Substitutions For This Recipe
- If you cant find bone-in, skin-on thighs at the store, you can use boneless, skinless thighs. I recommend still searing to impart extra flavor before adding the chicken to the crock pot.
- Change up the flavors if you want. Add-in some extra spice with red pepper flakes or chopped jalapeñpos. Mix in grated fresh ginger and sprinkle on sesame seeds for an Asian flair.
- Replace the ketchup with your favorite BBQ sauce and add in smoked paprika.
Can I Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs In The Crock Pot
The USDA doesnt recommend cooking frozen chicken in the slow cooker, but rather thaw chicken.
To defrost the chicken safely, either thaw it in the fridge overnight or submerge the frozen chicken in a bowl of hot tap water for 30 minutes, stirring the water once and a while.
But if you are in a rush, make sure to cook the frozen chicken in a single layer to bring the chicken thighs up temperature more quickly.
How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs:
- I like to use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs when I make this recipe. I know that some people are hesitant to use skin-on chicken thighs because theyre higher in fat, but the skin makes a huge difference in terms of flavor and it keeps the meat extra moist.
- If youre working with boneless, skinless chicken thighs a perfectly acceptable option, by the way skip the browning and add the chicken right to the crockpot. Opt for a lower heat setting and 3-4 hour cook time on low in order to prevent accidentally overcooking the chicken.
- Alternatively, why not have the best of both worlds? Prepare the chicken thighs as instructed in the recipe and and remove the skin just before serving.
- Take the time to brown the chicken thighs. Work in two batches if needed. The chicken shouldnt touch or overlap. Dont disturb the chicken thighs as theyre browning, the skin will naturally shrink away from the pan when its reached the crispy stage.
- Make a gravy out of the liquid drippings left in the slow cooker. If you have a relatively small amount of liquid leftover you can simmer it in the crockpot on high heat until it thickens naturally. For a thicker gravy whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with ¼ cup of water or chicken stock until it forms a slurry. Turn the crockpot to high, stir the slurry into the remaining slow cooker liquid and whisk until the gravy thickens.
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Why We Love It
Its no secret I love bbq chicken! In the warm weather I love to grill up some bbq chicken drumsticks, but my favorite way to cook chicken thighs? In the crock pot!
Because when you slow cook your chicken thighs using this method, theyre:
- So easy to make
- Fall-apart tender and super moist
- Full of rich bbq flavor
Best of all, you only need four ingredients, and it can be customized to your dietary preferences! That means whether youre following Whole30, Keto, or any other way of eating, you can make this recipe work for you.
An Affordable Crock Pot Dinner
The slow cooker is one of my go-to kitchen appliances. I don’t care how many new shiny appliances come on the market, I still love my old faithful crock pot! This Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs Meal is super easy with a small amount of ingredients but also super filling! You can cook it on low or high depending on your timeframe and you will have a delicious dinner at the end! This meal is perfect for those nights when you are super busy but still feel like a home-cooked meal. Chicken thighs are a much more affordable cut of chicken so this is definitely a bit more budget-friendly as well.
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Easy Additions & Swaps
Want to zest up the crockpot chicken thighs recipe a bit? There is so much you can do with this basic recipe as a starter. Here are a few easy flavorful add-ins to try in this tasty tender chicken:
- For some Greek flair, add green olives, lemon juice , oregano and fresh minced garlic to the cooking liquid in the pot . Perhaps sprinkle on a little feta cheese when serving.
- Of course a little onion powder, garlic powder, curry seasoning or Italian seasoning will enhance flavor. Just add a little, about a ¼ to a ½ teaspoon should be enough. A pinch of red pepper flakes is a good choice if you want to add a little heat.
- Fresh herbs improve any dish in my book. A mixture of a bay leaf or two, fresh thyme and rosemary is well worth including in the pot when cooking.
- Swap out the potatoes with other vegetables, such as fresh green beans. Serve the cooked meat and veggies with sauce over noodles, steamed white rice or brown rice, cauliflower rice or even mashed potatoes.
- Pour on a little BBQ sauce over the chicken thighs and root vegetables for a sweet and tangy flavor boost.
Equipment Needed To Make Chicken Thighs In Crock Pot
- Slow Cooker Obviously youll need a slow cooker. I recommend at least a 6 quart. This is the one I use and recommend. You can read my full review here.
- Cutting Board I really like this chop & scoop version.
- Tongs I like to use tongs when handling chicken to keep my hands clean. Plus, theyre helpful when youre searing the thighs.
