Ahhh, autumn. Season of leaves drifting softly to the ground, pumpkin flavored everything, and crockpot-cooked meals. While I know that technically, a crockpot can be used year-round, mine only seems to maintain a counter top presence between the months of September and February. Perhaps that’s because it’s best suited for warm, comfort food meals…or perhaps I’m sick of those same meals by March – whatever the reasons, the crockpot has officially re-emerged from the confines of my cabinets.
On Mondays and Thursdays, we have a busy after school schedule. Parker has officially entered the age of 1,000 activities and while I’m determined to limit him to 2 of 3 a semester, it still complicates meal time because we’re out the door by 5pm heading to either Cub Scouts or soccer practice. It takes such a load off my schedule to have a crockpot meal going on those days so that we can eat at any point between 4:30 or 7pm without me needing to stand at attention at the stove.
This recipe is my tinkered version of a Cooking Light meal. While I normally get annoyed when you have to do any browning/cooking of foods before you put it in the crockpot, this one is definitely worth it because it helps the chicken hold together instead of dissolving after hours of cooking. Here’s what you need for this recipe:
6-12 skinless bone-in chicken thighs
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 package sliced mushrooms
2 medium onions, cut into rings
4-8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
First, go ahead and heat your vegetable oil over medium-high heat and brown your chicken thighs (about 3 minutes per side). While the chicken thighs are browning, slice your onions into rings and add both the onions and the mushrooms on the bottom of the crockpot.
Once your chicken thighs are browned, add them on top of the onions and mushrooms.
**I should note that if you’re using chicken breasts instead of thighs, you’ll need to add a bit of chicken broth (less than a 1/4 cup) to the bottom of the pan because the moisture-content is lower for breasts than thighs.**
Now, put a lid on that puppy and cook it on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4. (I’ve never let this go for a full 10 hours, but I’m sure it would be fine even if the chicken started falling apart).
Here, pretend you see a picture of the mushrooms and onions cooked waaaaay down and the chicken thighs a fraction smaller and cooked through. Sadly, I don’t have a picture of the final product dished up because someone (ahem, Irishman) ate it before I could snap it. Ah well, I’m glad it was enjoyed. I hope you like it too!