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ISO No-fail Chicken Slow Cooker Recipe - Help!

Having some friends over for dinner this week - it's too hot to put my oven on and I don't want to bother with the grill.

I thought the best solution would be to break out the slow cooker and have it work it's magic while I'm at work - but I've only made beef/pork dishes in it and I need to serve chicken to this crowd.

Does anyone have a great, no-fail, slow cooker recipe for chicken? From what I've read so far - it appears I need to use thighs (can I do boneless?) instead of breasts, so the meat doesn't dry out.

I don't want to use any recipes that call for condensed soups or seasoning packets...

Any ideas for side dishes to round out the meal would also be appreciated. (I'll be making food for six adults).

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  1. try crockpot365.blogspot.com. She has lots of chicken recipes there, as well as her review of each recipe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GrillNextDoor

      Thank you for the listing! During the school year, I love the simplicity and versatility of my crock pot. Only 4 more weeks until I report back, and 5 until the students arrive. This came just in time for me.

    2. i'm with you for using the crockpot right now, but I'm worried that you won't be happy with the chicken, I don't think it will brown, and it might over-cook. So I would make it like a I would do for a pulled bbq pork using chicken, or chicken verde,with a tomatillo sauce. for the meat and you don't care about the outer skin color and carmelization only that oven or grill/rotisserie can do.Yes you can do boneless.

      1. Here's an inauthentic but delicious thai-flavored recipe for the slow cooker:

        Thai-flavored Chicken – FOR THE SLOW COOKER
        Makes 4 to 6 servings

        8 chicken thighs
        Salt and pepper
        ½ cup chicken broth
        ½ cup peanut butter
        4 teaspoons firmly packed light brown sugar
        1 tablespoon fish sauce
        1 tablespoon soy sauce
        1 to 3 teaspoons curry powder
        2 teaspoons minced ginger
        1 to 2 jalapenos, seeded and deveined, minced
        2 garlic cloves, minced
        ½ cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
        1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
        Fresh cilantro
        Chopped peanuts

        1. Remove skin from chicken thighs and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
        2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the chicken broth, peanut butter, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, curry powder, ginger, jalapenos and garlic. Mix well.
        3. Put the chicken thighs in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour the sauce on top. Put the lid on the cooker and cook on low heat for 6 hours.
        4. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, stir in the coconut milk and the lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
        5. Serve chicken with the sauce over top of hot cooked rice and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro and peanuts.

        As a side dish beyond the hot cooked rice, a crisp salad of sugar snap peas, lightly steamed or microwaved, tossed with toasted sesame oil and black sesame seeds or toasted white sesame seeds would be nice. Or a simple stir fry of any asian green with ginger and garlic, then drizzled with toasted sesame.

        5 Replies
        1. re: janniecooks

          could you adopt this with breasts? I'm the only person in the family who will eat dark meat

          1. re: TrussedUp

            You could try, I suppose, but breasts aren't really suitable for stews or braises - too lean. I've never made it with breasts - I love chicken thighs - but if you were to try it perhaps cook them for an hour or two less than you would cook the thighs.

            1. re: janniecooks

              Jannie, I made your recipe today...very good! I used a combo of thighs/breasts...didn't have jalapenos so I used dried chili flakes...I think the fresh jalapenos would have been better so will make sure I have them next time...thank you for a good new crockpot recipe! Very good flavors!

          2. re: janniecooks

            Janniecooks, I also made this recipe this week. Very tasty! I used 2 of those large jalapenos that aren't that hot, and the upper limit of curry powder (also not very hot). With the leftovers, added some chopped Thai dragon peppers for an extra kick and a couple of chopped Zucchini, which lightened it up a little for our taste. Also added extra lime juice at the table. I'll def. be making this again, great for hot days when I want real food but don't want to stand in the kitchen cooking.

            1. re: dkenworthy

              So happy to hear you both liked the thai-flavored chicken!

          3. Slow Cooker Chicken with Cranberries

            1 yellow onion, sliced
            1 cup cranberries
            Boneless/skinless chicken thighs*
            ¼ cup Ketchup
            2 tbsp brown sugar
            1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
            1 tsp dry mustard (powder)
            Pinch salt and pepper

            Trim chicken pieces of extra fat. Mix onion and cranberries together in bottom of large slow cooker. Arrange chicken pieces on top. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard powder, salt and pepper and spread on top of chicken. Cook on low (for about 6-7 hours) or high (for about 3-4 hours) until done.