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Why This Recipe Works
In addition to the whole chicken, this chicken in beer recipe also includes baby potatoes, making it a one-pot meal. Its totally up to you if youd like to add more sides , but you dont have to. This chicken recipe also works because its low prep and has a moderate cooking time, meaning you can start it by lunchtime and have it for dinner tonight. Its just what you need for those busy days! Looking for a recipe without beer? Try my classic whole chicken recipe.
Helpful Tips And Variations
- Using bone-In chicken thighs: This recipe can also be made using bone-in chicken thighs if thats what you have and you dont want to remove bones. Youll still want to use 8 thighs. Just remove the skin before adding to slow cooker, and increase cook time by about 30 minutes.
- Honey substitute: In a pinch if you are out of honey you can try brown sugar.
- Make sauce tangier: For more sour tangy flavor you can add more vinegar to taste.
- Make spicy or mild: The amount of sriracha can be adjusted to make them mild or more spicy.
- Cook time: Note that every slow cooker brand/model cooks a bit different. Some cook lower and some cook quite hot. It should take about 3 to 4 hours on low heat but if your slow cooker cooks very low you may need to increase time slightly.
- Be careful not to overcook too much or thighs will just fall apart and shred. But on the other hand cook at least to 165 °F in center for food safety.
- Dont skip thickening sauce: Yes its an extra step we all want to skip but simmering and thickening the sauce on the stovetop with cornstarch is a must. It wouldnt thicken properly in the slow cooker.
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Low Calorie Chicken Thigh Slow Cooker Recipes
What should I make for dinner tonight? This might just be the number one question that we ask ourselves almost daily over here.
Then you have come to the right place, we have rounded up 15 low calorie chicken thigh slow cooker recipes that we have shared over the years.
Plus, there is such a variety of flavours in these recipes, so you are sure to find something for you. Most of these recipes are quick and easy ones made especially for busy weeknights.
How Do You Make Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
First, cook your chicken thighs in a pan with oil until golden to unlock the flavor. Whip up some honey garlic sauce which features garlic, honey and soy sauce. Place the thighs in the slow cooker slathered in the honey garlic sauce. After a few hours, youll want to add a little cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Once the chicken is cooked, sprinkle sesame seeds on top and it is ready to serve.
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Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs Recipe Tips
If you cant find bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, or if you simply prefer meat without bones, you can substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs. Boneless meat cooks a bit faster than bone-in, so reduce the cook time to 4 hours on LOW, or 2 hours on HIGH if you make this substitution.
This recipe is incredibly forgiving if you dont have a certain ingredient in the pantry. Substitute BBQ sauce for ketchup, dry mustard for prepared mustard, hoisin sauce for soy sauce, even maple syrup for honey. Each variation will change the flavor just a bit, creating a unique-to-you meal!
Leftover chicken stores well in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 days. Were liberal in our house with leftovers , so always use the smell test before consuming.
Crock Pot Beef And Chicken Stew Recipe
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
Chicken thighs team up with stewing beef to make this delicious stew. This stew is similar to Kentucky’s famous burgoo.
nata_vkusidey / Getty Images
Curry powder and ginger provide the flavor for tender, juicy chicken thighs and sweet potatoes. Peach preserves sweeten the dish perfectly.
Continue to 5 of 22 below.
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Thickening The Sauce For Chicken Thighs
- Pour juices from slow cooker into a medium saucepan , add vinegar. Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Thicken with cornstarch slurry: Meanwhile in a small mixing bowl whisk together cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water until well blended. Pour mixture into sauce in skillet.
- Simmer sauce, whisking constantly for 1 minute.
- Pour thickened sauce over chicken and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs With Potatoes And Carrots Recipe
- Season chicken thighs on all sides with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Place oil in skillet over med-high heat and brown the thighs on each side.
- Layer potatoes, carrots and onions in slow cooker. Then scatter the garlic and thyme over vegetables.
- Lay the chicken thighs on top.
- Add the broth to the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. The thighs will be nearly fall apart tender when done.
- Whisk together cornstarch & water. Add to slow cooker and simmer a few minutes to thicken sauce before serving. Re-season with salt and pepper to taste.
Recommended Reading: Temperature For Grilling Chicken Thighs
Crock Pot Chicken Thighs With Potatoes And Carrots
Robin Gagnon | 06/28/2022
Try this out this simple recipe for slow cooker chicken thighs and potatoes with carrots in a simple savory sauce. It’s a delicious full meal that is so easy to make and inexpensive thanks to bone-in chicken thighs.
