chicken thigh slow cooker casserole

chicken thigh slow cooker casserole

chicken thigh slow cooker casserole

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chicken thigh slow cooker casserole
chicken thigh slow cooker casserole

Slow cooker chicken casserole is a regular in our house – not only is it really quick to prepare, it’s one of those meals that you can literally chuck in whatever vegetables you have going spare – and it works! It’s definitely the go to dinner made the most out of my slow cooker recipes!

What Should I Add To A Chicken Casserole?

Chicken

Yeah I know, kind of obvious huh?! But – what type of chicken? My preference is for boneless chicken thighs – but, I’ll add whichever chicken I have. Chicken thighs and drumsticks are cheaper than breast and can usually be left in for longer, but you can use any.

I also add the chicken straight to the slow cooker – no faffing about with sealing it in a separate pan. The only meat I usually do this for is when making a sausage casserole in the slow cooker (sausages don’t taste so great if they haven’t been browned before going in a slow cooker – if you’ve ever tried it, you’ll know exactly what I mean!)

 

Vegetables

We’ve added all sorts of different vegetables to our chicken casseroles over the years. Carrots, leeks, parsnips, celery, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, onions – you name it, we’ve likely tried it!

The beauty of a casserole/stew (the same goes for our slow cooker beef stew), is you can use up any ingredients that are lingering at the back of the fridge or vegetable rack (do you have one of these too?!)

and prevent any of that dreaded food waste.

Herbs

Any mixed herbs, in fact, I tend to use a dried herb mix in all my casseroles and stews. It usually has thyme, parsley, sage, basil, oregano – all great herb additions to any casserole. I also add in a couple of bay leaves.

Mustard

I’m not a fan of mustard – but I’ve got to say, it tastes amazing in a slow cooker chicken casserole recipe! I usually add in 1 tbsp. of mustard, but you can add a little less if you’re worried it might be over powering.

 

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Stock

I don’t add too much stock as the chicken and vegetables will release quite a bit of liquid during the cooking time. But I do add some – it is a chicken casserole after all, and chicken tastes great if it is swimming in thick chicken flavoured gravy/stock! I always add 2 stock pots – I just place them in with the chicken, vegetables and herbs. I then add around 300ml of boiling water.

chicken thigh slow cooker casserole
chicken thigh slow cooker casserole

How Long Does Chicken Casserole Take To Cook In A Slow Cooker?

On High – 4 to 6 hours.

On Low – 8 to 10 hours.

Check the chicken is cooked through and there are no pink bits – if in doubt, use a meat thermometer.

It’s quite likely that the liquid in the slow cooker at the end of the cooking time will be too thin. If I have the time to wait before eating, half an hour before serving I will; take the lid off, turn the slow cooker up to high and stir in a few tablespoons of chicken gravy granules. If you don’t have the time, just stir in the gravy granules, you just might need to add in a little extra if it isn’t thick enough for your liking. Just make sure you do it gradually so that you don’t get lumps of gravy hanging about.

What Can I Serve With A Chicken Casserole?

My favourite way to serve a chicken casserole is to cook everything together – so I will add in some new potatoes at the beginning. No need for extra cooking of foods later on! But, sometimes, if the mood takes, we’ll have it with some mashed potato – because mashed potato smothered in yummy chicken casserole and gravy is just unbelievably delicious.

Side note: sweet potato mash works just as well.

Oh, and I almost forgot – adding dumplings to a slow cooker casserole is also a winner! The options are endless. You can see why we make it so much…

Money and Time Saving Tips For Making Slow Cooker Casseroles And Stews

I like to keep an eye out for any supermarket offers for either;

a) End of day discounts for vegetables – these are perfect to throw in a stew or casserole, they are usually a long way from going off, and still totally ok to use. The same goes for meat – I’ve found some fantastic offers at the end of the day.

b) 3 for 2 offers on pre chopped vegetables – these can be a real time saver if you are in a rush – or just really don’t like chopping up vegetables! When they are on offer they don’t always work out more expensive than buying the vegetables separately. Keep your eyes peeled!


Slow Cooker Cooker Chicken Casserole

yield: 4-6
prep time: 10 MINUTES
cook time: 8 HOURS
total time: 8 HOURS 10 MINUTES

Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole is quick to prepare – just throw it all in! A delicious comforting chicken stew will be ready and waiting at dinner time!

Ingredients

  • 800g – 1kg boneless chicken thigh fillets/drumsticks/breasts
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 – 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 500g new potatoes, cut in half
  • 1tbsp mustard
  • 300ml boiling water
  • Gravy granules to thicken

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, apart from the gravy granules.
  2. Give everything a gentle stir to mix together.
  3. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set off on low for 8 to 10 hours, or high for 4 to 6 hours.
  4. 30 minutes before the end, take the lid off and stir in 2 to 3 tbsp of gravy granules. Leave the lid off for the last 30 minutes to allow the stock to thicken up. If you aren’t able to wait the 30 minutes, just stir in the gravy granules until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Remove the bay leaves.

Notes

 

You can add any vegetables you have available for this chicken casserole. If you don’t add any potatoes to the slow cooker you can serve it with some mashed potato or crusty bread.

Do You Need To Sear The Chicken First?

For this recipe, it’s really best to get a good sear on the chicken. It helps impart extra flavor. I use a cast iron skillet (get it screaming hot) to brown the chicken. Work in 2 batches so that the chicken does not touch while you’re searing the skin.

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.

How To Store Leftovers

The cooked chicken and any leftover sauce store well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Store in a resealable container then reheat before serving.

These chicken thighs coated with all that yummy rich sauce go really well with any side dish that can soak up all the juicy goodness in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add in a fresh veggie or salad and dinner is served!

 

WHAT ARE THE BEST CHICKEN THIGHS TO USE AND CAN YOU USE CHICKEN BREAST?

The chicken you use is personal preference, see notes below.

Chicken Thigh  (Skin on vs skin off) – If you are pre-cooking then using skin-on thighs will produce added flavour, make sure to sear them well. Add chicken skin-side down to the hot oil, cook until skin is golden in colour, around 5 minutes. If you choose to skip the searing stage then I would recommend removing the skins as they can go a funny texture if added raw to the slow cooker.

Chicken Thigh (Bone in vs Boneless) – I didn’t find a big difference in texture or flavour when using bone-in or boneless thighs in this dish. For younger children it might be easier to use boneless, my youngest certainly prefered it without the bones.

Chicken Breast – If using chicken breasts I recommend adding them whole rather than chopping them into pieces. They will fall apart easily and I suggest shredding the chicken (like in this slow cooker chicken curry). It will give a different feel to the dish but will still be delicious.

THICK OR THIN GRAVY?

To thicken; in a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp of flour/cornflour with 1/2 cup of the casserole broth. Stir the flour mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until thickened.

 

chicken thigh slow cooker casserole
chicken thigh slow cooker casserole

STORING AND RE-HEATING SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CASSEROLE

 

REFRIGERATION
  • Allow the casserole to cool; store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat on the stovetop or microwave.
FREEZING
  • Allow the casserole to cool, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • If I am making purposely to freeze, I often cook it without potatoes and instead serve with mashed potatoes. Although it is perfectly safe to freeze potatoes, I sometimes find the texture changes and they can become a little soft and grainy.
  • Thaw, overnight, in a refrigerator, and reheat on the stovetop or microwave.

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