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Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 5 hrs 15 mins
Servings 4 servings

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These Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs are perfectly seasoned with garlic and herbs, cooked until they easily pull from the bone! The juiciest, most flavorful crockpot chicken thighs!

bone in slow cooker chicken thighs with crispy skin in white crockpot

This recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs is a back-to-basics approach to making fall-off-the-bone, meltingly tender chicken thighs any day of the week.

I know, I know.

You might be thinking, “do we need another recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs?”

(Especially when I’ve already written about my love for Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts).

And the answer to that question would be yes, yes we do.

Here’s the thing: Not all recipes for chicken thighs cooked in the slow cooker are created equal.

Does the following scenario sound familiar?

You add chicken thighs to the crockpot and then several hours later, when you sit down to eat, you discover the chicken has turned out stringy and tough. Completely unappetizing and a waste of food, right?

crockpot bone in chicken thighs with skin in slow cooker

These chicken thighs are seasoned with a savory blend of herbs and spices and seared before being added to the crockpot, which makes them incredibly flavorful and juicy.

Love those crockpot chicken recipes? Check out my recipe for Crockpot Shredded Chicken if you’re looking for more inspiration!

If you’re looking for to make chicken thighs in the Instant Pot, these Instant Pot Chicken Thighs are similar in method and results, but come with a creamy garlic sauce that gets rave reviews!

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 they’re higher in fat, but the skin makes a huge difference in terms of flavor and it keeps the meat extra moist.
  • If you’re working with boneless, skinless chicken thighs — a perfectly acceptable option, by the way (I use them to make these Honey Balsamic Crockpot Chicken Thighs) — 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 shouldn’t touch or overlap. Don’t disturb the chicken breasts as they’re 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 1/4 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.
crockpot chicken thighs with skin on a grey plate overhead

Variations on Crockpot Chicken Thighs:

  • Cook potatoes in the slow cooker. Is there any chicken recipe that isn’t improved by the addition of potatoes (not according to my recipe for Slow Cooker Garlic Butter Chicken & Potatoes, anyway)? Creamy potato varieties such as Yukon Gold or red skinned potatoes are ideal for serving with chicken thighs and gravy. Toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper before nestling them under the chicken thighs in the crockpot. Cook on low heat for 5-6 hours.
  • Add vegetables during the last hour of cooking. Fresh or frozen such as carrots, peas, corn, broccoli, and sweet pepper strips can be added during the last hour or half hour before the crock pot timer goes off (smaller or more delicate vegetables will need less time).
  • Make Tex-Mex slow cooker chicken thighs. Replace the herbs and spices called for in the original recipe with a packet of taco seasoning. Serve with this Instant Pot Brown Rice!
  • Brush chicken thighs with barbecue sauce. Once the chicken thighs are completely cooked they can be brushed with barbecue sauce. For even crispier skin, run the chicken under the broiler until the barbecue sauce begins to bubble before serving.

How to serve Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs:

  • I like to serve these chicken thighs with rice and a side of veggies. Feel free to use your favorite grain — these thighs go with everything!
  • Shredded and added to chicken tacos or barbecue sandwiches.
  • Served chilled alongside my Easy Potato Salad Recipe on a picnic.

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.

slow cooker chicken thighs on grey plate partially shredded

More crockpot chicken recipes:

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Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

4.86 from 7 votes
These Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs are perfectly seasoned with garlic and herbs, cooked until they easily pull from the bone! The juiciest, most flavorful crockpot chicken thighs!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 15 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 218cal

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 6-8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder and paprika. Rub over the front and back of the chicken thighs.
  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • In two batches, brown chicken, skin side down, in hot pan. This will take 2-4 minutes.
  • Pour chicken broth in the bottom of a 2.5-4 quart slow cooker and add chicken thighs, skin side up, trying not to overlap chicken if possible. (If you have to, that is fine, they may just take a little longer to cook through)
  • Put the lid on and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3 hours, until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F in the thickest part.
  • Serve.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2thighs | Calories: 218cal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 388mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 98IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords crockpot chicken thighs, slow cooker chicken thighs

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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