When my husband and I are cruising out of our Florida home port on Sasha, our Island Packet 40, we don’t go into marinas unless we have jobs to do — tasks that are easier to accomplish from a secure slip. Whenever we are at a dock, we’re busy, so we try to make cooking easier (and take advantage of shore power). When we first went cruising, I impulsively packed my slow cooker, feeling a bit silly, but whenever we’re at a dock, it pays off! We’re not away from home, but when we’re at a slip, we’re too occupied with boat chores to cook. At the end of a busy day, we can relax over a dinner that prepared itself. This is one of our favorites. If you don’t have a Crock-Pot or slow cooker, this can be slow cooked for a shorter time in the oven (with adequate fuel). When slow cooking, never leave the boat unattended — and enjoy that delicious aroma as your meal cooks!
Slow-Cooked Chicken Ragout
- 2–3 cups carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2–3 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2–3 ribs celery, sliced
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts*
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 package dry onion soup mix
- 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
- Parsley, for garnish (optional)
*Chicken breasts tend to dry out with prolonged slow cooking.
In a large bowl, toss veggies and chicken with oil. Add onion-soup mix. Toss or stir again to combine. Lightly oil the Crock-Pot or slow cooker, if desired. Empty the can of soup into it. Add wine and chicken broth, and stir until smooth and lump free. Add veggies, thyme sprigs (if using) and pepper to pot. Add chicken and stir to coat in sauce. Cover and cook for 6 – 8 hours on low heat or 2½ – 3 hours on high, until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked to between 165°F and 175°F when tested with a meat thermometer. Garnish each serving with a bit of chopped parsley. Serves 2–4. NOTE: Temperatures of Crock-Pots and slow cookers can vary slightly, along with cooking times. Follow manufacturer’s instructions; average temperatures are between 200°F (low) and 300°F (high).
Test for doneness and adjust cooking time accordingly.
Preparation: At anchor or dock
Time: 3 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours
Cook’s Notes: It’s vital to follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions when using a slow cooker, especially on board. I recommend using one with a removable crock for easy washing and in a size that’s easy to safely stow when not in use.