This is another of those slow cooker meals that needs a little attention before it goes in the pot. That little bit of attention really pays off in terms of flavor. When you brown meats and poultry before simmering it in the slow cooker, there is a depth of flavor that develops as well as a more visually appealing presentation. Simply pat the meat dry with paper towels before seasoning, then heat a heavy stainless steel or cast iron skillet with the oil added over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes until the oil is shimmering. The meat should sizzle as soon as it hits the pan. Don't crowd the pan or the meat will steam. Don't turn the meat until the bottom is well-browned and it releases on its own.
3 large carrots, whole, plus 3 more large carrots sliced on the diagonal
5 lb chicken leg quarters
2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp pimenton (sweet smoked paprika)
2 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
12 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
3 tbs olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 lb baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup Marsala
Place 3 whole carrots on the bottom of the slow cooker.
Remove skin and excess fat from the chicken. Stir together the rosemary, paprika, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper, then rub it all over the chicken.
Saute garlic in 2 tbs oil for about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Cook the chicken pieces a few at a time, about 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Transfer to the slow cooker on top of the whole carrots. Add broth and garlic to the pan drippings and cook 1 minute, scraping up loose particles on bottom of skillet. If you wish, add the Marsala during this step. Pour over chicken in slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.
Toss potatoes and sliced carrots with remaining oil, salt, and pepper and add to the slow cooker. Cover and cook for 2 more hours.
Transfer chicken and vegetables to a serving platter. Pour juices through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; skim fat from juices and serve immediately with the chicken and vegetables.
I eat a lot of chicken prepared in a lot of different ways. This chicken is right up there with my Sunday roast chicken and my "Bud's" Mediterranean style chicken. The flavorings came together perfectly; the chicken was moist; the potatoes were creamy inside. In all, a perfect dish that I'll be making again.