Imagine coming home to the mouthwatering aroma of chicken thighs slow-cooking in a savory garlic soy honey glaze. Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs take less than 10 minutes of prep time and deliver tender, succulent chicken bathed in a delicious garlic soy honey glaze at dinnertime. When you need a fuss-free dinner, this easy crockpot meal is perfect.
Welcome to a flavor-packed adventure of slow-cooked deliciousness! This dish is all about tender chicken thighs in the crockpot, bathing in an aromatic blend of honey, soy sauce, and garlic. It's an effortless meal that delivers succulent meat and a sauce so good you'll want to drizzle it over everything!
Cooking chicken thighs in a slow cooker allows the meat to absorb all the incredible flavors while remaining juicy and tender. The honey soy glaze gives it a sweet and savory balance that's simply irresistible.
It's the kind of dish that makes you appreciate the magic of slow cooking, where simple ingredients transform into something truly special.
This chicken thigh crockpot recipe is perfect for those busy weekdays when you're short on time but still crave a home-cooked meal. Just set up your slow cooker in the morning, and come home to the comforting aroma of chicken simmering in a rich honey soy glaze.
Let's delve into the world of crockpot chicken thigh recipes and get cooking!
- Chicken: I make this slow cooker chicken thigh recipe with bone-in chicken, but you could make this with chicken breasts as well. If you want to make this with boneless chicken, reduce the cooking time.
- Seasonings: A simple blend of salt and pepper is all you need for seasoning.
- Butter: I recommend unsalted butter for this recipe, but you could use salted if that is what you have.
- Oil: Use a high heat oil for searing the chicken. Avocado is my go-to because it has neutral flavor but you could use coconut or another cooking oil.
- Honey: The sweetness of the honey contrasts nicely with the soy sauce and adds an extra layer of flavor.
- Soy Sauce: Use gluten-free tamari to make this recipe gluten-free.
- Chicken Broth: Adds depth of flavor to the glaze.
- Whole Grain Mustard: A little bit of mustard adds complexity and helps to thicken the sauce.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic for best flavor, but you could use garlic powder in a pinch.
Step by Step
For the full recipe with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Using a Cornstarch Slurry to Make a Sauce
Making a cornstarch slurry for gravy is quite simple and straightforward. Here are the steps:
Start by measuring out your cornstarch. Typically, you'll want to use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch for every cup of liquid you're trying to thicken.
In a separate bowl or cup, combine the cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water. So if you've used 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, you'll also use 1 tablespoon of cold water.
Stir the mixture together until it forms a smooth paste. This is your "slurry."
Slowly pour the slurry into your simmering sauce while continuously stirring.
Continue to cook and stir until the gravy has thickened to your liking. This usually takes around 5 minutes on high.
Tips & Tricks
- Choosing the right chicken: Opt for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. They tend to be juicier and more flavorful than boneless, skinless thighs in slow cooker recipes.
- Searing is key: For a richer flavor and better texture, sear the chicken thighs in a hot pan before adding them to the slow cooker. It gives them a beautiful golden-brown color and locks in the flavors.
- Don't overcook: Although it's tempting to leave the chicken in the slow cooker all day, overcooking can lead to dry, stringy meat. Aim for 4-6 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high.
- Spice it up: Don't be shy with your spices! Chicken thighs can handle robust flavors. Experiment with different spice blends to find your perfect match.
- Add veggies: Slow cooker chicken thighs pair beautifully with vegetables. Try adding carrots, potatoes, or bell peppers for a complete meal in one pot.
- Thicken the sauce: If you like a thicker sauce, remove the cooked chicken thighs and simmer the cooking juices on the stove until reduced. You can also mix in a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it up.
- Rest before serving: Let the chicken rest for a few minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute. This will make your chicken even more tender and juicy.
Pairing your succulent slow cooker chicken thighs with the right side can turn a simple meal into a feast. Here are some suggestions that complement the chicken beautifully:
- Skillet Potatoes: Golden, crispy, and tender, these skillet potatoes offer a delightful contrast to the soft, juicy chicken. Their hearty, earthy flavor makes them a crowd favorite.
- Balsamic Green Beans: These aren't your average green beans. Tossed in a tangy balsamic glaze, they bring a touch of brightness that cuts through the richness of the chicken.
- Broccoli Apple Salad: This refreshing salad is a symphony of textures and flavors - crunchy broccoli, crisp apples, and a sweet-tangy dressing. It's a lighter side that balances the hearty chicken thighs wonderfully.
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad: Creamy, smoky, and packed with flavor, this pasta salad is a hit at any table. The bacon adds a savory crunch that pairs perfectly with the tender chicken.
Is it better to cook chicken thighs in the slow cooker on high or low?
For the best results, set your slow cooker to low and cook for 4-6 hours. Cooking on high works when you are short on time but the meat is typically not as tender.
Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs?
Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs but reduce the cooking time to 2-3 hours on low or 1-2 hours on high. The meat is more prone to drying out so be sure to check for doneness early.
Can I put raw chicken in slow cooker?
Yes, it's perfectly safe to put raw chicken in the slow cooker. However, for more flavor and a better texture, it's best to sear the chicken before adding it to the slow cooker.
Can I freeze this dish?
Yes. Once cooked, let the chicken cool completely before transferring to an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge and heat in a 375°F (190°C) oven for 10-15 minutes. You can also reheat in the microwave or air fryer.
Store leftover chicken in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place in a skillet over medium heat and cook until warmed through. Or microwave 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
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- Slow Cooker: Use a multi-cooker like a Ninja Possible Cooker or Instant Pot Dutch Oven, or a traditional CrockPot.
More Slow Cooker Recipes to Try
- Get ready to fall in love with our Crockpot Baked Ziti - it's a comforting classic made even easier with the slow cooker.
- Next up, our Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes are a nostalgic favorite with a twist, delivering hearty flavors that'll take you back to your childhood.
- If you're a fan of pizza and pasta, you're in for a treat with our Crockpot Pizza Casserole - it's the best of both worlds!
- Finally, don't miss out on our Crockpot Ranch Chicken. It's tender, flavorful, and pairs perfectly with just about any side dish. So simple, yet so satisfying!
Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
- Pat the chicken thighs dry and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Transfer to the slow cooker, skin side up.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, broth, mustard, and garlic.
- Pour over the chicken. Dice the remaining butter and sprinkle on top.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the chicken is 165° F before serving.