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Slow cooker chicken drumstick recipes that are healthy, delicious, and made in the slow cooker for easy meals that are affordable and taste great.
Crockpot chicken drumsticks are one of my favorite things to do, as chicken drumsticks are not only affordable, but they are the most tender and juicy chicken, especially when done in the slow cooker.
In my opinion, chicken drumsticks are one of the least appreciated ingredients. Not only are they extremely affordable, but they also guarantee a tender and moist chicken, as they have a little more fat than the thinner chicken breast. Plus, they take on a really good flavor, making them an ideal candidate for the slow cooker. Since everything cooks low and slow, the chicken absorbs all the delicious flavors of the recipe, which means you never have to worry about boring or boring chicken.
Now when it comes to cooking chicken drumsticks in the slow cooker, here are some tips and tricks:
- Consider buying chicken drumsticks in bulk for the best possible price. They freeze well and you can use them as needed. I find that when I buy them in bulk, I can get them for about half the price of buying them in smaller quantities.
- I normally use boneless, skinless chicken thighs as they are the lower calorie option and contain less fat than the skinless version. If you decide to use bone-in chicken drumsticks, I recommend that you remove the skin. Not only does it get tough in the slow cooker, it also adds a significant amount of fat and calories to your dishes. If you leave the skin on, you may want to fold it under the grill before serving.
- If you only have chicken breasts at home or you prefer them, all of these recipes will work for chicken breasts as well. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts will stay more tender and flavorful, but any type will work.
- In general, chicken thighs cook quite quickly in the slow cooker. It seems to me that cooking them for 4 hours at low temperature is usually enough. However, since chicken thighs are forgiving and kept moist, you can also cook them for a full 8 hours on low heat and not worry about them drying out.
Slow Cooked Chicken Leg Recipes
1. Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken (264 calories, 5 greens, 5 blues, 5 purples) filled with tender chicken thighs, red bell peppers, onions, olives, and lots of Mediterranean flavors, this is a dish you'll make over and over again.
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2. Slow cooker chicken carnitas (187 calories, 3 green, 3 blue, 3 purple) couldn't be easier to prepare with just a simple spice mix that adds tons of flavor to the chicken and creates the best tacos and bowls burrito.
3. Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken (251 calories, 4 blue, 4 green, 4 purple) is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, especially when served alongside a simple mango salad.
4. Slow Cooker Spicy Hoisin Chicken Drumsticks (257 calories, 5 green, 5 blue, 5 purple) are prepared with a quick sauce of hoisin sauce and Sriracha for a sweet and spicy combination that is perfect for tender chicken.
5. Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken (230 calories, 3 greens, 2 blues, 2 purples) cook low and slow in slow cooker and then crisp under grill to get some crisp pieces.
6. Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken (249 calories, 5 green, 5 blue, 5 purple) is one of our favorite chicken drumsticks and uses only a few ingredients that you probably already have at home. Seriously, everyone loves this chicken.
7. The Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore (183 calories, 4 greens, 4 blues, 4 purples) is the best Italian meal with tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and juicy chicken. Serve with pasta, polenta, cauliflower rice, or spaghetti squash.
8. Slow Cooker Chicken in Green Chili (204 calories, 3 green, 2 blue, 2 purple) is a tender chicken dish made with a fresh homemade green sauce that is perfect for tacos, burritos, or bowls of grain.
9. Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower (289 calories, 6 greens, 5 blues, 5 purples) that is easy to make and tastes better than take out.
10. Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup (305 calories, 5 greens, 5 blue, 5 purples) takes all the flavor of chicken fajitas in a tasty soup that is best topped with cheese and all of your favorite fajita ingredients .
11. Quinoa Slow Cooker Chicken and Kale Soup (284 calories, 5 greens, 5 blues, 3 purples) is a hearty stew that offers a lot of flavor. And if kale isn't your thing, you can always use spinach.
12. Slow Cooker Korean Chicken (259 calories, 5 greens, 4 blues, 4 purples) which I love to wrap in fresh lettuce and top with thinly sliced vegetables.
Some frequently asked questions about how to cook chicken thighs in the slow cooker.
Do I need to brown the chicken thighs before adding them to the slow cooker?
Generally speaking, it is not necessary to brown the chicken thighs before using them in a recipe for the slow cooker. The exception to this is when you wear bone-in skin on chicken thighs. Browning the skin side before adding them to the slow cooker helps cook some of the fat on the skin and results in a much better dish. However, browning can add more flavor and depth to the recipe, so if you have time, it will create more flavor.
Can I exchange chicken breasts in these recipes?
Of course! Chicken breasts can be used in all of these crockpot recipes. However, it is important to remember that chicken breasts can dry out when overcooked. Therefore, I generally recommend cooking chicken breasts for 3-4 hours on low heat. This time may vary depending on your individual slow cooker. The key is to make sure that the chicken breast doesn't cook too long so it stays moist and tender.
How long does it take to cook chicken thighs in the slow cooker?
Chicken thighs will take 3-4 hours in the slow cooker at low temperature if they are boneless and skinless. Bone-in chicken thighs will take about 6 hours on low or 4 hours in the slow cooker.
How do frozen chicken thighs thaw?
Ideally, you should always thaw chicken thighs in the refrigerator overnight. They can take 24 to 48 hours, depending on how packed they are and how many pounds you have. This is the safest way to defrost chicken.
If you need to defrost chicken thighs more quickly, you can put it in a bowl of cold water in the sink. Change the water every 30 minutes. A pound of chicken thighs will take approximately 1 hour.
Want to learn more about cooking with frozen chicken? Here's our complete guide to using frozen chicken in recipes.