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Harvest Chicken with Walnut Gremolata

"This original recipe is based on a classic veal or lamb dish but made more simply in the slow cooker. To lighten it up, I used fat-free chicken broth and removed the skin and excess fat from the chicken legs. It's an elegant complete dinner that always gets compliments." Patricia Harmon - Baden, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 5-1/4 hours
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled and cubed
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine or additional reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 6 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


  • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the squash, tomatoes, onion, celery, broth, wine, garlic, Italian seasoning and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, seasoned salt and remaining pepper. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. Place chicken on top of vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until a meat is tender. Remove chicken and keep warm.
  • Stir orzo into vegetable mixture; cover and cook 15-20 minutes longer or until orzo is tender. Meanwhile, combine gremolata ingredients.
  • Transfer vegetable mixture to a serving platter; top with chicken. Sprinkle with gremolata.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 343 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 252mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 9g fiber), 21g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • ettakarl
    Nov 4, 2017

    My family really liked this. I used halved chicken breast and couscous because I didn't have any orzo. I also used Greek seasoning because I didn't have seasoned salt. It turned out really well. The couscous soaked up the liquid and was thick and comforting. Next time I think I'll brown the chicken and saute the onions and celery as someone suggested.

  • JessT2003
    Feb 19, 2011

    No comment left

  • paulinelydia
    Feb 16, 2010

    Looked great until I added the orzo, it soaked up all the liquid and was mushy.

  • ndb110
    Nov 21, 2009

    I really enjoyed this recipe due to the sweet yet savory flavor of the "squash stew" that results in the bottom of the pan. I think it would be better with chicken breast - the dark meat doesn't contribute greatly to the flavor and the drumstick is a little "soggy".

  • marisella
    Oct 27, 2009

    I found this recipe to be bland, despite having added salt and even hard Italian cheese as a last resort. The presentation wasn't very nice, either. The butternut squash was too soft and turned into more of a porridge. The overall result was not appetizing. I made this recipe to the exact specifications; perhaps the reviewer's additions would have rescued it.

  • utgradgal
    May 27, 2009

    No comment left

  • patcook1
    Feb 10, 2009

    Since I am the creator of this recipe, I thank you for your comment. Try it again sometime with the orzo -you will love it! - Pat

  • Red Molly
    Sep 29, 2008

    This was delicious, and definitely dressier than the average slow cooker meal. I first browned the chicken (I used thighs instead of drumsticks), then sauteed the onion and celery briefly in the drippings for more flavor. We were out of orzo, so I drained off a cup of the cooking juices, added a cup of chicken broth and used the combined liquid to make rice pilaf. The gremolata added just the right touch to blend the flavors & unite the whole dish. Absolutely delicious--this is a definite keeper. Thanks!