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The sweet and savory combo really hits home with this crockpot brown sugar garlic chicken recipe.
The best part is, only 5 ingredients (3 if you don’t count salt and pepper) stand in your way of making this delicious crockpot chicken thighs recipe!
This is my go-to chicken thighs with bones in slow cooker recipe. It is easy to make and turns out perfect every time.
The tender, sweet, savory, juicy brown sugar chicken will literally melt in your mouth.
Raid the pantry and your fridge and you might have the ingredients on hand for this slow cooker brown sugar garlic chicken.
Chicken Thighs – We used bone-in chicken thighs, as they lock in tons of flavor. But, you can change up the type of cut of chicken you use if you desire.
Brown Sugar – Light or dark work great for this recipe.
Garlic – You can use jarred minced garlic or mince your own garlic. Both work. If you are short on time, reach for the jar.
Salt & Pepper – Simply season with salt and pepper!
How To Make
Step 1 (optional): Sear chicken for about 4 minutes per side in a pan on the stovetop. While this step is optional, searing is recommended as it crisps the skin, creating texture and adding flavor to the chicken.
Step 2: Place chicken thighs in the bottom of the crockpot.
Step 3: Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the chicken. Cover, and cook as directed in the recipe card below.
Step 4: Once the chicken is done, remove and serve.
Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Place cooled chicken in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat.
Expert Tips and Variations
- Searing the chicken in a skillet helps to keep the skin nice and crispy as it slow cookes. It also adds texure. You can skip this step and add the thighs directly to crockpot but the skin will be very soft once the chicken is done.
- Try seasoning your chicken with any of your favorite spices. I love a simple salt and pepper. But you can get creative if you want.
- Consider adding in some diced veggies and cooking the last few hours for a simple side dish. Try tossing in broccoli, green beans, or even carrots.
What to Serve With Chicken
Here are a few side dishes I love next to this crockpot brown sugar garlic chicken:
Your chicken needs to reach 165°F internally to be fully cooked. Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken. When using bone-in chicken make sure to not touch the bone with the thermometer or it will give you an incorrect (higher) read.
Adding frozen chicken to the crockpot is not recommend as the meat sits too long at a temperature that can be unsafe and cause bacteria can to grow. That said, some people have put frozen meat in their crockpot for years and swear that they have never had issues. Personally, I always thaw my chicken in the fridge before adding it to my crockpot.
You will cook around 3-4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low. The biggest thing is making sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
More Tasty Chicken Dinner Ideas
- Ritz Chicken Casserole
- Slow Cooker Marry Me Chicken
- One Pot Creamy Garlic Chicken
- Slow Cooker Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches
- Cornflake Chicken Tenders
- Crockpot Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta
- Chicken Dumpling Casserole – a family favorite!!!
- Classic Chicken Parm
Crockpot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken
- 5 chicken thighs bone-in and skin on
- ⅓ cup brown sugar packed
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ⅓ teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- Optional, but recommend: You can add the chicken thighs directly to the Crockpot, or you can sear them first to seal in the juices and make the skin crisper. To sear, heat 2 Tablespoons of butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook each side for about 4 minutes, until golden brown.
- Place the chicken thighs in the bottom of your crockpot in an even layer.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle over the chicken and place the lid of the Crockpot on.
- Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or on LOW for 6-8 hours, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.