Crock-Pot Lemon Chicken

Crock-Pot Lemon Chicken

This week for some reason my 10 year old son Parker was being pretty darn picky in what he was going to eat. Normally my kids are not picky eaters and we don’t really force the issue. My husband and I cook dinner and they can love it or leave it (but they have to at least try it).

Everyday I give my family two options for dinner. Take it, or leave it.

But it seems like everything we put on the dinner table this week was not something Parker wanted to eat. So I asked him what he wanted to eat in the hopes that I could find something to make him happy and get the kid to eat dinner and he asked for chicken legs.

He had no requests on how he wanted the chicken legs cooked so I got busy working on a new recipe and this is what I came up with.

This recipe for slow cooker lemon chicken is a pretty easy recipe however there is a bit of an extra step involved and that is browning the chicken before adding it to the crock-pot. It only takes about 15 minutes but it gives the dish some really great flavor. You can use any chicken parts you like in this recipe, however chicken breasts can tend to dry out a bit in the slow cooker if you over cook them. But because this recipe is cooked for a shorter time period you have less chance of that.

Like I said, we used legs and they came out super moist. The kids, who don’t seem to mind getting messy ate their with their hands but us civilized adults ate our chicken with a fork.

We served this with some rice pilaf and sauteed green beans.

And let me just say…the sauce from the chicken is amazing when spooned into the rice pilaf!¬† ūüėČ

I hope you enjoy!

Crock-Pot Lemon Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 10 - 12

Crock-Pot Lemon Chicken

This delicious recipe is quite the dish. Bright with the flavors of lemon, yet the meat is tender and juicy.


1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
5-6 Tablespoons Oil, Divided
5 to 6 Lbs. Chicken Pieces (I used legs)
1 (12 Oz.) Can Frozen Lemonade Concentrate, Thawed
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Cold Water
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch


  1. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt & pepper. Lightly dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture and set aside.
  2. Pour 3 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan set over medium-high heat.
  3. Brown half of your chicken pieces in hot oil, being careful not to over crowd the pan.
  4. Continue until all the pieces are nicely browned on all sides, adding more oil as needed.
  5. Place chicken in Crock-Pot.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the thawed lemonade concentrate, brown sugar, ketchup and vinegar and pour over chicken.
  7. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
  8. Remove chicken from slow cooker and place on a plate. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  9. In a small bowl combine the 2 cold water and cornstarch and mix well.
  10. Stir cornstarch mixture into the cooking liquids in the Crock-Pot until well mixed.
  11. Cover and cook the liquid until the sauce is bubbly and has thickened.
  12. Spoon sauce over chicken to serve.


While most slow cooker recipes can be cooked on either LOW or HIGH heat with an adjustment of cooking time. That is not recommended for this recipe. Longer cooking times with chicken often dry out the meat. A shorter cooking time at a higher heat with a recipe that has some sauce is it is a reliable way to prepare chicken in the slowcooker.

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  1. Warwick says

    Love the idea of this one but I have a couple of questions..
    1) Living in Australia I have no idea what frozen lemonade concentrate is :( To me lemonade is a fizzy drink (soda pop ?) can you describe what you men by this and assuming I can’t get it here – any alternatives ?

    2) I’m not sure my slow cooker (low/high settings) would ever get to the hot bubbly stage – point 11 – (never tried it like that) I suppose it could be transferred to a conventional pad to reduce ?

    Thanks tho for a great idea :)

    • says

      Hi Warwick,

      Here in the states Lemonade is basically lemonade, juice and sugar (my tried and true recipe if you ever want to try it – 1 part lemon juice + 1 part sugar + 4 parts water) and it is served over ice.

      Frozen lemonade concentrate is sold here in the frozen juice section like frozen orange juice concentrate. And you just add water to it. I am not 100% sure however what the measurements would be to make your own. But I am thinking (worth a try 1/2 sugar and 1/2 cup lemon juice and heat until the sugar is dissolved.

      If your slow cooker would not get the hot bubbly stage on HIGH heat then of course you can thicken up the sauce in a pan on the stove. I usually do this myself since it just seems to go faster and I am in a hurry to get dinner on the table and feed my hungry crew.

  2. says

    Dear Warwick

    Lemonade in the States is close to Lemon Juice Drink in Australia. It’s sweetened but it definitely doesn’t fizz. In Coles and Woolies I used to be able to buy bottled ready to drink Lemon Juice. In South Australia the brand was Nippy’s, and in Western Australia I think it was called Country Time or something like that.

    Hope it helps you find it premade.

  3. kim says

    HI – I don`t have Lemonade Concentrate in the freezer but I have Limeade – do you think I could use it as a substitute in this recipe
    Thanks Kim

  4. Tracey says

    Hi Heidi! Can’t wait to try this! Just a quick question- can I use boneless chicken breasts? If so, how much should I use?

    • says

      Hi Tracey, you can use boneless chicken breast. I the recipe calls for 5-6 lbs of chicken (whatever cut you like). Keep in mind that boneless/skinless chicken has the tendency to dry out or get a weird texture when cooked too long. This recipe has a shorter cooking time than most slow cooker recipes, so you should be fine.

    • says

      I have not frozen it myself, but I don’t see why it would not freeze OK. There is quite a bit of sauce in this recipe and I think that would prevent your chicken from drying out. Of course if 5-6 lbs of chicken is too much you could always half the recipe too.

  5. Stephanie says

    Hi Heidi, This recipe sounds good! I tried a lemon chicken recipe a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. It involved covering the chicken with lemon slices and adding garlic and other spices, but to me it tasted like chicken with lemon juice on it. I have been looking for a recipe that is more “saucy” and yours seems to fit the bill. Think I will try it out next weekend! Thanks!

    • says

      I am sure you can use whatever amount of chicken you want. I had a family pack of chicken legs and the package was something like 5.4 lbs. So that is what I based it on. If you do less chicken you may find a lot of leftover sauce and not a lot of chicken. You could just cut the recipe in half though for smaller amounts.

  6. dory says

    Hi Heidi, Is there a way to do this Gluten Free? I can skip the dredging part right? Do you think it will taste the same? Thanks

    • says

      Hi Dory,

      For gluten-free you could either substitute a GF flour (I hear there are some pretty amazing brands on the market these days) or just omit the dredging and just brown your seasoned chicken without the flour. I am sure it would still taste amazing!

  7. Kay says

    Brown the chicken? But not cook through?
    How long? I’ve made this several times, but with chicken breasts. I think I’ve over cooked, or chicken is just dry. Going to try legs now. Thank you!

    • says

      Yes you want to brown the skin on the chicken but not really cook it all the way. I would say about 3 minues on each side. Just until the it gets browned.

      As far as dark meat vs white meat, the dark meat is less likely to get dried out in the slow cooker.


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