Earlier this week I broke in my crockpot with an Italian meatball and pasta meal and it was delicious. I decided to get the crockpot out again the other night and try a chicken dish. I had been craving potatoes for some reason and carrots for a few days, so I thought the perfect combination would be chicken and vegetables. And it was simply – in a word – divine.
Slow cooking at a lower temperature is clearly the key for the best crockpot results. But I was feeling impatient and cooked the dish at high. The chicken was surprisingly done in less than 2 hours. But to be safe, I put it back in the pot for another 20 minutes. Better to be safe than sorry with chicken.
I did a lot of research into the best method for cooking full meals in a crockpot before making this recipe. And most of the recipes suggested putting vegetables on the bottom, adding some juice (water, broth, stock, etc) and placing the meat on top of the vegetables – but in one layer. You’ll see what I mean in the pictures.
For this recipe, I’m being lazy and not using a recipe card today. I’m still working on other recipes but gave my Etsy store my full attention this week. You also may have noticed that I’m not writing daily posts. I’m winding down to three a week going forward. Most likely on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays as those are my high traffic days.
Honestly, this is one of the best things I’ve made in a while. I was surprised at how juicy the chicken was. I think it would have been better slow cooked for a few hours but I didn’t get things started until 6 pm and I was hungry.
It’s worth it to note that I have an 8-quart sized pot and this was pretty full. If you have a smaller crockpot, just reduce the recipe by half the ingredients. When shopping around for a crockpot, consider how much space you have to store it, have how much counter space you have to work with – and how often you would use it. I used my old one often in winter months and for me, the larger size was worth the buy.
- 4 to 6 small chicken thighs
- 1 red onion sliced into rings
- 2 cups of celery (1 inch pieces)
- 2 cups of baby carrots
- 2 cups of sliced zucchini
- 1.5 cups of mini potatoes
- 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup of frozen corn
- 3 cups of chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Seasoning: salt, black pepper,
In a bowl, mix the olive oil and your choices of seasoning together. Using your hands, dip in the chicken thighs and mix it in the seasoning until the chicken is nicely coated. Set the chicken aside on a plate.
Using a skillet on the stove top, melt the butter and add in the onions. Let cook for about 1 minute. Add in the seasoned chicken thighs and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. This will give the chicken some extra flavour. You could roast the chicken before adding it to the crockpot but that isn’t necessary. Remove from the stove and set the chicken next to your crockpot.
If you’ve pre-prepped your vegetables, you can add them into your crockpot now. Check out the picture below for reference on how to cut the vegetables. This again will depend on the size of your crockpot and what vegetables you prefer. This recipe is pretty versatile.
Add in the chicken broth – about 2-3 cups. If you want more of a casserole, then you can make a flour-butter roux and add it to the pot during this step. I opted out of that this time and saved the broth. It was so tasty. Corn starch can also help to thick up broth.
Add in more seasoning as desired and give the mix a good stir. This way the vegetables will get lots of flavour. I suggest adding at least 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. A single bay leaf and some thyme can also add a punch of taste.
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in a single layer. Do not layer the chicken on top of each other. And yes, the chicken will cook. The juices from the broth will absorb into the chicken making it extremely juicy. Placing the meat on top of the vegetables also helps to prevent the meat from burning as some pots can get really hot, really fast.
Cover with the lid. Cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 to 6 hours.
You definitely want to check the meal every hour or so – but don’t leave the lid off too long. This will cause the pot to lose heat and will add on cooking time. Surprisingly, the vegetables were done fairly quickly. I added the corn in the last 30 minutes of the meal because it doesn’t take long to cook. You may want to add in the mushrooms and zucchini later on.
I added the onions on top of the chicken mostly for presentation. Raw chicken is kind of gross.
So, I wasn’t in the mood for soup. When I dished this bad boy out onto my plate, I used a serving spoon with holes to strain out the liquid. After letting the food cool down, I transferred the vegetables into a container and stored the broth into a glass jar. I plan on using this broth for tonight’s recipe.
Broth is excellent to use in casseroles, soups and stews. If you combine flavour from past meals with similar flavours, then even better. I try to use this up within a few days. But the great news is that broth or stock have a good shelf life. It’s a great ingredient that you can batch prep, and store for later use.
And if you’re sick with a cold or flu, there’s nothing better than heating up a cup of broth. It’s like comfort food.
I ate two cups of this meal and I was completely full for the rest of the night. This recipe is loaded with vegetables and has plenty of natural nutrients that your body needs. It’s also a great recipe for weight loss. You can make it as a soup – just shred the chicken after cooking. Or you can eat it like I did – as chicken thighs with a side of vegetables, and save the broth for later use.
I’d really like to get into canning and jarring this winter – so I may share some of those tips and tricks in later posts! I’m still learning as I go and am really enjoying learning new recipes.
What are your favorite crockpot recipes? Have you used a crockpot before? If so, let me know what foods you love cooking down below in the comments.
I’ll be sharing more recipes this week as I’ll be batch baking and trying to use up some ingredients in my freezer.
- My favorite fall recipes
- Healthy oatmeal recipes
- Hearty beef and vegetable stew
- Chocolate and oatmeal loaf
- Classic chili recipe
- Creamy chicken penne
- Creamy ham and spinach casserole
- Easy and tasty protein bars
- Lazy ham and broccoli casserole
- Oatmeal yogurt squares
- Roasted chicken and vegetables
- My favorite fall recipes
- Instant pot review
- High protein snacks for weight loss
- Summer drinks you have to try
- What kind of coffee drinker are you?
- What clean eating means to me