An alternate title to this post is “The SECOND Best Way To Cook Chicken Thighs” because we all know grilling is the best way to make chicken thighs taste great. But as a busy mom with little kids underfoot in the kitchen, this has quickly become my favorite way to prepare bone-in chicken.
I have never liked picking chicken off the bone. For this reason, I’ve avoided chicken wings, chicken thighs and chicken legs for most of my life. Only recently did we started buying bone-in chicken because you really can’t beat the price. (And I’ll admit, it really is more flavorful than chicken breast.) I soon realized the one thing I dislike more than picking my chicken off the bone, is picking scalding hot chicken off the bone for my kids! I can spend an the entire meal picking meat for my kids – especially my man child who can eat two grilled chicken thighs himself.
I’m happy to share that I finally found a solution to the bone-picking problem! The CROCKPOT! (I know this probably isn’t new information for most people…but for me, it really was an amazing cooking development.)
First, you can cook bone-in chicken for much longer than boneless breast because of the higher fat content. Second, the chicken literally falls off the bone. No pick-ety, picking involved!
Here are some important tips to cooking crockpot chicken thighs:
Brown the skin FIRST. My husband likes chicken skin. I do not. But, I’m a good wife and it’s the small details that go a long way in marriage. 🙂 If you do decide to cook with the skin on, it’s important to brown the chicken skin first. I personally use my griddle to brown all of the chicken skin in olive oil.
Cook bone-in chicken on low in a crockpot for 8 hours – for real this time. One of my biggest crock-ing pet peeves is when a recipe for chicken breast calls for “6 to 8 hours on low.” Never have I ever cooked chicken breast in a crockpot for more than 4 to 5 hours without it drying out. Chicken breast does not have enough fat to warrant a long cooking time. But the good news is bone-in chicken is an exception to the rule! Finally, a chicken recipe I can actually crock while I am at work.
Take the chicken thighs out of the crockpot slowly. Or they will fall apart. After 8 hours in the crockpot the chicken thighs will be pick-free! Below is how I prepare the cooked chicken for my kids:
First, I peel off the skin and discard.
Second, I pull out the bone. The meat should fall away as you remove it. HOW EASY!
The meat easily shreds for my kids to eat.
So, that’s my new favorite frugal and tasty chicken trick. I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think! Enjoy!