There's a reason why slow cooker recipes are wildly popular. We want convenience, and we want—and need—it now. The slow cooker delivers just that, working hard for us while we're hard at work, welcoming us home to a fragrant dinner that's just waiting to be enjoyed. This simple appliance works miracles with tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, coaxing out incredible flavor and turning out meltingly tender results. Through its low, slow cooking, it melds and marries flavors; it brings ingredients together in delicious harmony. And it offers up a few surprises: appetizers, sides, and drinks that simmer to perfection—hands-free.
The Italian word "cacciatore" translates to "hunter" in English, referring to a dish prepared with tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions—"hunter-style." Because the chicken is in a slow cooker, we like to use bone-in chicken cuts. It helps keep the chicken from breaking down over the long cooking time, and the bone imparts a little collagen to the cooking liquid to thicken it slightly. We cook the tomato and wine mixture in a separate pan to build flavor and reduce liquid before adding it into the slow cooker. You may want to stir in a little extra oregano and thyme after the dish is done cooking to add fresh herb flavor and aroma—the herb that cooks in the mixture imparts flavor but at a deeper, less discernable level.