It’s hard to believe that in a few short weeks, it’s back-to-school season! With the hustle-bustle of that time of year, I always make sure to schedule as many quick-n-easy dinners as possible on my meal plans those first few weeks.
Lately, I’ve been perfecting a few new slow cooker recipes – cause nothing could be easier than tossing in a bunch of fresh ingredients and coming home to a delicious home cooked meal!
This Slow Cooker Garlic Thyme Chicken is a newfound favorite – it’s truly a garlic lovers dream! My inspiration for this recipe came from the wonderful cookbook “Make it Fast, Cook it Slow.” Author Stephanie O’Dea has so many delicious gluten-free crockpot recipes that are wonderful as is, or can easily be tweaked to suit your personal taste preferences, or dietary lifestyle.
So it is with this recipe … I modified it by changing out the seasonings and I chose to use chicken thighs instead, since they cook so beautifully in the crockpot. I also prefer to use skinless chicken in the crockpot, as the skin can become quite rubbery. A tip to overcome that issue is to follow the slow cooking process with a quick broil in the oven to crisp the skin, as I often do when making Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken. However, for the sake of ease, we’ll forgo the crispy skin, because this recipe is delicious without that extra step.
By the way, if you love slow cooking as much as we do, be sure to check out my SLOW COOKER RECIPES section – it’s a quick way to reference some of my family’s favorite easy, healthy slow cooker recipes.
P.S. If you’re not quite sure about using 20 cloves of garlic, then you can always reduce the amount a bit to suit your taste. But personally, the buttery melt-in-your-mouth texture of slow cooked garlic, combined with its mellow garlic taste, is what makes this recipe one of my personal favorites!
- 1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
- 3 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 20 garlic cloves (about 2 large heads of garlic)
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
- In the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker, evenly distribute the sliced onion along the bottom.
- Smash and peel the garlic cloves, making sure to gather 15-20 large cloves. (See note below on "how to smash garlic," if you're unfamiliar with this method.)
- Place the chicken thighs into a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add the smashed garlic cloves and toss to combine.
- Sprinkle the seasonings across the top of the chicken-garlic mixture and toss until chicken is well coated with seasonings.
- Transfer the chicken-garlic mixture to the slow cooker and cover.
- Cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours. Serve with a side of your favorite veggies.
How to Smash Garlic Cloves: Smashed whole garlic cloves provide a much mellower flavor than minced garlic which is why this method is used in many oven roasted and slow cooker recipes. To smash garlic, simply separate the garlic cloves and smash each whole clove with the flat side of a knife. To do this, carefully place the flat side of a large chef's knife on the garlic clove, then strike the knife with your palm to flatten the clove. Of course, it goes without saying you need to be careful! (I always make sure to position the blade of the knife against the cutting board to ensure it doesn't come into contact with my hand.) Once you've smashed the garlic clove, peel the skin off of the clove and add it to your dish.
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