Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken

Just when I thought my kids’ football season was over, it somehow extended itself into several more weeks. Once the season was over, the 2nd placers then participated in a tournament where they got 2nd place, and then guess what… yeah, another tournament as 2nd placers. I love watching these little guys play football, but MAN it kills dinner time. I’m not such a crock potter, but crock pots save me on busy sport’s nights, and there are a handful of recipes worth trying- like this one: Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken.

It’s such a simple, no-brainer recipe.  And I made a simple, no-brainer creamy polenta to go with it too.

Chicken pieces are fried up on one side only, just to brown them lightly.  I wouldn’t use boneless chicken for this recipe.  The bone-in chicken keeps the meat more tender.

In a slow cooker, layer onion, garlic, and fresh thyme.

Place the lightly-browned chicken on top.

Make a sauce of sorts, beginning with white wine…

and mixing it with flour (or gluten-free flour or tapioca starch for my GF friends).

Whisk together.

Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 1/2 hours or on low for 7 hours.

I used instant polenta as my base- made it according to the package instructions except that I substituted 1/2 of the water for milk, added a tablespoon of butter and a spoonful of cream cheese.  This made for a delicious and creamy “side” to the slow cooker garlic chicken.

Enjoy this new dinner idea as a nice departure from all of the seasonal sweet treats 🙂  And if you need a super easy dinner to be ready for you when you come home from all of your busy activities.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 4 hr

Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken


3 to 4 pounds of bone-in chicken pieces (drumsticks, breasts, thighs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, sliced
8 large garlic cloves, halved
several sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is good)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour


1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium- high heat. Cook the chicken, skin-side-down, until the skin turns golden brown (about 4 minutes).

2. Combine the onion, garlic and thyme in a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Top with chicken, skin-side-up. In a small bowl, whisk together wine and flour until smooth and pour it over the chicken and into the slow cooker. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender- 3 1/2 hours on HIGH or 7 hours on LOW.

3. Serve chicken topped with sauce. Serve over rice, couscous, polenta or potatoes.


*This recipe is gluten-free adaptable- substitute gluten-free flour or tapioca starch for the all-purpose flour.
*A delicious accompaniment to this dish is polenta. Prepare instant polenta as directed, substituting milk for 1/2 of the water and adding in 1 tablespoon of butter and a spoonful or two of cream cheese.

*If you would prefer to cook this in the oven, brown the chicken in a Dutch oven, then add remaining ingredients plus 1 cup chicken broth. Cover and cook at 350 degrees F. until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 40 minutes.

Source: (Adapted from Everyday Food)

58 Responses to “Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken”

  1. postedDec 8, 2011 3:09 AM

    Looks amazing; I’m always looking for good slow cooker meals to make a busy weeknight easy and comforting. This recipe plus a good chardonnay will be just the ticket for getting over hump day!

  2. postedDec 8, 2011 3:30 AM

    This looks fantastic! I just bought a new slow cooker (a 220 volt that I can use out here and not worry about burning down the house). I may make this tomorrow to break it in!

  3. postedDec 8, 2011 4:34 AM

    This sounds great. When I break out my crock pot it needs to be for a good recipe like this. Like the fresh herbs in here for some good flavor!

  4. postedDec 8, 2011 4:42 AM

    Lori, this looks easy and delicious!

  5. postedDec 8, 2011 6:11 AM

    This looks delicious–I slow cooker recipes 🙂

  6. postedDec 8, 2011 7:09 AM

    Lori, um, I DIE. I’m tempted to crawl into the slow cooker and snuggle with the chicken all day. Good grief. Yum.

    • postedDec 8, 2011 7:24 AM

      You crack me up Girl 😉

  7. postedDec 8, 2011 7:51 AM
    Shannon Wells

    In the picture you show using 1/3 cup flour but in the recipe it says 1/2 a cup?

    • postedDec 8, 2011 7:59 AM

      Right you are!! Thank you for noticing- all fixed. Though I don’t think it would have made a huge different either way…

  8. postedDec 8, 2011 7:59 AM

    I LOVE slow cooker recipes! This sounds great – I never think about polenta, but it is such a nice change from the standards.

  9. postedDec 8, 2011 8:52 AM

    Not only does mama need dinner after a long day, she just ‘HAS’ to finish off that bottle of wine!

  10. postedDec 8, 2011 11:22 AM

    Sports practices and games definitely make the weeknight family meal really tough. I don’t pull out my slow cooker enough either, but you have definitely inspired me. This looks fantastic!

