As much as I love coming up with and sharing seemingly random recipes I’ve created out of my love for trying unusual food combinations (like Pulled Pork Nachos topped with pomegranate arils and goat cheese sauce or jalapeño popper style chicken turned into flautas topped with blueberry and peach salsa) I also love sharing back to basics style recipes with just enough of a twist to keep them interesting. Recipes like this Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken that are simple to make, tasty and have just the right combination of ingredients to keep you from getting bored with dinner.
When you are just trying to get dinner on the table at night, do you spend time thinking about the presentation of the food? I don’t think most of us do, we are focused on the practical aspect of getting hungry people fed, and quickly! But take a minute to consider how we truly eat with our eyes first. When the food looks appealing we are pretty excited to dig in.
The nice thing about this recipe is that making it look prettier actually makes the prep work easier! I like keeping the carrots whole instead of chopping not only because of how they looks so pretty on the plate but because it’s a whole lot quicker for me when getting this started in the slow cooker.
I also think it’s fairly important in this recipe to brown up your chicken thighs a tad before slow cooking because crispy browned up chicken is so much more appealing. I realize this can sound like too much extra work, but if you do a lot of slow cooking and invest in one of these amazing multi-cookers, it’s really not even an issue at all.
A simple sauce using ingredients that you can easily keep on hand and you have a beautiful slow cooker dinner (yes, slow cooker food can be beautiful!) that I know you will be proud to serve!
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 pound carrots
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (my favorite brand and easy to find!)
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried cilantro
- 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- Melt butter in skillet or multi-cooker over medium high heat
- Add chicken thighs skin side down and let brown for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown
- Flip and let brown for 2-3 minutes on other side
- Wash and peel carrots, leave whole
- Whisk together vinegar, honey, salt, dried cilantro, garlic and red pepper flakes
- Add chicken to slow cooker along with carrots
- Pour balsamic mixture over the top
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8
NOTE: I cooked this on high in my 4 quart multi-cooker for 4 hours. If you do a lot of slow cooking and love to brown up some of your meats or other recipes ahead of time, and you can swing the extra cost, I highly recommend these little gadgets. It’s one of my kitchen must-have’s and gets used nearly on a daily basis!
NOTE: Local raw honey is my favorite! Try out some from your area and see if you like it!
Want more back to basics with a twist style recipes:
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