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Chicken Merlot with Mushrooms Recipe

Chicken Merlot with Mushrooms Recipe

Slow cooked and savory, this dish is perfect for any night of the week, and is sure to become a staple in your home.–Shelli McWilliam of Salem, Oregon
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 5 hours YIELD:5 servings


  • 3/4 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup merlot or additional chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Hot cooked pasta, optional


  • 1. Place the mushrooms, onion and garlic in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Top with chicken.
  • 2. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, broth, wine, tapioca, sugar, basil, salt and pepper. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender.
  • 3. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with pasta if desired.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled chicken mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary. Yield: 5 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 501 calories, 21g fat (6g saturated fat), 184mg cholesterol, 595mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 55g protein.

Reviews for Chicken Merlot with Mushrooms

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blardo User ID: 1829147 235996
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2015

"Just did not care for at all."

sjpoor User ID: 2565047 215408
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2014

"Not the best chicken I have ever tasted. It needed something else, not sure what, to give it some flavor. Sort of blah. In my slow cooker it only took 3 hours at the most; any longer and it would have been mushy. Good idea to check for doneness about half way through the cooking time."

helmly7 User ID: 7271285 80979
Reviewed Oct. 20, 2014

"I used 3 boneless, skinless chicken. Very good. No longer than 5 hours on low in my slow cooker. Need the tapioca to make the sauce velvety. Don't leave it out. A keeper."

cbybee User ID: 3897502 99411
Reviewed Oct. 4, 2014

"Very good! Great deep flavor."

Baking Diva User ID: 4467421 170824
Reviewed Jan. 4, 2014

"I really loved this recipe. I covered it with a hearty sprinkle if Italian blend cheese before serving. Served with side of hot pasta and plenty of crusty Italian bread for sopping up sauce and cheese."

lolohiser User ID: 5362556 174953
Reviewed Nov. 14, 2013

"Great! Superb! Amazing! Need I go on. Make it!!"

MN-Mama User ID: 7348175 209488
Reviewed Jul. 23, 2013

"In response to the person who could not find instant tapioca - you need to look in with the instant pudding. Kraft makes a Minute Tapioca in small, Jiffy mix type box.

To others wondering about substitutes, I found this tidbit on the 'net:
INGREDIENT - 1 Tbls. cornstarch,
2 Tbls. flour or 1 1/3 Tbls. quick-cooking tapioca;
1 Tbls. flour,
SUBSTITUTE - 1/2 Tbls. cornstarch or 2 tsp. quick-cooking tapioca;
1 Tbls. tapioca,
1 1/2 Tbls. all-purpose flour
I am cooking up this dish now. Will write further review once it has been served."

sstetzel User ID: 158954 100849
Reviewed Jun. 28, 2013

"kaela0124 you can substitute cornstarch for tapioca, use half the amount and don't use it until the end of your cooking process. I would mix it with a little cold water before adding it, like you would for gravy."

kaela0124 User ID: 7221454 170031
Reviewed Jun. 28, 2013

"I have read all the reviews and maybe I just missed the answer. But I just went to 3 stores - Jewel, Dominicks and Walmart and everyone told me they don't carry quick cooking tapioca anymore. Do I use the same measurement of cornstarch?"

captgeo5 User ID: 6856757 139712
Reviewed Jun. 26, 2013

"chicken is very tender and flavorful , easy to make"

Karen.Buske User ID: 6777614 83660
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2012

"To "happyoregonian" thank you so much for explaining what tapioca is, I have always wondered, now I know. For the recipe, yes I enjoyed it a lot."

cliftonhanger User ID: 742252 172311
Reviewed Nov. 19, 2011

"I used Crimini mushrooms, next time would use a mix of Crimimi and Shiitake. I would double the amount of garlic. Don't substitute for the wine, it is crucial to the flavor. I did substitute cornstarch for tapioca, equal amounts. I would also cut up the chicken before cooking so as to absorb more of the flavor in the liquid. If you don't cut it up before cooking, do so before you refrigerate the leftovers. This goes very well with steamed brown rice."

happyoregonian User ID: 6172176 156948
Reviewed Aug. 24, 2011

"RE Tapioca: While adding pudding would indeed be nauseating, the ingredient called for is NOT tapioca pudding, but the dry ingredient "tapioca", which is only one of the ingredients used to make the pudding. What you are looking for at the store is a small box about the height of a jiffy muffin mix box, but smaller in width. Tapioca is dry, and you measure it similar to salt or pepper. It is not sweet, just as salt is not sweet but can be used in sweet dishes. Works much better in this type of dish than cornstarch, especially b/c it won't get lumpy!"

happyoregonian User ID: 6172176 172288
Reviewed Aug. 24, 2011

"Made this for dinner tonight - soooo good! Added the extra chicken broth and wine, more garlic and some oregano, as suggested by another reviewer. Delish!"

redplover User ID: 4305514 80978
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2011

"Sorry, but the flavours interfere rather than complement one another. I found the tomato to be too overpowering. I did delete this one but I still have many more to try!"

doziergirl User ID: 5775806 158763
Reviewed Jan. 26, 2011

"Not the best recipe. I probably won't ever make this again. Very disappointed with the outcome."

mandymacnaughton User ID: 4024677 110474
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2011

"Unfortunately, I was dissapointed with this recipe. I expected a lot more flavor and spark."

