Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken

Introduction:

Get ready to elevate your dinner game with our mouthwatering Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken recipe! This dish is a symphony of flavors, featuring tender chicken thighs infused with zesty lemon, fragrant garlic, and savory spices, all cooked to perfection in your trusty slow cooker. Whether you’re a busy parent looking for a hassle-free weeknight meal or a cooking enthusiast eager to impress, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite. Let’s dive into the details and discover how to make this irresistible dish.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 boneless chicken thighs, skinless or with skin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes, or Cayenne (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced or minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 stick butter, diced
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • Chopped fresh parsley and lemon slices, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Prepare the Chicken: Place the chicken thighs at the bottom of your slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock, lemon juice, and zest, then pour the mixture over the chicken thighs.
  2. Season the Chicken: In another bowl, mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, crushed red chili pepper flakes (if using), Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle this spice mix evenly over the chicken thighs.
  3. Add Garlic and Butter: Scatter the sliced or minced garlic over the seasoned chicken thighs, then distribute the diced butter on top.
  4. Cook in the Crock Pot: Cover the crockpot and cook the chicken thighs for 3-4 hours on HIGH or 6-8 hours on LOW, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
  5. Garnish and Serve: Once cooked, garnish your lemon garlic butter chicken with chopped parsley and lemon slices for a burst of freshness and flavor. Serve hot with your choice of sides such as cauliflower rice, spiralized zucchini noodles, rice, pasta, or quinoa.

Serving Tips:

  1. Pair with Complementary Sides: Serve your Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken with a variety of complementary sides to complete the meal. Consider options like steamed vegetables, roasted potatoes, garlic bread, or a fresh green salad. These sides will add texture and balance to the dish, enhancing the overall dining experience.
  2. Garnish for Presentation: Before serving, garnish the chicken with freshly chopped parsley and lemon slices. This not only adds a pop of color to the dish but also imparts a refreshing citrus aroma, enticing your senses and elevating the visual appeal of your meal.
  3. Serve with Grain Alternatives: For a wholesome and satisfying meal, serve the lemon garlic butter chicken with grain alternatives such as cauliflower rice, spiralized zucchini noodles, rice, pasta, or quinoa. These options provide additional nutrition and offer a variety of textures to enjoy alongside the tender chicken.
  4. Consider Bread for Dipping: Provide crusty bread or dinner rolls on the side for dipping into the flavorful sauce created by the lemon, garlic, and butter. The bread will soak up the delicious juices, creating a delightful combination of flavors with each bite.
  5. Family-Style Presentation: To create a cozy and communal dining experience, serve the Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken family-style. Place the slow cooker directly on the table, allowing guests to help themselves to the succulent chicken and accompanying sides, fostering a sense of warmth and togetherness.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Ensure that the chicken is cooled completely before refrigerating to maintain its freshness.
  2. Freezing: If you have more leftovers than you can consume within a few days, consider freezing them for later enjoyment. Portion the cooled chicken into freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, leaving some space for expansion. Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  3. Reheating: When ready to enjoy the leftover chicken, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. Reheat the chicken gently in a saucepan on the stovetop over low to medium heat, or in the microwave using short intervals, stirring occasionally until heated through.
  4. Revive with Additional Sauce: If the chicken appears dry upon reheating, add a splash of chicken stock or lemon juice to revive the flavors and moisture. Adjust the seasoning if necessary with salt, pepper, or additional herbs to refresh the dish before serving.
  5. Meal Prep Tips: Consider preparing a larger batch of Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken and portioning it into individual servings for convenient meal prep. Store the portions in separate containers for quick and easy lunches or dinners throughout the week, saving you time and effort in the kitchen.

FAQs:

1. Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs for this recipe? Yes, you can substitute chicken breasts for chicken thighs in this recipe. However, keep in mind that chicken breasts tend to cook faster and may become dry if overcooked in the slow cooker. Adjust the cooking time accordingly and consider using a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C) before serving.

2. Can I omit the red chili pepper flakes if I don’t like spicy food? Absolutely! The red chili pepper flakes are optional and can be omitted if you prefer a milder flavor profile. Feel free to customize the seasoning according to your taste preferences. You can also reduce the amount of garlic or adjust the level of acidity by using less lemon juice if desired.

3. Can I use frozen chicken for this recipe? While it’s generally safe to cook frozen chicken in a slow cooker, it’s recommended to thaw the chicken thighs in the refrigerator overnight before adding them to the crockpot. This ensures more even cooking and reduces the risk of bacteria growth. Always follow safe food handling practices to prevent foodborne illness.

4. How can I make this recipe dairy-free? To make this recipe dairy-free, you can substitute the butter with a dairy-free alternative such as vegan butter or olive oil. Make sure the alternative you choose has a similar fat content to ensure a rich and flavorful sauce. Additionally, check the ingredients in your chicken stock to ensure it is dairy-free.

5. Can I prepare this recipe in advance? Yes, you can prepare the ingredients for this recipe in advance and store them in the refrigerator until ready to cook. You can season the chicken thighs, chop the garlic, and measure out the liquids and spices ahead of time. When you’re ready to cook, simply combine the ingredients in the slow cooker according to the recipe instructions and cook as directed. This is a convenient option for busy weeknights or when hosting guests.

Conclusion:

With minimal effort and maximum flavor, our Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken is sure to become a staple in your recipe repertoire. Whether enjoyed on a busy weeknight or served to guests at a dinner party, this dish never fails to impress. So, dust off your slow cooker, gather your ingredients, and get ready to savor every succulent bite of this delectable chicken delight!