Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

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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 with corn and carrots inside a crock pot

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!

chicken thighs with crispy skin in a saute pan

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.

lemon sauce being poured over top chicken that is inside a slow cooker

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.

close of a crispy skin chicken thigh cooking inside a slow cooker

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

Slow cooker chicken thighs served with hearty vegetables is a complete meal made easy! Tender pieces of chicken, potatoes, carrots, and corn, all simmered in a lemon garlic herb sauce. 
Pin Print Review
3.82 from 432 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Recipe Video

Equipment

Notes

  • 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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Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 419 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 105mg35%
Sodium 499mg21%
Potassium 241mg7%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 27g54%
Vitamin A 8400IU168%
Vitamin C 11.6mg14%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

103 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Jon says

    Perfect way to usher in the Autumn slow-cooker season. Loved the sauce. Initially considered adding more stock to increase volume, but glad I didn’t: here was ample liquid and the flavors were nicely concentrated. Saw no reason to strain the liquid. Crisping the chicken skin under the broiler was the perfect finishing touch. The larder was a little light on onions and carrots so I added some celery for bulk… okay, but not particularly flavorful. In retrospect, I should have made the extra trip to the store. Wine pairing took some thought, but I was in a red mood and settled on a 2012 CMS Columbia Valley. Perfect. Bright fruit, low tannins and nice acidity. Chianti or Tempranillo would probably be good choices, as well… something with enough acid to play well with the sauce. Next time, I might try a Rhone white, maybe a Roussanne, and will probably put a splash in the slow cooker along with the stock and lemon juice. Thanks for another simple, tasty recipe!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Great feedback Jon! I loved how you broiled the skin right before serving. The wine pairing sounds amazing, I can’t wait until after I have the baby in october to try your suggestions just in time for the fall. Cheers!

    • Andrea says

      My husband is a picky eater but I tried the recipe for a try. He was half way through the meal and asked if I could make it again the next night. The only change I did was use garlic powder (my garlic cloves were expired right when I planned on using them) and peas instead of carrots.
      2 thumbs up 🙂

  2. Lynda McGinley says

    I am making this now but don’t see where to use the oil? 2 tabs for frying but where does the rest go? Also the video says 2-4 hours on low. Written recipe says 4-6. Which is it? Thx

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Linda- I apologize for the confusion! The recipe should just have 2 tablespoons oil for frying, it has been updated in the recipe. It should be 3-4 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low as the recipe indicates. Thank you!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes! I would check for doneness earlier, at the 2 hours on high and 4 hours on low. If the breast is done and the vegetables are not, transfer the chicken to a plate to keep warm and continue cooking the vegetables until tender.

      • Maggie says

        Thanks-Husby won’t eat dark chicken so I’m using breast &&&& no skin(didn’t have them)…I was curious about using breast!

        • Jessica Gavin says

          Hi Maggie- You can definitely use chicken breasts. I would check at the earliest time point to check if the chicken is ready.

  3. LInda Janz says

    can you warm up left overs in the Micro. I’d like to take for lunch at work and all that is avaiable is a micro wave ?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, I think you could use think in an instant pot. I would saute the chicken and then cook all the ingredients on high pressure for 10 minutes. Then remove the chicken and simmer the rest of the ingredients until the potatoes are tender, covering the pot may speed up the process. If the corn cooks faster then the potatoes, remove those when they’re done. Then make the gravy at the end when the stock is simmering. Let me know how it goes!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Michael- Great question! The serving size is one piece plus vegetables, but if you think your guests would eat more than it would feed two people. Please adjust according to your needs.

  4. Donald Mccarthy says

    That looks really good going to try and do that. And by the way I did your blackened salmon it was delicious..

  5. Bobbi Brown says

    My chicken thighs are still frozen. Can I put them in the crockpot and just cook for a longer period of time?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Bobbi- I think it would be better to defrost the chicken so that the oter ingredients don’t get overcooked. Also he chicken would make it take a long time to reach the simmer point in the pot.

  6. Jennifer says

    Making this tonight. Husband and I were tired of the same ol thing. Smells delicious so far! The kids keep asking when dinner is…that’s definitely a good sign.

