Slow-Cooker Chicken Thighs Braised in Milk
8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), skin removed
2 carrots, peeled
2 celery stalks
1 large onion, halved and peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups whole milk (or a combination of milk and a little cream, but don’t use low-fat milk)
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Melt a tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Dry the chicken thighs with paper towels and sprinkle them with quite a bit of salt and pepper. Brown the chicken thighs for at least five minutes on each side.
While the chicken is browning, turn on the food processor and drop the garlic cloves through the feed tube. Turn off the machine, then cut the carrots into large chunks and put them in. Cover and pulse four times, then cut the onion and celery into large chunks and add them to the carrots. Continue pulsing until everything is very finely chopped but not pureed.
Remove the browned thighs from the skillet and put them in the bottom of the crock of a large slow cooker. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and oil to the skillet, then add the minced vegetables, the dried thyme, and some salt and pepper. Sauté until lightly browned. Stir in the milk and bring to a simmer, scrape up the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon, then pour the milk and vegetable mixture over the chicken. Put on the cover of the cooker, and set it to low power for 6 hours. The chicken should be completely tender. You can leave it on the warming setting after that.
Stir everything up well before serving. Serve the chicken over noodles or rice with plenty of sauce.