The Crock Pot Chicken thighs recipe is a hearty, savory dish will warm you up on cold nights. It makes great recipe choice to cook for busy families. The crockpot chicken and potatoes happens to be gluten-free too, if that is a concern.
slow cooker chicken thighs plated and served
Crock Pot Chicken Thigh Recipes
While lean, quick-cooking chicken breasts are convenient to have on hand for family meals, you just can’t beat chicken thighs for their flavor, juiciness, and price. Chicken thighs maintain their excellent flavor and tenderness even when cooked for several hours in the slow cooker, while chicken breasts can become quite dry and tough.
As with most slow cooker chicken recipes, there’s usually no need to sear the chicken before you add it to the crock. However, browning the chickenespecially if the skin hasn’t been removedcan add flavor, color, and texture. If you have time, brown whole chicken thighs in a small amount of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
With only one bone running through the middle of chicken thighs, they’re easy to debone. Just make cuts on either side of the bone and remove it while scraping off any meat that might be adhering.
If you don’t cook with chicken thighs often, these crock pot recipes will make you a believer.
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How Do I Cook Bone
You have a lot of flavoring options for cooking your chicken thighs. When using a slow cooker, I personally recommend sticking to a dry rub, or basic chicken seasoning. By not adding moisture to the slow cooker , you will allow the skin to dry out as it cooks, resulting in a more crisp skin. Adding a sauce will certainly flavor the meat, but the skin will remain soggy.
How To Cook Chicken Thighs In The Slow Cooker
I find six chicken thighs fit perfectly in the bottom of my 6-Quart Crock Pot, however, you can still easily make this recipe if you have a different sized slow cooker. The chicken thighs need to be laid in a single layer at the bottom of the slow cooker, so you are welcome to use as many thighs as will fit in yours.
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The Best Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs Recipe
My Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs Recipe is an easy and delicious way to feed your family a meal theyll love!
- 8boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2cupsoy sauce
- Place chicken thighs in bottom of slow cooker.
- Mix together soy sauce, ketchup, honey, minced garlic and basil.
- Pour over chicken in the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
How To Store Leftover Crockpot Chicken Thighs:
Cooked leftover slow cooker chicken thighs can be stored in a resealable container for 3-4 days. To freeze leftover chicken thighs, remove meat from the bone and store in a resealable freezer bag for up to 4 months for optimal freshness.
To defrost cooked chicken thighs transfer to the fridge and allow to thaw overnight before using.
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How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
Check out how to make this chicken recipe step-by-step:
Can You Put Frozen Chicken In A Slow Cooker
I dont recommend putting frozen chicken in a slow cooker. You should always thaw chicken before slow cooking it. Frozen chicken in the slow cooker can cause problems. The main problem is the risk of bacterial growth. Frozen chicken takes longer to heat up in a slow cooker than thawed chicken meaning the frozen chicken may allow bacteria to grow while it slowly heats. Another problem can occur with frozen chicken in a slow cooker if there is not enough liquid. The frozen chicken touching the cooker may get overcooked before the interior of the chicken has finished cooking because the frozen interior takes longer to cook. You will be safer and you may get better tasting food if you thaw your chicken before placing it in a slow cooker.
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Will Skin Get Crispy In The Slow Cooker
The slow cooker is NOT an ideal cooking vessel if you are looking for crispy chicken skin. Baking or broiling your chicken thighs will result in much crispier skin. That being said, you do not need to settle for soggy, rubbery skin just because you are using a slow cooker. As the chicken thighs cook they will release moisture, the skin sitting in the pooling liquid will never get remotely crisp. However, the portion of the skin resting above the liquid will render fat and will firm up. I still would not describe it as “crispy”, however, it is crisp enough that you can bite through it.
To summarize: If you are looking for maximum crispy chicken skin, use your oven.
How To Make A Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs Meal:
Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs and pat dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl combine the chicken thighs with paprika, salt, and pepper until evenly coated. Set aside while preparing the vegetables.
Cut all the baby potatoes in half then chop the red onion and mince the garlic.
Place the potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic in the bottom of a 5-6 quart oval slow cooker.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat, then add the oil. When the oil is heated, brown the chicken thighs in the pan, about 3-4 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd the chicken or the chicken will steam and not brown. Cook in batches if necessary.
Place browned chicken thighs on top of the vegetables then pour in chicken broth. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours. Remove chicken, potatoes, and carrots from the slow cooker onto serving dishes.
Mix cornstarch and water together to make a slurry and add to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker on high to thicken broth into gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve up the chicken and drizzle with the gravy.
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