  11. postedDec 8, 2011 1:58 PM

    once i get a slow cooker, i will definitely make this. it sounds so delicious!

  12. postedDec 8, 2011 5:14 PM

    can you please, please, please come make this for me for dinner tonight? uhhh even tho it means we won’t be eating until the middle of the night? 😉

  13. postedDec 8, 2011 5:37 PM

    went to the store and bought bone-in chicken for the first time in my life so I could make this recipe! I usually just skip original recipes and add boneless/skinless chicken breasts, but I’m taking all of your advice and looking forward to more tender meat 🙂

  14. postedDec 9, 2011 12:54 AM

    Oh my! Garlic is my favorite ingredient. I think it multiplies all other flavors and aroma. This is one ingredient that can never fail for me.. Glad that u posted this:)

  15. postedDec 9, 2011 1:57 AM

    Do you think white grape juice & a dollop of vinegar will be a good sub for the white wine?
    And would the amount be the same – or does it need adjusting?

  16. postedDec 9, 2011 4:42 AM
    Fran McClain

    Will be trying this one for sure!!!!

  17. postedDec 9, 2011 6:47 AM

    I am absolutely making this…and I love how you tweaked the polenta. My boys are not polenta fans, but maybe with the milk and cream cheese, I can change their minds!

  18. postedDec 9, 2011 6:57 AM
    rosa parks

    can you sub chicken broth for the wine?

  19. postedDec 9, 2011 7:23 AM

    I’m swooning over this! Me and garlic are bff’s.

  20. postedDec 9, 2011 8:56 AM

    You had me at garlic! Since baking has taken over my life even more than usual these days, a slow cooker is a big help right now! Thanks for the recipe Lori! Look forward to trying it!

  21. postedDec 9, 2011 9:08 AM
    Meagan Wied

    That looks so easy and so good!

  22. postedDec 9, 2011 3:53 PM
    Kayla @ Sheriff of the Kitchen

    Oh WOW! This looks awesome, I think i’ll make it for my mom one of the nights she works next week! Thanks for the inspiration, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  23. postedDec 13, 2011 10:39 AM

    Lori, this looks great! I am making it tonight. I usually have terrible luck with the crock pot, but I have high hopes for your recipe. Garlic plus thyme plus wine?? Delish!

  24. postedDec 13, 2011 3:38 PM

    Lovely. Simple. Flavorful. What more can you ask for??

  25. postedDec 19, 2011 7:14 AM

    This looks great, can’t wait to try it.

  26. postedDec 21, 2011 7:19 AM

    Yummy! This sounds delicious. I featured this recipe on my post this week.

  27. postedDec 24, 2011 5:41 AM

    I’m a fan of slow cooker meals and I love this one. I love how simple it is, but I bet it’s still really good. Great polenta idea too, I’ve got to try that!

  28. postedJan 7, 2012 6:02 PM

    Made this yesterday after finding it on Pinterest. Soooo easy, and tasted great! 🙂

  29. postedJan 7, 2012 8:23 PM
    From MA

    This is the second recipe of yours I have tried, and it wasn’t worth a flip. (There was a cookie recipe I tried before that was so disappointing that I threw out the entire batch.) Really disappointed. Did it down to the letter. Thankfully, no one was joining me for dinner. I would have been embarrassed to serve this.

    Your recipes always look and sound amazing, so maybe it’s just me.

    • postedJan 7, 2012 10:05 PM

      Well, that’s a bummer- sorry you didn’t enjoy it. The recipe comes from EveryDay Food (Martha Stewart’s little magazine).

  30. postedJan 8, 2012 4:18 PM

    Super excited to try this! Also – wanted to point out that its not only GF adaptable but its also milk and soy free. That’s a huge deal for me and lots and lots of other moms who have itty bitties who are allergic to milk and soy! (MSPI) Thanks so much!

    • postedJan 8, 2012 5:02 PM

      Thanks- I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we did. My Mom is gluten-free, and we enjoyed it over polenta!

  31. postedJan 15, 2012 11:00 AM

    My modifications:
    Used thighs but took off the skins. After browning the chicken really well, I poured a little wine in the hot pan and scrapped the chicken bits off and then poured that into the crock. I used potato starch instead of flour because it’s what I had on hand.

  32. postedJan 15, 2012 12:42 PM

    Tried the gluten free version and all four of us loved it. The chicken was moist and full of flavor, especially with a handful of spring onions on top. Will definitely make again, thanks!

