I almost feel like I hit the lotto jackpot when I make a dinner that doesn’t require any chopping of vegetables. Am I right? Crispy Crockpot Chicken and Carrots is the kind of recipe that is fuss free and still a well-balanced, easy to make meal. No veggies to chop or peel. No fancy sautéing or complicated sauce making. Just brown the chicken and add everything to the crockpot. Dinner will be a piece of cake – or in this case, a piece of crispy crockpot chicken.
Could you make this recipe with chicken breasts? Sure. Would it be as good? In my opinion, probably not. It’s that crispy skin that really elevates this dish from being a run of the mill chicken dish to a great meal. The texture and the flavor of perfectly crisped skin is the highlight of this crockpot chicken dinner.
About the Ingredients
Chicken thighs – for 4 people I usually make 5-6 thighs. Leave the skin on and pat the chicken dry with a paper towel before you start seasoning it. Taking the extra moisture off will help the skin crisp.
Seasonings for chicken skin – paprika, salt and pepper.
Canola oil – for browning the chicken skin.
Carrots – trim off the ends if they need it (sometimes they are a little scraggly) but otherwise leave them whole and unpeeled. They can be added to the crockpot just as they are.
For the sauce – soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin, minced garlic, honey, sesame oil, canola oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
Corn starch – whisked with equal parts water. It will be used to thicken the cooking liquid right before serving the dish.
How to Make Crispy Crockpot Chicken and Carrots
Before you begin cooking, check to see if your crockpot insert is safe to use on the stovetop, typically if it has a metal bottom it is. If it’s ceramic on the bottom it probably isn’t. Mine is safe for the stove so I use that to brown the chicken but you could also use any heavy bottom pan or pot and then transfer the chicken to the crockpot.
Begin the recipe by patting the chicken dry and seasoning it with paprika, salt and pepper. Heat your crockpot insert over medium-high heat with a little oil. Place the chicken skin side down and leave it undisturbed for 7 minutes – no peaking!
Flip the chicken and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.
While the chicken cooks whisk up the sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup.
Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker and nestle in the carrots beside the chicken. Then pour the sauce over everything, cover the crockpot and set it to cook.
When the timer finishes, dinner is ready. I like to the thicken the cooking sauce to a little bit of glaze and serve it with the chicken and carrots. To do this, move the cooking liquid to a small sauce pan. In a small bowl, whisk equal parts corn starch and water until it’s smooth. Pour the corn starch slurry into the sauce pan and whisk the sauce while it simmers. It should thicken in just a few minutes.
Recipe Substitutions & Variations
The flavors you use in the sauce is completely personal preference. If you prefer something a little less sweet you can swap the rice vinegar, hoisin, honey and soy sauce for balsamic vinegar. You could also make an Italian vinaigrette with red wine vinegar, oil and Italian seasonings and skip the whole Asian influence all together.
FAQ’s and Recipe Tips
Remove the moisture from the skin by patting it dry and leaving the chicken undisturbed while it cooks over high heat.
The liquid creates steam which will cook the chicken so it’s not necessary to cover the chicken with the liquid.
Yes. You should follow the recommended times in the recipe to prevent overcooking chicken and having it dry out.
The Recipe for Crispy Crockpot Chicken and Carrots
The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing. If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. What did you think about the skin on the carrots? I’d love to hear what you thought. Enjoy!
Crispy Crockpot Chicken and Carrots
- 1 Slow Cooker / Crockpot
For the chicken:
- 5 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp canola oil
For the sauce:
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp hoisin
- 1/8 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 8 large carrots whole, unpeeled
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- Season the chicken with paprika, salt and pepper.5 chicken thighs, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper
- Place your stove safe crockpot insert on the stove over medium high heat with canola oil.1 tbsp canola oil
- Add the chicken skin side down and let cook undisturbed for 7 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes.
- While the chicken cooks, make up the sauce by adding all of the sauce ingredients to a small bowl and whisking until combined well.¼ cup low sodium soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tsp minced garlic, 1 tbsp hoisin, 1/8 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp canola oil, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- Move the crockpot insert to the slow cooker. Add the carrots to the pot and place the chicken on top of the carrots.8 large carrots
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and carrots. Cover the crockpot with a lid and set to cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 6-8 hours).
- As the crockpot reaches completion, ladle the sauce into a small saucepan on the stove set over medium heat.
- Create a slurry by whisking the corn starch with 2 tablespoons of water until the corn starch is completely dissolved. Pour the slurry into the saucepan with your sauce and whisk as the sauce simmers and thickens. Continue whisking for about 3 minutes or until your sauce reaches your desired consistency.2 tbsp corn starch
- Place the chicken thighs and carrots on a serving dish. Pour about 1/4 cup of sauce over the chicken and reserve the rest to serve on the side.