Who doesn’t love a good Crock Pot recipe? I admit that I was totally apart of that Crockin’ Craze that spread through Facebook like wildfire a year or so ago (pre-Paleo, of course). I was all over those cans of Cream of Mushroom soup like white on rice… I’m a little embarrassed about it now. Anyways, I still love my Crock Pot, I’m just a bit more selective about what I toss in it.
One of my favorite pre-Paleo recipes is still a go-to slow cooker pick these days. It’s based on this great recipe from Dishing With Leslie called Balsamic Chicken. It’s very popular on the internet and many people have tried to take credit for it… which sucks. I made it according to her directions and honestly found it a touch bland. So here’s my version, full of flavor and 100% Paleo friendly. If you need to feed a crowd or are looking for great leftovers, look no further.
Prepare for Paleo Crock Pot deliciousness at its best… and its slowest.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (don’t hate me for that)
6 fresh Italian sausage links (sweet or spicy or a combo is fine)
1 white onion, thinly sliced (not diced!)
4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 – 14.5 oz cans organic diced tomatoes
1 – 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water or chicken stock
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
+ 1 tsp Italian seasoning
+ 1/2 tsp kosher salt
+ 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Lay the breasts raw in the bottom of the slow cooker and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the first round of seasonings directly onto the chicken (Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt). Don’t mix, just leave it on top. During the slow cooking process, it seasons the chicken directly for perfect flavor. Lay the fresh sausage over the seasoned chicken.
Layer the thinly sliced onion and chopped garlic next. Then pour the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water/stock and balsamic vinegar into the pot. Top with the second round of seasonings. Again, don’t mix this up. I like the way the flavors develop with this style.
Cover and set the slow cooker to high for five hours. Not all slow cookers are created equal, so it’s important you have a personal relationship with yours… Mine tends to be really hot and cooks faster than most recipes call for. With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that you could make this recipe on low for 7 hours. Worst case is that the chicken will dry out, so if that happens I’m super sorry!
This recipe was destined to partner with spaghetti squash, so don’t fight fate. Slice the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the guts and roast for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees cut-side down. When the timer dings, remove from oven and flip them over to cool slightly cut side up. Use a fork to harvest the strands. Spoon Balsamic Chicken & Sausage over the spaghetti squash and top with a little fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley!
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Want to make this? *nod yes*
Then you’ll need a slow cooker: