Chicken legs and thighs are by far my favorite part of our fine feathered friend. In fact, most of the chicken flavor is in the thighs and legs. If you don’t like dark meat, you can use chicken breast, which most Americans tend to eat. I used to be in that category until I started to experiment with leg quarters in soups and on the grill. The thing is white meat easily dries out and doesn’t have as much chicken flavor compared to a pair of thighs and legs.
Chicken Fact: Freeze raw chicken for up to two years without significant changes in flavor or texture.
There are four key elements to cooking chicken thighs and legs in the crock pot: meat, spices, liquid, and time.
If you are looking to make some chicken to keep in the fridge for the next few days or to freeze for general use the following are some tips to bear in mind. You want to take a minimalist’s approach to seasoning your chicken. Once cooked it will allow you to use your chicken in just about any dish you can think of, such as tacos, chicken noodle soup, chicken sandwiches, chicken stir fry, and much much more the possibilities are endless when it comes to the culinary arts.
If you would like to learn the fundamentals of cooking with a crockpot, check out our post here
Let’s start out with a quick and simple spice mix that isn’t overbearing and will allow you to use the chicken in just about any kind of dish that calls for chicken.
6-8 chicken thighs and or legs
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 medium onion diced
4 Garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Paprika
¼ cup of chicken broth
Tip: Whole herbs and spices increase their flavoring ability in while cooking in the crock pot
Remove skin from the chicken. Since we will be cooking in a moist environment, we will need to remove the skin because the skin won’t get crispy, and we avoid having the skin produce additional grease.
*If you wish to keep the skin on, brown your chicken before putting in the crockpot. Deglaze the pan with chicken broth for additional flavors
Season chicken. Now if you are using frozen chicken, I recommend that if it is in a block that you separate all the pieces, this will help ensure that the chicken cooks evenly.
Add all ingredients into the crockpot
Low: 6-9 hours
High: 1.5 – 2.5 hours
Here are a few crockpot chicken and thigh recipes I’ve used and or drew inspiration from
Sweet and Spicy Chicken An easy, tender, sweet, and spicy chicken leg/ thigh recipe with Asian flavors.
Crock Pot Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks This is an EASY slow cooker chicken dish made with only six ingredients, including the salt and pepper! Kid-friendly and delicious – the chicken falls off the bone!
Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas brings together the best of Moroccan flavors and fresh ingredients. Moroccan tagine, or slow-cooked stews, often contain a mix of vegetables, dried fruits, spices, and poultry or meat.
Saucy Chicken over Rice Packed with rich flavors in the white wine, chopped tomatoes, and various spices. Serve over hot cooked rice.