counter create hit

Just toss some chicken in the slow cooker, but it’s what you add on top that really turns it into a family favorite

A Comforting Classic: Slow Cooker One Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

There’s something truly heartwarming about the slow simmer of a good meal as it fills the house with its inviting aroma, and my Slow Cooker One Pot Honey Garlic Chicken is no exception. Using simple, honest ingredients, this dish is a staple from my kitchen that harks back to the uncomplicated, hearty meals of my childhood here in the Midwest. It is the perfect blend of sweet and savory, creating a comforting meal that’s as perfect for a family Sunday dinner as it is for a cozy weekday feast.

The Charm of Slow Cooking

Slow cooking has always been a cherished method in our home, not just for its convenience but for the depth of flavor it brings out in dishes. The slow, steady heat allows the ingredients to meld together harmoniously, creating rich, robust flavors that are hard to achieve with quicker cooking methods. This Honey Garlic Chicken is a testament to that, offering a tender, flavorful experience that feels like a warm hug on a plate.

Slow Cooker One Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional, for thickening)

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

  1. Season the chicken thighs: Start by seasoning the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. This step is crucial as it infuses the meat with flavor right from the beginning.
  2. Brown the chicken: Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken thighs, skin-side down first, and brown them until they are golden and crisp, about 3-4 minutes per side. Browning the chicken enhances its flavor and texture. Transfer the browned chicken to the slow cooker.

Step 2: Create the Sauce

  1. Mix the sauce ingredients: In a bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oregano, and chicken broth. This mixture will serve as the flavorful sauce that the chicken will cook in, infusing it with sweetness and savory goodness.
  2. Pour the sauce: Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken in the slow cooker, ensuring each piece is well coated.

Step 3: Slow Cooking

  1. Cook the chicken: Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for about 3 hours. The slow cooking process will make the chicken incredibly tender and allow the flavors to meld beautifully.
  2. Thicken the sauce (optional): If you prefer a thicker sauce, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and stir it into the sauce 30 minutes before serving. This will give the sauce a lovely, velvety texture.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

  1. Garnish: Before serving, garnish the dish with freshly chopped parsley. This adds a pop of color and a fresh flavor that complements the rich sauce perfectly.

Pairing Suggestions

This Honey Garlic Chicken pairs beautifully with a range of sides that capture the essence of heartland cuisine. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Buttery mashed potatoes: These soak up the rich, sweet garlic sauce splendidly, making every bite a comforting delight.
  • Steamed green beans or buttered corn: These vegetables add a nice crunch and freshness to balance the meal.
  • Crisp green salad: A salad dressed with a light vinaigrette can balance the richness of the chicken and sauce wonderfully.
See also  I made this recipe last weekend and it was requested again this week

Variations & Tips

Adding a Personal Touch

  • Spice it up: For a touch of spice, add a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce. This will give the dish a subtle kick that complements the sweetness of the honey.
  • Asian flair: Infuse some Asian flavors by adding a splash of sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. This variation adds a nutty depth and a bit of crunch.
  • Citrus twist: For those who enjoy a bit of citrus, a tablespoon of orange zest can be added into the sauce for a fresh, vibrant twist.

Tips for Best Results

  • Quality ingredients: Use fresh, high-quality chicken and garlic for the best flavor. Organic honey and soy sauce without preservatives also enhance the dish’s taste.
  • Don’t skip browning: Browning the chicken before slow cooking is essential for adding depth of flavor and improving the texture of the skin.
  • Monitor cooking time: While slow cooking is forgiving, overcooking can still occur. Keep an eye on the chicken, especially if you are using the high setting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs?

Yes, you can use chicken breasts, but they may not be as moist and tender as thighs. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to prevent them from drying out.

How can I make this dish gluten-free?

To make this dish gluten-free, ensure that the soy sauce you use is gluten-free. Tamari is a great substitute.

Can I prepare this dish in advance?

Absolutely! You can prepare the sauce and brown the chicken ahead of time. Store them separately in the refrigerator and combine them in the slow cooker when ready to cook.

What can I use as a substitute for cornstarch?

If you prefer not to use cornstarch, arrowroot powder or flour can be used as a thickening agent. Mix them with water just as you would with cornstarch.

How should I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavors will continue to develop, making the dish even tastier the next day.

Can I freeze this dish?

Yes, Honey Garlic Chicken freezes well. Place the cooled chicken and sauce in a freezer-safe container or bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

By following this recipe and incorporating these tips, you can create a delicious, comforting meal that brings the warmth and flavors of a home-cooked dish to your table. Enjoy the simplicity and richness of this Slow Cooker One Pot Honey Garlic Chicken, and share the love with your family and friends.