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 502 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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109 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Jean says

    Tried this recipe; after 5 hours on low and one hour on high, it was still not anywhere near 165* for the chicken and the vegetables were barely half done. I should have noticed that the timing was very different from other chicken/vegetable recipes. Finally dumped everything in a large bowl and put it in the oven. The carrots and onions were still crunchy but everything else was finally done. Flavor was good but next time I will increase the amount of seasoning.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I appreciate your feedback, Jean! I’m glad that you were able to complete cooking in the oven. Perhaps you can also cut the vegetables a little smaller next time? Looking forward to hearing your feedback!

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