Recipe type: Main

Prep time:  10 mins

Cook time:  5 hours

Total time:  5 hours 10 mins

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 fresh (e.g. uncooked, raw) 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

Prep:
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 (e.g. raw, uncooked) whole sausage links 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!

Instructions

  1. Lay the breasts raw in the bottom of the slow cooker and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. 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.
  3. Lay the fresh (e.g. raw, uncooked) whole sausage links over the seasoned chicken.
  4. Layer the thinly sliced onion and chopped garlic next.
  5. Pour the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water/stock and balsamic vinegar into the pot.
  6. Top with the second round of seasonings. Again, don’t mix this up. I like the way the flavors develop with this style.
  7. Cover and set the slow cooker to high for five hours.

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