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Autumn Sunrise and Slow Cooker Chicken with Olives and Red Wine

Winter is just around the corner here in Australia, and already the mornings are frosty and bone-chillingly cold.

One morning I was rousted out of a sound sleep by Bear who instructed me to dress warmly and meet him in the kitchen of the farmhouse because we were going to watch the sunrise.

Bleary-eyed, groaning and still half-asleep I stumbled around my room collecting woollies and jumpers, hat and scarf, warm socks and Ugg boot slippers and followed the light to the kitchen where Bear was grinning like a little boy and handing me a steaming cup of very strong sweet tea.

I wrapped my numb fingers around the piping hot cup and sipped tentatively, waiting for the warm brew to bring some life to my frigid limbs.

It was pitch black outside, but slowly a glow appeared over the neighboring hills and we decided to be very brave indeed, and head out into the frosty morning to watch the sun come up.

One breath of that icy air and I was wide awake! We shuffled across the yard in our slippers, making the dogs and chooks wonder what on earth we were up to, and took up a spot near the front gate which gave us an unimpeded view of the lightening sky.

All at once the sun was there in a burst of golden light. It danced along the fence lines, illuminating the waving grasses as if they were candles.

It was glorious.

The sun hit the tree tops first, turning the fading blossoms and drying leaves into richer, deeper colored versions of themselves.

Even my half-completed greenhouse was rendered sublime in the glow of the sun.

 

We strolled around the property, greeting the animals and feeling incredibly, wondrously alive.

By the time we reached the backyard it was awash in golden light, so achingly beautiful I could’ve watched it for hours.

It was definitely worth being woken up for.

As the days get colder I’m drawn to hearty, warming, rib-sticking meals, and am a fan of anything I can make in the slow cooker (crockpot).

The other day I was craving boeuf bourguignon but didn’t have a bit of beef in the house. I did have chicken, however, so I made up my own version, rich with red wine, sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and earthy herbs like rosemary. It was so easy and the house smelled amazing by the time dinner rolled around. I poured the stew over garlicky mashed potatoes and served it with cold beer one day and red wine the next. Delicious.

When is the last time you watched the sun rise?

Slow Cooker Chicken with Olives and Red Wine

Ingredients:

3-4 chicken breasts cut into squares
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2-3 Tbsp bacon grease or olive oil
1 onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, quartered and sliced
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
2 cups red wine (Merlot or similar hearty red)
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 bunch parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place flour and seasoned salt in plastic bag, add chicken pieces and toss to coat.
  2. Melt bacon grease in saucepan, add chicken and cook, stirring regularly, until browned.
  3. Pour chicken pieces into slow cooker.
  4. Add onions, carrot and garlic to sauce pan. (Add more bacon grease if necessary) Cook until onion is softened. Add to chicken pieces.
  5. Add remaining ingredients except parsley and stir to combine.
  6. Cook on high for 3-4 hours.
  7. Serve over warm polenta or garlic mashed potatoes and sprinkle with parsley.



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Melody and Elle - You are such a gifted artist, Krista. In your photography, the way you turn a phrase, and in your culinary abilities. I love these two sentences: “All at once the sun was there in a burst of golden light. It danced along the fence lines, illuminating the waving grasses as if they were candles.” WHen I looked, sure enough the grass did look as if it were candles. Love the imagery it created in my mind. Thanks for sharing yourself so unselfishly, you are a treasure. =)

Melody and Elle - Actually the post was just from Mel… =D

bellini - Sadly I can’t remember when the last time I took the time to watch the sunrise. On vacation I always notice but here I am sitting on my computer. You have reminded me to greet and welcome the day Krista. I am always up before the sunrise so should take the time.

Andi Perullo - My goodness these pictures are breathtaking!

Breanne Mosher - Oh that is so beautiful!! I felt more alive after reading and looking through your beauties. And that chicken sounds delectable! I love your take on it. =)Β 

Duchess - My god! It looks likeΒ 
boeuf bourguignon!