            Optional: If you want to thicken the sauce, combine 1 tsp cornstarch with 2 tsp water and mix into sauce. Bring to a boil until thickened, stirring often. They say you can do this in the slow cooker on high, but I don’t think it works well. Better off doing it on the stove in another pan.

            *You can use other cuts, but I think that the dark meat works better in the slow cooker. I like boneless/skinless because there is less fat without the skin, and if the meat starts to fall apart during cooking, you don’t end up with bones in the end product.

            1. I make a fake coq au vin in the crockpot since it's perfect for braising. It's not quicker but it's great coming home to it. I cook up bacon, sear chicken thighs that have been dredged in seasoned flour (choose what herbs you like/have). Add the chicken to the crockpot (sprayed w/ oil). Saute onions, celery, carrots in the same pan (add mushrooms if you want). Deglaze w/ red wine and add it all to the crockpot. Add chicken stock and pearl onions, any more herbs and cook. If you have a rice cooker, I'll put potatoes in to steam. When you get home, mash the potatoes and serve chicken over it.

              Another one I do often is chicken paprikash. Add sliced onions (2-3 onions) to crockpot w/ butter on top. Sear chicken thighs or drumsticks and add to top on onions. Deglaze w/ white wine. Add to crockpot. When you get home, remove chicken and add sour cream to crockpot. Serve over rice. Sorry, I don't follow exact recipes so I can't give you exact amounts.

              1. Boy, I am SO going to try janniecooks' Thai Chicken in the crockpot very soon!
                Here's one for Slow Cooker Cassoulet from Mabel Hoffman...I've made this a number of times and it's great but I cut back a bit on the bacon and the smoked sausage, just a personal preference to cut back on sodium:

                serves 6

                1 chicken fryer, cut up or about 4 lbs whatever kind of chicken you want to use
                flour to dredge chicken in
                1/2 lb bacon, cut in pieces
                1 large onion, peeled and chopped
                2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
                3 heaping Tbsp parsley, chopped
                1/2 tsp pepper
                2 small bay leaves (or 1 large)
                1 tsp dry thyme
                2-15 oz cans Cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained
                10 oz package frozen spinach
                1 lb Polish sausage or smoked sausage, sliced 1/2" thick
                1/4 c dry white wine (I use dry Vermouth)

                Cook bacon in a pan on the stove. Remove from pan and set aside. Dredge chicken and cook in the bacon drippings with the onions and garlic. Drain drippings.

                Place chicken, onions, garlic and bacon in the slow cooker and sprinkle evenly with parsley, bay leaves, thyme and pepper. Spoon beans and sausage on top. Pour on the wine, cover and cook on LOW 5 hours. Put spinach over the top and cook another hour. Serve with small new potatoes or mashed potatoes.

                Note: can also cook in a big pot on top of the stove or in the oven. Simmer for 2 hours on top of the stove, bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours in the oven.

                1. I also forgot, chicken adobo, sometimes it isn't browned first. It's delicious,and easy.

                  1. I made a version of the classic Chicken Marbella in the slow cooker and it was delicious. I think I used skinless boneless thighs and breasts and it worked out great. I didn't brown the chicken before hand. I used this recipe:

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Cheesy Oysters

                      ooooo that is good to know. I love to use my crockpot. I only cook beans in my slow cooker winter or summer, and I take two days but I plan for them. That is so good to know. I realize the op doesn't want anything packaged and you could totally do this version without a packet, since I make my dressing from scratch too, but she did a whole chicken and used stove top stuffing on the bottom. When the weather cools up one could totally switch it up to make your own dressing. Chicken pieces, dressing, and let it cook for 8 hours. I would brown it first, but that's just me.

                    2. I use a whole oven roaster for this:

                      5-7 pound roasting chicken- discard & remove insides
                      2 lemons
                      ½ cup honey
                      ½ cup orange juice
                      **Fresh or dried herbs optional to liking(sage, rosemary, thyme)

                      Rinse & pat dry chicken, then rub outside with herbs. Pierce holes all over lemons & place in cavity of chicken. Place chicken in slow cooker. Mix together honey & OJ, then pour over chicken. Cook on low 6-8 hrs. When done, pull out the lemons & squeeze over chicken.