Slow-Cooker Chicken with “Roasted” Garlic Sauce
Why This Recipe Works
It's often the very simplest meals that are the hardest to re-create in the slow cooker; tender, perfectly cooked bone-in chicken with a garlicky gravy is no exception. For a richly flavored and satisfying gravy without all the calories, we turned to 15 whole cloves of garlic plus a shallot to lend a roasted flavor and body to our sauce while keeping additional fat to a minimum. To end up with aromatics soft enough to puree into a smooth gravy, we found it necessary to jump-start their cooking by sautéing them on the stovetop until lightly browned. Giving the shallots and garlic time to brown also added to the subtle roasted taste and deepened their overall flavor, which became sweeter and mellower after hours in the slow cooker. With the aromatics already in a skillet, adding a small amount of flour was a quick and easy way to thicken the sauce, and deglazing with wine and broth ensured that the flavorful browned bits in the bottom of the pan ended up in the slow cooker. The addition of low-sodium soy sauce helped to round out the overall flavor of the sauce. Rosemary and chives enlivened the gravy with fresh flavors.