Ayngelina - Bacon grease OR olive oil? Come on, a dish like this deserves bacon!

Krista - Thank you SO much, Mel! πŸ™‚ You have cheered me tremendously with your amazingly kind words. I’m so glad I could meet you in this world. πŸ™‚

Krista - I’m so glad, Val! I confess I rarely take the time either. I too am up before dawn most days and am LEARNING to stop, sip my coffee and soak in the beauty. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, dear Andi. πŸ™‚ I love this little farm SO much. πŸ™‚

Krista - “more alive” – that thrills me, Breanne. πŸ™‚ You always do the same for me, helping me to stop, take notice and ENJOY!

Krista - I’m so glad you think so, Duchess! πŸ™‚ It tasted very similar, that richness, the muskiness of the wine. Mmm. πŸ™‚

Krista - I agree completely, Ayngelina!! πŸ™‚ I think the bacon grease made this dish. πŸ™‚

jenny_atasteoftravel - What a stunning sunrise Krista- a beautiful way to start the day. Β Love your photos!

Joanne - I’m so glad you decided to get up and take in the sunrise…mainly because now we get to experience it in all its glory! Gorgeous photos!

OnePerfectBite - Your photos always give me wanderlust. Your recipes always make me hungry. Please don’t stop either. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary

[email protected] - Oooh, yum!Β  That chicken sounds amazing.Β  All those flavors together for hours and hours… I can almost smell it! Gotta love make-do dishes.Β  The best meals happen when you don’t have an ingredient on hand.

Jamie - Oh gorgeous! You are so so lucky to be living what you are living and I know how much you are aware and appreciate it. You share that love and appreciation with us with every photo you take. So beautiful! And this chicken dish is WOW!!! I love it and my husband would go nuts for it.Β 

Deanna - I never watch the sunrise. It happens far too early for my liking, and I don’t have your stunning views. Oh that chicken looks delicious. I’ll have to bookmark it for fall.Β 

Alina - Whow, this stew looks a lot like beef to me, can this be chicken? It would fool me completely, it looks delicious, I guess the red wine adds a lot of taste and colour.
Those are lovely photos, it is difficult to imagine it’s almost winter in your place, here it’s the beginning of summer and everything is gloriously in full bloom.
Love,
Β Alina

Krista - Thank you, Jenny! πŸ™‚ It was definitely worth dragging myself out of bed for. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much, dear Mary. πŸ™‚ Your words cheer me on beautifully!

Krista - I’m glad too, Joanne. πŸ™‚ In spite of the cold and the sleeplessness I loved every minute of it. πŸ™‚

Krista - Isn’t it amazing the yummy things you can make when you’re not confined by a recipe, Katie? πŸ™‚ I’m so glad this one turned out. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Jamie. πŸ™‚ I do feel so, so grateful to be where I am, safe and loved and thriving. It is good. πŸ™‚ Hope you and hubby love this dish as much as we did. πŸ™‚

Krista - Before I started living on a farm, I would’ve totally agreed with you, Deanna. πŸ™‚ Alas, my schedule has changed drastically and now I’m usually up before the sunrise most days, but just not taking the time to appreciate it. I’m learning though! πŸ™‚

Krista - I promise it really is chicken, Alina! πŸ™‚ You’re right – it’s the red wine (and beef broth!) that give it such rich, meaty color. πŸ™‚ So glad you’re enjoying your gorgeous early summer. πŸ™‚

Stevie - Sunrise is so lovely though it is a bit harsh to arise from bed before the sun.Β  We were in Sedona Arizona last week and got up at 4AM for a sunrise hot air balloon ride (which was great) but it tired us out so much that we had to nap all afternoon.Β Β  Funny.

Your chicken dish looks super. I bet it could be adapted with tempeh to make an excellent veggie version.Β  Thanks for the idea.Β 

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