  33. postedJan 16, 2012 5:18 PM

    If you don’t have a crockpot (I know heresy) what would be your stove top suggestions for timings on low in a dutch oven?

    • postedJan 16, 2012 5:34 PM

      Can you use your oven? *If you would prefer to cook this in the oven, brown the chicken in a Dutch oven, then add remaining ingredients plus 1 cup chicken broth. Cover and cook at 350 degrees F. until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 40 minutes.

  34. postedJan 20, 2012 8:29 PM

    this recipe was tasteless and bland… definitely won’t make it again. nice pictures, though…

    • postedJan 22, 2012 9:40 AM

      Bummer you didn’t care for it. It was very good served over creamy polenta. By itself, not so flavorful.

  35. postedFeb 6, 2012 4:47 PM
    Kathy O

    This recipe smelled great all day cooking. I followed exactly. The chicken was incredibly tender, but I do have to say it seemed kind of bland for me. I love garlic and onions and the favors just didn’t translate enough for me. Any suggestions for next time?

    • postedFeb 6, 2012 4:50 PM

      I loved how the chicken came out so tender and wonderful, but yes- on its own it did not have strong flavors. We served it over polenta, and it turned out to be a delicious pairing.

  36. postedMar 16, 2012 4:03 AM

    Made this last night and we loved it! I don’t have wine in the house so I used veggie stock and chicken breasts. I cooked on low for 5 hours and then put on warm.

    I also made it over creamy polenta with roasted asparagus and broccoli. Ate very bite and am delighted to have enough for 2 more servings! Thanks!

  37. postedApr 12, 2012 4:13 AM

    I do not like garlic, but this recipe seems very tasty… I will try it just with onion, I think it’s good the same 🙂

  38. postedNov 9, 2012 10:41 AM

    Why let all the yummy goodness left in the pan from browning the chicken go to waste? I added the wine to the pan, scraping up any bits, then poured it back into the measuring cup, let it cool a bit, and proceeded with the rest of the super easy, tasty recipe.

    • postedNov 9, 2012 1:00 PM

      Good point!

  39. postedFeb 16, 2013 10:18 PM

    Awesome! Just made it -everyone loved it including my picky 4 year old eater! I love that there’s no chicken soup base using msg! It’s definitely a GO TO recipe! Thanks!

  40. postedFeb 17, 2013 7:38 AM

    Garlic Chicken recipe in crockpot as I type. Just adder several chopped carrots and a couple of Rosemary sprigs also some Adobo with saffron;
    Smells delicious !! Didn’t have any Sauvignon Blanc , subbed Dry Cocktail Sherry
    Thanks for the direction !! 🙂

  41. postedMar 13, 2013 10:45 AM

    mmmmmm looks so good AND super easy!

  42. postedJun 10, 2014 6:34 PM

    Smelled great cooking, but very bland.

  43. postedDec 3, 2014 9:54 AM

    Looks delish! I am going to substitute the white wine with chicken broth and Canadian Sherry (just a bit) and see if that elevates the flavour a bit.

  44. postedDec 4, 2014 11:18 AM

    Will the cooking times change if you use boneless chicken thighs?

    • postedDec 4, 2014 8:48 PM

      I would imagine so… less time, but not sure exactly how much. Look up a slow cooker chicken thigh recipe and that may give you some idea.

  45. postedDec 22, 2014 11:18 AM

    Just put this up in my slow cooker for dinner tonight! Super pumped about it. Though, I don’t think tapioca flour would work for this recipe. I was skeptical before even trying, and my suspicions were right as the tapioca turns too gummy. I subbed potato starch instead. Thanks for the recipe!

  46. postedJan 9, 2015 6:52 PM

    This was a huge hit with my family. I made 2 changes, listening to those who said it was too bland. I brined the chicken pieces, which I do anyway whenever I cook chicken and I made a rub of olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper which I rubbed over the skin and flesh of the chicken before browning it. The chicken was flavorful, tender and juicy and I will be making it again. Thanks for the recipe!

  47. postedJan 10, 2015 9:41 PM
    Margarette Karasz

    Please tell me what polenta is? Thank you & happy new year.

  48. postedJan 18, 2015 6:24 PM

    Found this recipe on Pinterest, and I just had to make it. It looks and sounds so tasty! I was very disappointed, however. The wine was overpowering. I think substituting chicken broth for a large portion of the wine would have made it much better. I am looking forward to making it again sans wine.

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