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Slow Cooker Chicken Rice and Cranberries

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November 21, 2015 · 2.7k Views

(Tara is a guest blogger from Noshing With The Nolands.)

Do you love the taste of the holidays and think a day or two is not enough? Then you will love this recipe as it will get you in the mood for the festivities but not with all the fuss. Slow Cooker Chicken Rice and Cranberries has all the wonderful flavours of the festive season like sage, orange, cranberries, and pecans mixed with chicken and rice and served with a crunchy delicious bread crumb topping. A fresh offering of green and yellow beans and you are feasting!!

This meal is easily made and cooks away while you do other more important things for the holidays. I loved the combination of flavors, tastes just like the holidays and fills the house with wonderful aromas too.

I think I slightly over did the recipe cooking it 6 hours. I would recommend to only cook it for 5 hours, checking that the chicken is nicely done. Your family will think you slaved all day creating this delicious meal. Don’t tell them it was easy!!

Prep time: 25 mins

Cook time: 5 hours 30 mins

Total time: 5 hours 55 mins

Serves: 6 servings

This dish has all the flavors of a Christmas dinner but with very little work at all. Just add some fresh green beans and you have an entire meal.


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp. red or black peppercorns, ground
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups brown and wild rice mix, rinsed well
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 cups no salt chicken broth
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 3 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs (12), seasoned with salt and pepper on both sides
  • Topping
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • Parsley, optional
  • Orange zest, optional


  1. In a large skillet add the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic on medium to medium low heat. Add the sage, peppercorns and salt. Cook for 1 minute then add the mushrooms. Stir in the rice and mix well. Add the cranberries, broth, orange zest and juice and bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  2. In a slow cooker, depending on the size, you will want to make one or two layers of chicken with the rice mixture on the bottom and top. I put in 1/3 of the rice topped by 6 chicken thighs then 1/3 of rice followed by 6 chicken thighs and finished with the rest of the rice.
  3. Place two clean kitchen towels, folded in half to create four layers, over the opening of the slow cooker and place the lid on top. Cook on low for 5 hours, make sure chicken is done, juices run clear and it is tender.
  4. For the topping, melt the butter in a small skillet or cast iron pan. Add the bread crumbs, salt, pepper and pecans. Stir well until combined evenly. Brown until golden for about 5 min.
  5. Use this as a topping for the chicken and rice, plus a sprinkling of parsley and extra orange zest if wanted. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from 175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics by Judith Finlayson


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Cooking, baking and entertaining has been a lifelong passion for Tara Noland. She started at a very young age, even attempting many of Julia Child’s recipes as a young teenager and cooking meals for the family or for company. Now she loves entertaining and celebrating the holidays along with her husband and daughter and sharing those wonderful recipes on Noshing With The Nolands.

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