Chicken in Cabernet Sauce

(from Ryan77’s recipe box)

Source: Joanne Fluke

Categories: Chicken


  • 1 bottle good cabernet or burgundy
  • 1/2 pound thick-sliced bacon or 1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large sweet onion peeled and cut into quarter-inch slices
  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 3 shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 20 small fresh carrot nuggets
  • 12-ounce package frozen pearl onions
  • 1 pound fresh white mushrooms or 4 oz can of button mushrooms, drained
  • 2 minced garlic cloves or 1 tsp jarred minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 tsp powdered thyme
  • 5 fresh rosemary sprigs or 1/2 tsp powdered rosemary
  • 3 fresh basil leaves or 1 tsp powdered basil
  • 2 packages chicken gravy mix
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter


  1. Spray the inside of the crock of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Measure the contents of your bottle of Cabernet by pouring it into a measuring cup. You are going to reduce the wine to half of its present volume.

  3. Pour the wine into a saucepan and place it on the stovetop. Heat the wine on MEDIUM HIGH until it reaches a boil.

  4. Turn the heat down to MEDIUM, making sure that the wine still maintains a gentle boil.

  5. Set your timer for 15 minutes. It should take the wine approximately that long to reduce by half.

  6. Place the uncooked bacon on a cutting board and dice it with a knife.

  7. Place the diced, uncooked bacon in a microwave-safe bowl.

  8. Heat the bacon on HIGH for 2 minutes. Leave it in the microwave and let it sit for 2 minutes.

  9. Check the bacon to see if it’s cooked through. The bacon fat should be liquid and the diced bacon should look like bacon bits.

  10. If your bacon needs more cooking, heat it in the microwave on HIGH for increments of 1 minute, followed by another minute of standing time. Do this until the bacon is crisp and the fat has liquefied.

  11. Use a slotted spoon to take out the bacon and place it in a small bowl on the counter. You will add it to your Crock-Pot later.

  12. When 15 minutes have passed, pour the contents of your saucepan into the same measuring cup you used earlier. If it is reduced by half of its original volume, it’s ready If not, pour it back into the saucepan and continue to gently boil it until it is.

  13. Place the celery slices in the bottom of your crock.

  14. Lay the sweet onion slices over the celery.

  15. Arrange the chicken thighs on top of the onion slices.

  16. Sprinkle HALF of the black pepper over the chicken.

  17. Arrange the shallots on top of the peppered chicken.

  18. Place the carrot nuggets on top of the shallots.

  19. Sprinkle on the contents of the frozen pearl onion package.

  20. If the white mushrooms are large, cut them in half and arrange them on top of the pearl onions.

  21. Sprinkle on the minced garlic.

  22. Remember the bacon bits you cooked? Sprinkle them over the minced garlic.

  23. Sprinkle the rest of the black pepper over the top of the bacon bits.

  24. Add the 2 cups of chicken broth to the reduced wine in your saucepan.

  25. Stir in the 3 Tablespoons of tomato paste.

  26. If you are using fresh herbs, tie the thyme sprigs, rosemary sprigs, and basil leaves in a square of cheesecloth. You will want to remove them from the finished dish before you serve it. Alternatively, you can put everything into a tea ball, affix the lid and remove that when your meal is ready to eat.

  27. If you are using powdered spices, sprinkle them all into the sauce pan and stir them in.

  28. Sprinkle in ONE packet of gravy mix and stir it in.

  29. Pour the contents of the saucepan over the ingredients in your crock.

  30. Cut the cold butter into several pieces and arrange them on top of your crock.

  31. Put the lid on your Crock-Pot, plug it in, and turn it on LOW heat. Your Chicken in Cabernet Sauce will be ready in 7 hours, but it will hold for several more hours if your guests are late.

  32. Check the progress of your meal 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve. If the sauce that had formed is too thin, add the second packet of gravy mix, stir it in, and put on the lid again. Then turn the Crock-Pot on HIGH and let it cook for an additional 20 minutes.

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