There are lots of ways to cook a chicken. You can deep fry it, roast it whole, or grind it up and call it a nugget. But to get the meat to its most fork-tender, shreddable, and intensely flavorful, a low and slow method is a must. By letting it simmer gently in its own juices for an extended period of time, you get chicken that tastes more like, well, chicken, plus whatever other herbs, veggies, or spices you’ve thrown in.
For meat of that caliber, you can turn to your slow cooker, which makes the whole process as easy as can be. Here are ten of our best recipes that use the crock to create the chicken of your dreams.
1. Slow Cooker Asian-Style Chicken Thighs
Some chicken recipes let all the seasonings sit on the surface. Not this one: every single piece is infused with a rich sauce that balances savory soy, sweet brown sugar, and the deep aromatics of cinnamon and star anise. Get our Slow Cooker Asian-Style Chicken Thighs recipe.
2. Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs with Olives and Fennel
Oranges and olives is a Mediterranean ingredient combo that works surprisingly well—the sourness of the orange laces the bitterness of the olives with an electric acidity. With some fennel added in for an extra anise-scented oomph, this chicken takes on some amazingly sophisticated and powerful flavors. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs with Olives and Fennel recipe.
3. Slow Cooker Chicken Soup
A chicken in a pot can be the key to a meal that practically makes itself. Our slow cooker soup uses the whole bird to not only provide the meat, but also create a supremely comforting and savory broth. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Soup recipe.
4. Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo
Adobo is all about the slow simmer, leaving plenty of time to infuse all of Its ingredients with a vinegary tang. It’s a method that works especially well with bone-in meat, which lends extra flavor and body throughout. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo recipe.
5. Slow Cooker Chicken Mole
Traditional mole can be dauntingly complex to make, but a slow cooker and a blender can reduce it down to just a few easy steps. All the ingredients are thrown into the crock at the same time, so you get a sauce that’s full of chicken-y flavor and meat that sings of spices right down to the bone. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Mole recipe.
6. Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
Shredded chicken feels right at home nestled into a taco. We like to cook it in a broth of chile peppers, onion, and orange, so that each bite is loaded with juices and spice. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos recipe.
7. Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde
The slow cooker doesn’t diminish any of the bright, tangy flavors associated with chile verde. Instead, it lets them shine, allowing the tomatillos and jalapeños to mingle and meld with the chunks of chicken. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde recipe.
8. Slow Cooker Burmese Chicken and Noodles
Coconut milk and a mix of spices give this dish an especially rich and luxuriant feel, coating each piece of chicken and each noodle strand in a silky, creamy sauce. Get our Slow Cooker Burmese Chicken and Noodles recipe.
9. Thai Green Curry Chicken Thighs
This recipe can be made on the stovetop, but when done in the slow cooker, its spices get extra time to open up and express their fullest flavors. Get our Thai Green Curry Chicken Thighs recipe.
10. Slow Cooker Hot Wings
Slow cooker wings are in a whole different class from your standard deep-fried version. Instead of going for the crunch, they aspire to be meltingly tender and saucy, with meat that practically wilts off the bone. Get our Slow Cooker Hot Wings recipe.
Header image: Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs with Olives and Fennel from Chowhound
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.