Easy to make slow cooker chicken thighs served with hearty vegetables! Tender pieces of chicken, potatoes, carrots, and corn, all simmered in a lemon garlic herb sauce.
Slow cooker chicken thighs are the perfect meal for lazy Sunday suppers or busy weeknight dinner. Protein and hearty root vegetables simmer in a light lemon sauce that infuses tons of flavor. To elevate this dish, sauteing the chicken before adding it to the vessel adds golden brown hues to the skin and crisp texture.
The chicken thighs braise in a Crock-Pot, creating tender pieces of meat and vegetables that absorb the fragrant gravy. Adding in fresh rosemary and thyme creates an earthy and comforting flavor in the sauce. Make sure to drizzle a little extra all over. It’s a guaranteed meal time hit!
The lemon sauce
The best part of this recipe is that the sauce is made right in the pot, thickening and becoming more flavorful as time goes by. The mixture of chicken stock, flour, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and thyme gets to simmer together gently forming a delicious liquid.
As the temperature gradually increases in the sealed slow cooker, this allows the starches in the flour to absorb the liquid, swell and gelatinize at its endpoint cooking temperature for maximum thickness.
The braising cooking method
Braising is an essential technique that cooks more substantial cuts of meat, partially covered in a liquid in a consistent heated environment, for an extended period. Chicken thighs are chosen for this recipe because they are rich in flavor, and the increased amount of fat compared to chicken breasts keep the chicken juicy. I like bone-in pieces because it prevents the poultry from overcooking.
With a little bit of patience, the collagen in the connective tissues of the meat break down and turn into gelatin, adding flavor and body to the sauce. The slow cooker creates the ideal moist and hot environment for all of the ingredients to tenderize. The baby red potatoes, carrots slices, and corn wheels gently bubble in the fragrant garlic and herb braising liquid for a complete dinner.
If you’ve fallen in love with your slow cooker as much as I have, then you’ll want to check out these 10 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for more inspiration. Tasty dinner meal plans ready to go.
More slow cooker recipes
Benefits of bone-in chicken thighs
Bone-in chicken thighs stay moist when cooked for more extended periods of time. This happens because the calcium-rich porous bones don’t retain as much heat, compared to the lean breasts that can quickly dry out.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
- 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, about 1 to 1 ½ pounds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup red onion, 1-inch dice
- 1 ½ cups carrots, 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound baby red potatoes, cut in half
- 1 ear corn, cut into 4 pieces
- 2 tablespoons garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 ¼ cup unsalted chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus 4 wedges for serving
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- Trim excess skin and fat from the chicken thighs.
- Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, once hot add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Add chicken skin side down to the hot oil, cook untilgolden in color, 5 minutes.
- Flip and cook 2 minutes, transfer chicken to a clean plate.
- Add onion, carrot, potatoes, corn, and garlic to slow cooker.
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, chicken stock, flour, and lemon juice, add to slow cooker.
- Add chicken, thyme, and rosemary to slow cooker.
- Cover and cook 2 to 4 hours on high setting or 4 to 6 hours on low setting, until the chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender.
- Transfer chicken and vegetables to serving plates.
- Pour cooking liquid through a strainer if desired, whisk to combine and season as desired.
- Serve sauce and lemon wedges with the chicken dinner.
- CRISPY CHICKEN SKIN: To make the skin on the chicken crispy again after slow cooking, transfer the chicken to a foil-lined sheet pan. Brush lightly with olive oil and broil in the oven about 10 inches from the upper heating element, about 3 to 7 minutes.
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