you add - don't want to taste the ketchup, just enhance the flavor). These 'adjustments' made the difference for me! I will be making this recipe again in future.
I tried this recipe after reading a rave letter to the editor in the April edition. (Love anything braised in Guinness!) Didn't read the reviews until it was already in the crockpot this afternoon. But it smelled amazing, and we really liked it tonight. I could see where it would benefit from a splash of Worcestershire sauce; I added a couple of bay leaves to the mix. Definitely a repeater, here.