  7. Cherish Machendagose says

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. The flavors were everywhere and the chicken was fall off the bone tender. Soooo good!
    My grocery store didn’t have any corn on the cob so I substituted it with a can of mini cobs of corn and it worked out great. I also added celery and added maybe a half cup more of stock.
    I will definitely be making this again and I will be checking out your other recipes for sure! 5 Stars! Thanks Jessica =)

  8. Jon F. says

    Just finished dinner and I must say this is delicious! The sauce came out a bit thicker than expected but still great. Crisped the skin under the broiler too! My wife & I and agreed to make this again. Cannot wait to try your other recipes. Either meatballs or meatloaf next up.
    Thank you, Jon

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Kathleen- I would try the 6 hours on low, check for doneness, and then keep checking every 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

  9. Shirley says

    I am planning on making this meal this week, will be doubling the ingredients. Does the cooking time change? Would it be 8 hours on low instead of 6? I’ve seen a few people ask but they haven’t had a reply. Looks like a delicious meal, my kids would love it! Thank you!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Shirley- I haven’t doubled the recipe before but I would try the 6 hours, check for doneness, and then keep checking every 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

        • Jessica Gavin says

          Yes, follow the same instructions using the slow cooker setting in the instant pot. You may need some time adjustment so keep an eye out for the doneness of the vegetables and chicken.

  10. Justin says

    Hi there! I made this for the first time and it was very good. The corn component tasted outstanding. Great recipe.

  11. Mary says

    I’d like to try this recipe but have only a 4 quart crockpot. Will that work or is it too small? I don’t see the recommended crockpot size anywhere unless I missed it. Thanks!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Mary- I use a 6-quart crockpot. It will be pretty tight in there. I think you could still do 4 pieces of chicken but might have to back off on some of the vegetables to make everything fit.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I like to saute the chicken to add more flavor to the skin and render some of the fat so the dish doesn’t get too greasy.

  12. Maria Urbain says

    In the pictures in your article, it shows pouring the sauce over the chicken already in the crockpot… but in the directions it says to add the liquid to the crock pot first. Also, the video states to cook on low for 2 to 4 hours, but I thought low was 4 to 6. Just wanted to point these out?? ANyway, I’m trying this tonight for the first time, wish me luck.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Maria- I think you are ok adding in the sauce before or after the chicken. Please follow the times in the recipe. Thanks!

  13. Charlie Hyde says

    I’ve made about five different slow cooker meals in the last couple of months and honestly this is my favorite recipe! The flavors just seemed to melt together in the sauce. I will definitely make this one again.

  14. Melissa says

    Do you think this would be still work out if I browned the chicken, then froze that along with the rest of the ingredients (to create a freezer meal to pop into a crockpot)?

  15. Jared says

    Am I able to use chicken thighs as well as chicken drumsticks? If so does the cooking time of the drumsticks differ?

  16. Scott says

    Jessica,
    Thanks for an easy, tasty dish.
    I made it about four weeks ago.
    My wife and daughter-in-law liked it so much I’m making it again.
    This time I’m meal prepping it.
    I have the veggies, browned chicken, and gravy set aside, individually in the fridge.
    Tomorrow morning I will assemble it into the crockpot. Set temp to low.
    In the evening we’ll come home to a wonderful meal.
    Thanks again for such a great recipe.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Mary- The flour thickens the sauce. However, a cornstarch slurry can be used instead if you want a gluten-free option. You can use salted chicken stock but I would cut back on the added salt in the recipe.

  17. L says

    Hi, I usually use bone in but only have boneless skinless thighs on hand. What adjustments would you make so that they don’t dry out too much? Thank you

    • Jillian says

      I’m wondering the same! I defrosted boneless thighs I had and just realized this recipe has bones 😕

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I would check the doneness of the chicken breasts at the 2 hours on high, or 4 hours on low. Continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

  18. S Chow says

    Thanks for the recipe! Made it tonight & my husband ate it up! Lunch & dinner for the next couple of days!

  19. Alex says

    I made this for the first time and it was delicious. It was enjoyed by the most finicky eater in my house. I am not a good cook but the recipe was so simple to follow, will definitely make again.

  20. Sassy says

    If I were to make this for 2 people, so just 2 chicken thighs, would the quantity of liquid need to be reduced? We eat loads of veg so I would probably add more veg,just not sure if the liquid should be halved. Thanks for your help.

  21. Jenine says

    I followed all the directions and found this quite bland, although the chicken was lovely and tender. Maybe some white wine in the sauce would have lifted the flavour.

