Who says cooking frozen chicken thighs can’t be easy and delicious? With a Crock Pot or slow cooker, you can create mouthwatering dishes that are tender, moist, and bursting with flavor. Whether you prefer tangy teriyaki or smoky barbecue, this article will show you the best way to cook frozen chicken thighs that will surely impress your family and friends.
Imagine serving a healthy and affordable meal without spending hours in the kitchen. This frozen chicken thighs Crock Pot recipe takes just 5 minutes to prepare and can be enjoyed over rice or transformed into sliders. It’s one of many easy Crock Pot recipes you’ll find on our blog.
Crockpot Frozen Chicken Thighs
I’ve tried this slow cooker chicken thighs recipe, and it’s a winner. Sometimes, I forget to thaw the chicken in advance, but that’s not a problem anymore. Having a stash of frozen chicken thighs from my Imperfect Foods order inspired me to create this dish. The secret to achieving incredibly tender meat is cooking them frozen, allowing them to soak up all the delicious juices. Although you can use barbecue sauce, I always lean towards the irresistible flavors of teriyaki—my nod to my Hawaiian roots.
Before we dive into the recipe, let me share a little about slow cooking. I own a few different Crock Pots, and I appreciate each one for specific occasions.
- My favorite is a 6-quart programmable Crock Pot with a locking lid, perfect for potlucks.
- If you prefer serving a few appetizers, consider getting a side-by-side Crock Pot.
- Personally, I skip using liners and opt for spraying olive oil inside for easier cleanup.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs Frozen
If you’re short on time, you can follow our Instant Pot frozen chicken thighs instructions. But if you have a bit of time to spare, this frozen chicken thighs Crock Pot recipe is the way to go. Whether your thighs are stuck together or separated, you’ll achieve fantastic results. However, if they’re stuck together, make sure to separate them midway through cooking to ensure even cooking and easier shredding later on. This technique works equally well with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, although they might need an extra hour to cook due to their larger size.
Frozen Chicken Thighs Crock Pot BBQ
The beauty of this recipe is that you can use any sauce you like. I highly recommend a thick sauce to create a sticky, sweet bite of protein. You can serve it in tacos or over a bed of white rice for a delightful meal. For an extra touch of sweetness, add some pineapple tidbits—a trick we learned from our Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe.
As someone who grew up in Hawaii, I naturally gravitate towards teriyaki sauce. There are various varieties available, but I prefer Veri Veri Teriyaki for its restaurant-quality taste. Of course, you can always make your own teriyaki sauce using the recipe linked above.
One of the surprising elements of this recipe is that you don’t need additional liquid. As the frozen chicken thaws, it releases a bit of water that helps create a flavorful cooking environment.
How Long to Cook Slow Cooker Frozen Chicken Thighs
The cooking time for frozen chicken thighs depends on their size and whether they’re stuck together. Generally, cooking them for around 6 hours on low heat produces excellent results. Keep in mind that the longer you cook them, the more tender and flavorful they become as the meat continues to absorb the sauce. If your thighs are stuck together, make sure to separate them around the 3-hour mark. Shredding the meat with two forks about 30 minutes before serving and adding a bit more sauce will elevate the flavor even more.
To give you a better idea, here’s a breakdown of the ingredients and cooking process:
- 1.5 cups of your favorite sauce
- 6-8 frozen thighs (boneless, skinless is recommended)
- If using bone-in chicken thighs, shred the meat 30 minutes before serving, and remove the skin and bones before serving
Feel free to add minced garlic cloves, salt, and pepper, according to your taste preferences. This recipe is perfect for those days when you’ve forgotten to thaw your chicken in advance.
What should I make with shredded chicken?
Once you’ve transformed your frozen chicken thighs into tender, flavorful shreds, your options are endless. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Fill fresh air fryer tortillas with the shredded chicken and top them with Hawaiian coleslaw for a satisfying crunch.
- Serve the shredded chicken over rice, creating a delicious copycat Panda Express teriyaki chicken bowl.
- Use the shredded meat to make enchiladas by wrapping it in tortillas and covering them with enchilada sauce.
- Create an irresistible dinner for the kiddos by stuffing sliced Hawaiian rolls with the shredded chicken and adding a slice of pineapple on top.
- Turn the shredded chicken into a mouthwatering fajita dish by grilling onions and peppers and tossing everything together. It’s a low-carb option that everyone will love.
How do you warm up shredded chicken?
If you have leftovers, don’t worry! They can be easily reheated and enjoyed the next day. To keep the meat moist and flavorful, transfer the leftovers to a sealed container or freezer bag, ensuring they are coated in some sauce. When you’re ready to enjoy the leftovers, transfer the chicken to a heat-safe bowl and add fresh sauce on top.
Warm the chicken in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until it reaches the desired temperature. This method will retain moisture, preventing the chicken from drying out during reheating.
So the next time you find yourself with a pack of frozen chicken thighs and little time to spare, remember this Crock Pot recipe. With minimal effort, you can create a tasty and satisfying meal that will leave everyone asking for seconds. Enjoy the convenience and deliciousness of cooking frozen chicken thighs in a slow cooker. For more mouthwatering recipes and cooking inspiration, visit Ekilove by clicking here.