Rustic Slow Cooker Chicken

This slow cooker chicken is melt-in-your-mouth tender, exceptionally flavorful, with rustic flavors.


6 chicken thighs (skin-on, bone-in or boneless)

2 small yellow onions (halved and sliced about 1/4-inch thick)

2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced or minced)

ginger root (about 1 1/2 inches, peeled and thinly sliced or minced)

1 tsp sea or kosher salt (plus more to taste)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 cups water

1 Tbsp Olive or vegetable oil

1 Tbsp butter (unsalted)

Fresh herbs for garnish (optional but highly recommended)


Rustic Slow Cooker Chicken



Pat dry chicken thighs with paper towels to remove surface moisture. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt on each side and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until deep golden brown. Remove from the pan and transfer to the slow cooker, placing the chicken pieces skin side up.

Add the onions, garlic and ginger to the same the skillet. There should be plenty of oil and fat left in the pan, but if not, add another tablespoon of oil or butter. Saute the vegetables until deep golden brown, constantly stirring, about 3-5 minutes (see note).

Add the water, salt and the pepper to the skillet. Stir well and taste for salt. Adjust if necessary. The liquid should be salted just right. Very little liquid will evaporate during slow cooking under a lid so no need to under-salt. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker.

Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours, or until the chicken is very tender.

Serve immediately, or set the slow cooker to ‘warm’ until ready to serve. This slow cooker chicken is best served with juices over rice (white or brown), mashed potatoes (yum!!!), pasta, noodles, a large slice of freshly baked sourdough bread, or whatever else you desire. This chicken will taste great with just about anything. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.


I like adding ginger and garlic immediately with the onions, not towards the end as is customary. The garlic will brown to dark brown color, which will add more color to the liquids in the slow cooker. This will also mellow out the strong garlic flavor and pungency, leaving very subtle flavor. However, be careful not to burn the garlic and ginger, you need to stir constantly and stop sauteing before that happens.