Nix the rubbery, dry chicken breast, add chicken thighs, and get ready to taste the all-time greatest Crockpot Chicken and Rice! Made with real ingredients and no “cream of’s” or condensed soups, this is a slow cooker casserole you can feel great about serving the family. Tender, juicy chicken thighs and fluffy white rice are slow-cooked in a homemade chicken gravy, then add frozen peas and carrots for a pop of color and a little extra nutritional value!
Savory, creamy and all things delicious, Chicken and Rice in the slow cooker is easy to make and weighs in at only 15 minutes of prep! A comfort food dinner idea the whole family will love — including the pickiest of kiddos!
CROCKPOT CHICKEN AND RICE INGREDIENTS
Tired of dry crockpot chicken? Who isn’t?! Leave the boneless, skinless chicken breasts behind and grab yourselves a package of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs instead. They’ll stay extra tender, juicy, and flavorful in the slow cooker! A simple combination of Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder is all that is needed for seasoning for your chicken thighs.
Oil serves two purposes for this recipe: It helps the chicken seasoning stay put, and also comes into play when you’re browning the chicken. Searing the chicken skin on the stove-top prior to going into the crockpot will not only improve both flavor and texture, but it will also enhance the flavor of the gravy as well! Because you’ll need fairly high heat to get a good sear on the chicken skin, make sure you use an oil with a high smoke point. Canola, Vegetable, or Avocado oil are all acceptable choices.
There are no “cream-of anything” soups going on in this Crockpot Chicken and Rice. Why? You can make a superior rendition without them. The gravy begins with all-purpose flour, and it serves as the thickener. You’ll sprinkle it in after you’ve cooked your onions, and then it’s time for the chicken broth.
You can use just about any onion you like for this recipe, but our onion of choice is a standard yellow onion. Dice it small so it sautés quickly, and you can get on to making your gravy faster!
Use unsalted or low-sodium chicken broth. This gives you more control over the flavor and sodium-level in your dish. If you accidentally bought chicken broth with sodium, leave the salt out of the gravy-making process completely.
You can’t have Crockpot Chicken and Rice without the rice! We found Instant Rice to be a much more dependable product when it came to cooking rice in the crockpot. Standard long-grain rice cooked unevenly and remained sporadically chewy even after almost 2 hours in the crockpot. Instant rice, on the other hand, cooked evenly and resulted in tender fluffy rice after just 30 minutes.
Bonus: No need to go peeling and chopping carrots. Grab a bag of frozen peas and carrots and add them to the crockpot as is!
HOW TO MAKE CROCKPOT CHICKEN AND RICE
- Prep the Chicken – Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and remove excess moisture, allowing the oil and seasoning to better adhere to the chicken. Then, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Brown the Chicken – Add oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and place the chicken skin-side down. Sear for 3 minutes on the first side, then turn the chicken and sear 2 minutes more. Sear in batches if needed, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. This would prohibit the chicken from browning properly.
- Start the Gravy – The gravy for Crockpot Chicken and Rice starts in the pan with an onion. Cook the onion in the same pan you cooked the chicken for 3-4 minutes. Then, stir in the flour and begin adding the broth a splash at a time, whisking well after each addition. After all the chicken broth goes in, add the salt and pepper, and transfer the gravy to the slow cooker.
- Slow Cook the Chicken – Add the seared chicken to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 1 hour or 2 hours on the low setting.
- Add the Rice and Vegetables – Once the time is up, remove the chicken and stir in the rice and the frozen vegetables. Nestle the chicken back into the crockpot, and cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high or 45 minutes – 1 hour on the low setting. Serve and enjoy!
CAN I ADD RICE TO MY SLOW COOKER?
You can absolutely cook rice in your slow cooker, but remember — different grains of rice call for different cook times. Cooking rice in the slow cooker can be a little high maintenance, requiring a good bit of monitoring and stirring. Instant Rice is a much better choice for cooking rice in the crockpot, and the only product we recommend using for your Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice.
CAN YOU PUT RAW CHICKEN IN A SLOW COOKER?
Yes! You can put raw chicken in the slow cooker, just like you can put raw chicken in the oven or any other cooking vessel. If your chicken has skin on it, searing it on the stovetop before adding it to the slow cooker will help prevent a rubbery texture.
WHY IS MY CHICKEN TOUGH?
Chicken is not invincible in the slow cooker, but some cuts are more forgiving than others. The least forgiving of all is boneless, skinless chicken breasts. While there is definitely more leeway in cook time when it comes to the crockpot, it can still overcook your meat. If your chicken comes out of the slow cooker tough, it’s simply because it was cooked too long. For best results, follow the cooking time within the recipe.
For Crockpot Chicken and Rice, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are the perfect choice as they’re likely to stay tender and juicy, even when cooked past the point of doneness.
5 MORE CLASSIC CHICKEN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings is creamy, satisfying and comes fully loaded with slow-cooked, tender bites of chicken, a rich and flavorful broth, hearty vegetables, and great big, fluffy dumplings!
- Chicken Pot Pie with a delicious, savory filling of juicy chicken, tender vegetables, and a creamy gravy enclosed in a double-layer of flaky pie crust is s comfort food classic!
- Roasted Chicken is easier to make than you think! Simple, whole-roasted chicken slathered with a quick and easy butter mixture and roasted in the oven is perfect for family dinners and entertaining!
- Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole features melty Colby Jack cheese and a crunchy Cornflake topping. The perfect family dinner casserole!
- Chicken Salad is easy, simple, and equipped with sweet grapes and crunchy almonds! The perfect way to fill up your sandwich or top off a bed of greens!
Easy, creamy Crockpot Chicken and Rice made with real ingredients! Juicy, tender chicken thighs and fluffy white rice are slow-cooked in savory, homemade gravy.
- 3 tablespoons canola or avocado oil, separated
- 5-6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, separated
- 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, separated
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 1 3/4 cup instant rice
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Then, sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and rub all over to evenly adhere.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once it has come to temperature, add the chicken thighs skin-side down and sear 3 minutes. Then, turn the chicken and sear 2 minutes. Take care not to overcrowd the pan.
Add the chicken to the slow cooker and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium and the onion to the pan. Sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Then, stir in the flour. Add the broth a splash at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once the mixture resembles pudding, you may add the broth and whisk to combine. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and transfer the gravy to the slow cooker.
Cover, and cook on high for 1 hour or 2 hours on the low setting.
Once the time is up, remove the chicken and stir in the rice and the frozen vegetables. Nestle the chicken back into the crockpot, cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high or 45 minutes - 1 hour on the low setting. Serve and enjoy!