Years ago when I first started using a slow cooker, I was repeatedly disappointed by overcooked, dry chicken. It took me awhile to figure out that, unlike beef roasts which benefit from slow cooking over a long period of time, chicken is best if slow-cooked for only a few hours.
One of my favorite chicken recipes is chicken and mushroom soup. The earthy flavor of mushrooms contrasts nicely with the light flavor of chicken. The herbs and vermouth give this soup outstanding flavor.
I like to add the chicken giblets to this soup. This provides a very easy way for us to incorporate a little bit of uber-nutritious organ meats into our diets. To maximize their nutritional value and prevent them from being overcooked, I make sure to add the giblets to the pot towards the end of the cooking time.
Slow-Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Soup (with Keto, GAPS and AIP variations)
2 large white onions, diced
1/2 cup vermouth (or dry white wine)*
2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
3 to 3&1/2 pound whole chicken
1 lb of brown mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp of dried thyme
1.5 tsp dried parsley
1 Tb celtic sea salt (or less if your broth is salted)
freshly ground pepper (OMIT for AIP)
chicken giblets, from whole chicken (optional)
2 T white rice flour or arrowroot (OMIT for Keto, AIP or GAPS)
1/4 cup sour cream (OMIT for AIP)
1/4 cup filtered water
About 8-10 hours before dinner, add the onion, vermouth, broth, and a sprinkle of salt to the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH.
Six hours before dinner, it is time to add the chicken and mushrooms. Start by washing the chicken well inside and out with plenty of water. Set aside and refrigerate the (optional) giblets for later in the recipe. Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Sprinkle the mushrooms around the chicken.
Sprinkle the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, one Tb of salt, and pepper (to taste) over the chicken and mushrooms. (My broth is unsalted; use less salt if your broth is salted.) Don't worry that there is too little liquid in the pot; the chicken and mushrooms will release a lot of moisture as they cook.
Cook on LOW for about 5 hours, or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 170 degrees. If you cook the chicken too long, it will be dry and overdone.
About one hour before dinner, pull the chicken out of the slow cooker and place it in a large bowl. Allow to cool enough that you can handle the chicken without burning yourself.
OPTIONAL: Chop the chicken heart and liver into tiny bits. Kitchen shears work very well for this. Add the giblets to the pot and stir.
Once the chicken has cooled, use a fork or your fingers to pull the meat and skin off the chicken. Set the bones and any chewy bits/tendons aside; if desired they can be used to start a pot of broth cooking after dinner. Chop the chicken and skin into bite-sized pieces.
OPTIONAL: In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, 1/4 cup of filtered water, and arrowroot or rice flour. Whisk this into the soup broth 30-45 minutes before dinner.
Stir the chicken meat/skin back into the pot about 20 minutes before dinner. Reduce the heat to WARM.
Taste test the broth and adjust the salt as needed. Ladle into bowls and serve! This soup pairs nicely with Cheesy Bread and a side salad. Or, you can add a scoop of nutrient-dense white rice to each bowl.
*I love to use vermouth, as it doesn't go bad like unused wine. Vermouth is shelf stable, can be used in place of dry white wine in cooking, and can be stored at room temperature indefinitely.
This post is part of Watcha Crockin' Week 69!
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