Tansunny User ID: 5744885 155233
Reviewed Jan. 6, 2011

"I haven't made this recipe yet, so I gave it 5 stars because it looks awesome!

I wanted to say that I plugged the recipe into the my Mastercook and it comes out at appox 350 cals, and 11g of fat and this includes the cheese. Something in this recipe is not calculated right, possibly the chicken, but it says skinless. From most websites, my calorie/fat count almost matches perfectly, so I believe my results to be correct."

danthecook User ID: 5488651 170029
Reviewed Nov. 15, 2010

"Good dish. I made it for my wife and she liked it...and she can be tough to please!"

daisey5 User ID: 146806 209487
Reviewed Nov. 5, 2010

"I used all chicken broth and it turned out wonderful. I also would not cook it for 6 hours because mine fell apart."

judysmith1 User ID: 2706564 80976
Reviewed Oct. 17, 2010

"This was very good. I used a little extra wine, skipped the parmesan, and used cornstarch instead of tapioca. Next time I will try chicken breast like some of the other reviewers."

artemis2854 User ID: 1498096 99410
Reviewed May. 2, 2010

"Wonderful recipe and full of flavor. I have also used chicken leg quarters instead of the thighs. Also add sliced calamata or black olives 1/2 hr before serving, as they make a nice addition."

JGalindo User ID: 3357697 139612
Reviewed Mar. 31, 2010

"The dish was delicious. I used boneless, skinless breasts cut into large chunks. I left all other ingredients as-is and it was wonderful served over the Caramelized Onions in Mashed Potatoes recipe from this site. This recipe is in the permanent slow cooker file!"

ddamian1 User ID: 4640981 100848
Reviewed Mar. 2, 2010

"This was so tasty. When I read the recipe, it didn't appear to have much sauce so I added more chicken broth and merlot, added some oregano and additional garlic and it was wonderful. I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and they were very tender."

habershamway User ID: 1997378 158748
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2009


haledeb User ID: 3359065 209486
Reviewed Oct. 13, 2009

"I used chicken breasts, fat-free chicken broth, and skipped the Parmesan cheese to drastically reduce the fat content. It was still delicious but healthier."

Sam44 User ID: 547843 139567
Reviewed Sep. 17, 2009

"I doubled the recipe and with the leftovers turned it into a delicious soup by adding barley, vegetable and chicken broth. All my family enjoyed it as soup as well."

MY REVIEW User ID: 4120394 172271
Reviewed Sep. 3, 2009

"YUMMO!! I have aready made it twice. I increased the mushrooms"

antelope17 User ID: 1169517 170823
Reviewed Jul. 30, 2009

"I used chicken breast and it was DELICIOUS! I used baby portabellas, and for the reader who commented on the tapioca. Tapioca is a great thickener, and you can't taste it."

boxergirls User ID: 1554908 158639
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2009

"Thanks, but it still doesn't work out to 21 grams per serving."

helens333 User ID: 3267835 172266
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2009

"boxergirls....It is because of the chicken thighs and the grated Parm. Use chicken breasts instead, but it will not be as moist or tasty. (I find that by slow cooking chicken breasts it leaves the meat somewhat dry and almost a weird texture). FYI 1 lb of chicken thighs have 6-7 grams of fat and 95 calories per lb."

boxergirls User ID: 1554908 209485
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2009

"Where does the grams of fat come from? I can see some but 21 grams without the pasta."

browneyedbunny User ID: 4193747 172265
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2009

"That is good to use tapioca in recipes that call for corn starch, would I use the same amount?"

mfjbh User ID: 59452 83659
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2009

"To All of You, who think tapioca is only for sweets.

Tapioca WILL NOT leave a funny taste, nor will make the sauce look like pudding! It works just like corn starch, but leaves the sauce lighter, velvety if you will. I have been cooking Irish Stew for as long as I can remember and absolutely ANYBODY has EVER complained about the taste of it, nor have asked me what have I used to make the sauce. Trust me, you can use it without fear."

MHa4791913 User ID: 1379303 100591
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2009

"I've tried similar recipes with tapioca; it disolves completely, and thickens the sauce without changing the flavor. To my mind, it's easier than cornstarch."

phyllisturner User ID: 2046030 110473
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2009

"The thought of putting tapioca in this makes my stomach turn."

slim1958 User ID: 82291 170822
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2009

"Could I substitute cornstarch for the tapioca?"

shelbyamay User ID: 4171522 158637
Reviewed Jun. 21, 2009

"I just couldn't get the sauce thick enough. Loved the idea of not having to brown the chicken before putting it in the slow cooker!"

dzm388 User ID: 724894 170867
Reviewed Jul. 13, 2008

"Quick and easy to assemble and the results were absolutely delicious! A "keeper" for sure!"

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Wine Pairings

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.