Just a handful of simple ingredients and you have this amazing Crock-Pot Maple Dijon Chicken. It comes out both sweet and tangy and full of great flavor!
Crock-Pot Maple Dijon Chicken
This recipe for Crock-Pot Maple Dijon Chicken came about because I found a spectacular sale on chicken thighs at my local grocery store at just 60¢ per lb. So I snatched up a couple of packages and came home and started to try and come up with some recipes to use these up.
Now normally our family cooks a lot of boneless skinless chicken breasts and drumsticks are always popular with the kids but I don’t really cook with chicken thighs all that often. I don’t know why when they are rather inexpensive and the meat is moist and tender. In fact I would rather have chicken thighs over drumsticks (less weird tendons and stuff). Maybe it is the whole dark meat is not as healthy as white meat thing or that we have been conditioned as a society to just eat boneless skinless chicken breasts. But whatever the case may be I am putting in a vote for chicken thighs more often.
Can You Make This Recipe With White Meat Chicken?
This recipe can easily be adapted to using chicken breasts. Either bone-in or boneless. Skin on or off. What you need to keep in mind with white meat chicken is that it can dry out in the slow cooker if it is cooked too long and there is not enough liquid in a recipe. There is just not much in the way of connective tissue in boneless skinless chicken breasts to melt down and make moist meat. If you can tolerate chicken breasts with the bone and skin you will have a much more flavorful and juicy meat.
Do HAVE To Brown The Chicken First Before Putting It In The Slow Cooker?
I know some folks balk at having to do ANY of the steps in a slow cooker recipe on the stove top and if you want to skip this step you totally can. But first, let me tell you why I opted to dredge in flour and brown instead of just putting the chicken in the slow cooker raw and adding the dijon maple sauce. Because browning the chicken creates a little crust, seals in moisture and flavor and the browning adds a different savory flavor dimension to the dish, more richness or umami if you will.
I strongly suggest you try the browning bit…it isn’t too much extra work and the flavor profile is worth it! But if you insist on no stove top prep for a crock-pot dish then skip the flouring bit and browning bit and just put your chicken in the slow cooker, whip up the sauce and spoon it over and cook per the rest of the directions.
- All-Purpose Flour – Flour in this recipe is used to dusting the chicken thighs before quickly browning in a little oil.
- Kosher Salt – I like to use Kosher salt in my recipes (unless otherwise noted) because I find it has a cleaner taste over iodized table salt.
- Black Pepper – Freshly ground black pepper that you grind yourself in a pepper mill will always have better and fresher flavor over pre-ground pepper.
- Chicken Thighs – You can use either bone-in or boneless chicken thighs in this recipe. In fact you can use chicken breasts as well!
- Vegetable Oil – This is the oil you will be browning the chicken in once it has been dusted with flour. You can use any oil you prefer such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc.
- Real Maple Syrup – Because the maple flavor is crucial to this recipe using a real maple syrup that comes from maple trees is important in this recipe. The extra cost is worth it for this recipe because artificially flavored maple syrups (or table syrup) just does not have the flavor you can get from real maple syrup!
- Grainy Dijon Mustard – Look for a nice grainy Dijon mustard such as Grey Poupon.
- Fresh Sage and Fresh Rosemary – I grow both of these lovely herbs in my garden so have easy access to them. Even in the winter I grow a pot of herbs in my kitchen window. However if you do not grow your own herbs you should be able to find fresh sage and rosemary in the produce section of your grocery store. You can also use dried versions of each herb using this herb conversion chart to guide you on amounts.
- In a gallon sized zippered plastic bag place the flour, salt and pepper and mix to combine.
- Place 2 chicken thighs at a time in the bag with the flour mixture and zip close the bag. Shake the bag to coat the chicken with the flour. Open bag and remove chicken from the bag, shaking off the excess flour and place chicken on a large platter and set aside.
- In a large skillet on the stove-top heat vegetable oil on medium heat until hot.
- Place 2 to 3 pieces of chicken in the hot oil and cook for about 3 minutes until lightly golden brown. Flip chicken over and cook an additional 3 minutes until lightly browned. The chicken will still be raw inside.
- With a pair of tongs carefully remove the chicken from the frying pan and transfer it to a 3.5-quart casserole slow cooker OR a 5 quart or larger oval or round slow cooker.
- Continue cooking with the rest of the chicken placing the chicken in your slow cooker.
- In a small bowl mix together the real maple syrup, dijon mustard and fresh herbs.
- Stir to combine and then spoon over the chicken.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Gallon Sized Zippered Freezer Bag
- Large Skillet
- Measuring Cups And Spoons
- Cutting Board
- 3.5 Quart Casserole Slow Cooker OR 6 Quart Slow Cooker (Or Larger)
Check out these slow cooker chicken thigh recipes too!
- Crock-Pot Chicken Potato Bake
- Slow Cooker Easy Chicken and Stuffing + Video
- Crock-Pot Teriyaki Chicken
- Slow Cooker-Pot Lemon Chicken
- Crock-Pot Pineapple Verde Chicken + Video
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