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The chicken (Gallus domesticus) is a domesticated junglefowl species, with attributes of wild species such as the grey and the Ceylon junglefowl that are originally from Southeastern Asia. Rooster or cock is a term for an adult male bird, and a younger male may be called a cockerel. A male that has been castrated is a capon. An adult female bird is called a hen and a sexually immature female is called a pullet.
Originally raised for cockfighting or for special ceremonies, chickens were not kept for food until the Hellenistic period (4th–2nd centuries BC). Humans now keep chickens primarily as a source of food (consuming both their meat and eggs) and as pets.
Chickens are one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, with a total population of 23.7 billion as of 2018, up from more than 19 billion in 2011. There are more chickens in the world than any other bird. There are numerous cultural references to chickens – in myth, folklore and religion, and in language and literature.
Lay chicken thighs into the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker.
Whisk soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, and basil together in a bowl; pour over the chicken.
Cook on Low for 6 hours.
RECIPE TIPS FOR THE CROCKPOT CHICKEN THIGHS RECIPE
This chicken thighs recipe in the slow cooker is very accommodating and you can customize it to your taste. The chicken thighs is super quick to prep and the delicious garlic lemon butter herb sauce is to die for! Here are a few tips to make it even better!
Try cooking the chicken over a bed of chunky cauliflower florets. This instantly turns the crockpot chicken thighs recipe into a one-pot dinner, and the cauliflower side is packed with flavor since it will soak up the fat and juices from the chicken thighs. If you’re not on a Keto or low carb diet, cook the crockpot chicken thighs over a bed of baby or new potatoes instead.
If you want to give your crockpot chicken thighs dinner a zesty touch to brighten the flavor, add a dash of fresh lemon juice at the end of cooking.
Make sure to use skinless chicken thighs. Chicken skin contains fat that will make the crockpot dish too greasy, especially when we use butter in the sauce. If you’re not fond of chicken thighs, go for skinless chicken breasts instead–They are lean and shred easily after being slow-cooked!
Shredding chicken meat is also a great option. Simply remove the cooked chicken thighs from the crockpot and shred on a cutting board after removing the bone. Add chicken back to the crockpot and mix with the sauce to combine and reheat quickly before serving the crockpot chicken.
HOW AND HOW LONG TO KEEP THE CROCKPOT CHICKEN THIGHS LEFTOVER?
This crockpot chicken thigh keeps for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stove, adding one tablespoon of water to loosen the sauce. Freeze the crockpot thighs chicken for up to 3 months. We also love to toss the shredded chicken leftovers with a crisp salad.
This is a GREAT way! Low and slow gets it more tender than it will ever be any other way. I am a big Instant Pot fan but will still admit that meat submerged in a sauce turns out best cooked on low heat all day long.
Since you’re adding raw chicken into the mix there will be a little more liquid added / emitted from the meat as it cooks. You should add a bit of water or broth to begin with though so it isn’t quite as thick and will be soaked up better.
We have a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but I have a quick step by step set of instructions here so you can get the drift as you’re looking at these photos.
Place thighs into crock, season with salt, cayenne and poultry seasoning on top.
In a small bowl whisk together bbq sauce and your jam, then add chicken broth and Worchestershire sauce. Pour this over the chicken.
Close lid and heat on high for 3 hours. Could use low for 5-6 until thickest part of chicken is 165 degrees F. Longer you cook the more it will fall apart and become shredded chicken.
I didn’t find this necessary but at the end if you really wanted to thicken the sauce you could whisk some cornstarch to thicken into the liquid. Set a pot on the stovetop and boil it all until it is the consistency you want.
Substitutions For This Recipe
If you can’t find bone-in, skin-on thighs at the store, you can use boneless, skinless thighs. I recommend still searing to impart extra flavor before adding the chicken to the crock pot.
Change up the flavors if you want. Add-in some extra spice with red pepper flakes or chopped jalapeñpos. Mix in grated fresh ginger and sprinkle on sesame seeds for an Asian flair.
Replace the ketchup with your favorite BBQ sauce and add in smoked paprika.
Thickening the Sauce for Chicken Thighs
Pour juices from slow cooker into a medium saucepan (you should have 2 cups liquid), add vinegar. Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Thicken with cornstarch slurry: Meanwhile in a small mixing bowl whisk together cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water until well blended. Pour mixture into sauce in skillet.
Simmer sauce, whisking constantly for 1 minute.
Pour thickened sauce over chicken (or baste over chicken) and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
Helpful Tips and Variations
Using bone-In chicken thighs: This recipe can also be made using bone-in chicken thighs if that’s what you have and you don’t want to remove bones. You’ll still want to use 8 thighs. Just remove the skin before adding to slow cooker, and increase cook time by about 30 minutes.
Honey substitute: In a pinch if you are out of honey you can try brown sugar.
Make sauce tangier: For more sour tangy flavor you can add more vinegar to taste.
Make spicy or mild: The amount of sriracha can be adjusted to make them mild or more spicy.
Cook time: Note that every slow cooker brand/model cooks a bit different. Some cook lower and some cook quite hot. It should take about 3 to 4 hours on low heat but if your slow cooker cooks very low you may need to increase time slightly.
Be careful not to overcook too much or thighs will just fall apart and shred. But on the other hand cook at least to 165 °F in center for food safety.
Don’t skip thickening sauce: Yes it’s an extra step we all want to skip but simmering and thickening the sauce on the stovetop with cornstarch is a must. It wouldn’t thicken properly in the slow cooker.
What Can I Use Besides Beer?
If you’re just not into beer and want an alternative, try the following:
Skip the beer altogether and let the chicken simmer in its own juices
Replace beer with chicken broth
Replace beer with a gluten-free beer like Lakefront New Grist for a gluten-free recipe
You can store the fresh or frozen chicken thighs in the crockpot overnight or cook them right away. Cover the slow cooker with the lid.
Cook until the chicken registers an internal temperature of 165°F.
Nutrition labels on easyanddelish.com are for educational purposes only. This info is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate, since the nutrition content of recipes can vary based on ingredient brand or source, portion sizes, recipe changes/variations, and other factors. We suggest making your own calculations using your preferred calculator, based on which ingredients you use, or consulting with a registered dietitian to determine nutritional values more precisely.
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