  22. Tiffany says

    So excited to try this, looks delicious and so simple to throw it all in while were running around enjoying summer!
    Do you think cooking on low for 6-7 hours would dry out the chicken? Not sure if we’ll be back in 6 to check the temp & my
    Pot will adjust to warming after the time is up 😳
    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  23. Rue says

    Could you give me instruction for broiling for finishing touch ? How long and temperate etc etc. This is my very first time ever cooking and I want to make sure I am following instructions precisely. Thank You 🙂

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Sure! It’s in the notes section of the recipe but here it is for your reference: To make the skin on the chicken crispy again after slow cooking, transfer the chicken to a foil-lined sheet pan. Brush chicken skin lightly with olive oil. Broil in the oven about 10 inches from the upper heating element, until the skin is crisp, about 3 to 7 minutes.

  24. Sonja Boyes says

    I look forward to trying this out today! I only have boneless/skinless thighs. Would you suggest browning first? or is that unnecessary…since no skin I assume no broiling at the end?

      • Vonnda says

        I have skinless thighs you said bread them meaning putting egg and panko bread crumbs? Will the timing still be the same

        • Jessica Gavin says

          Hi Vonda- I’m not sure where I said to bread them, but I would recommend browning them for 3 minutes on each side and then adding to the slow cooker. It will likely cook faster than bone-in, so check at the earliest timing. You can remove the chicken and cover with foil until the other ingredients are done the cooking, then reheat in the slow cooker if needed.

  25. Sam Bevan says

    I made this recently when I had friends with kids coming to visit. It’s hard to know how fussy kids will be, so this had a good range of ingredients which I knew would appeal. I also like to cook ahead when I have guests coming so that I can just serve up when the time is right.
    This was a smash hit. Super affordable, colourful, hearty veges, skin on-bone in chicken which is the juiciest kind. 10/10 will make again.

  26. Patricia Contratti says

    Hi Jessica

    I made your recipe for slow cooker chicken thighs today. It was delicious and quite easy to make. I cooked it for six hours on low without chicken skins on the thighs and I believe it was a very healthy dish. I will definitely make it again.
    Thank you very much.

  27. Ronald F. Seto Sr. says

    Jessica; I tried your recipe for SLOW COOKER CHICKEN THIGHS and was disappointed. I followed your recipe to the letter, even browned the chicken in the oven at the end. The skin was crispy, but the chicken was dry. The potatoes were hard; the onions were hard; the carrots and corn were OK. I cooked it for 4 hours on high setting of my slow cooker. All potatoes and onions were cut in small pieces. Can you think of anywhere I went wrong?After reading the comments from others, it appears there is some confusion over the slow cooker time.

    Congratulations on motherhood.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Ronald, thanks for your feedback! The times have been updated. Next time you could perhaps remove the chicken once it’s cooked, and cover, then broil once you are ready to serve to reheat and crisp the skin to prevent it from drying out. Continue to cook the potatoes until fork-tender. Hopefully this helps!

  28. Lauren says

    Found this recipe on Pinterest and tried it tonight for a big family dinner. It was a hit with everyone! I doubled it and ended up cooking it in the oven since my crockpot wasn’t big enough. Cooked it in a roast pan, covered, on 325 for 2 hours and it was perfect! Will definitely be making it again!

  29. Kerri v says

    I tried this last night just as the recipe states and it was FABULOUS! Good, clean food in a slow cooker!!!!! Highly recommend

  30. Jennifer Kacur says

    My family loved this meal- kid friendly and as well as pleasing for adult pallets. Since I have older teens and a hungry husband, I made it with six chicken thighs. It still turned out great with plenty of juice!

  31. Anita says

    This might be a crazy question but how important is the lemon juice? I have everything else in the house but that. Thanks in advance!

  32. Krissy says

    My entire family loved this recipe! The leftover juice in the crockpot is tasty! Any suggestions on what we could make with the leftover juice?

  33. Kathy says

    Can you freeze everything once cooked? Trying to make meals for someone that could take out and reheat. Her husband is on Hospice care and doesn’t have the energy or time to cook.

  34. Jeanette Bruneault says

    Thank you Jessica!!! The day was a Friday. It had been such a long week the last thing I wanted to do was stand at the oven and cook. This recipe freed up my time to enjoy a margarita while enjoying the smell as it cooked! Plus when it was done each flavor worked so well together and the chicken was well cooked but still moist my hubby said it’s a keeper and I agree:)

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