Learn how to make these super easy Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
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This recipe for easy slow cooker teriyaki chicken thighs is an awesome weeknight meal. The chicken cooks in the slow cooker while you’re away at work, and then is tossed under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up that skin and you’re ready to eat!
The Teriyaki Sauce
The teriyaki sauce in this easy slow cooker teriyaki chicken thighs recipe serves as both a marinade and a sauce. It is not thick, however, it can be thickened if desired to get that sticky teriyaki type glaze you’re used to seeing in restaurants (instructions provided below). I prefer it just like this – it gives the recipes a lighter feel. Reserve the leftover teriyaki sauce and serve it over the chicken and some steamed white rice for a bangin’ meal (do people still say that?). Talk about comfort food. I love me some chicken thighs, steamed white rice and the salty sweetness of this homemade teriyaki sauce.
My mom started making this teriyaki sauce years ago. Many years ago. I’ve been making it on my own for 10+ years now (we won’t go into how many years + that is…) and absolutely love the flavors. It’s incredibly simple and versatile. The addition of the 7-Up or Sprite adds just a touch of citrus flavor, and serves to tenderize the meat. I love this stuff.
Using a Slow Cooker
My biggest problem with using a slow cooker is soggy meat. I know that sounds gross, but it’s true. I recommend a good sear on your meat before you put in in the slow cooker, or a quick pop under the broiler when you’re done to crisp everything up. Especially when chicken skin is involved. No one wants mushy, fatty chicken skin…right?I like crisp, flavorful chicken skin - maybe even just a touch charred in spots. Just enough fattiness to leave that light wonderful film on your lips....Oh wonderful fatty film on my lips.Click To Tweet
First we make the teriyaki sauce. Now guys, this stuff is super simple to make. Combine the sauce ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved. And you’re done. Simple, right? And like I said, this stuff is good on so many things! But today we make easy slow cooker teriyaki chicken thighs. Now the teriyaki sauce recipe makes a little more sauce than you need. If you don’t use it all, it is great leftover. Just pour it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. Or freeze it for up to 3 months. Or drink it. Wait did I say drink it? Maybe don’t drink it…just a couple slurps here and there. Yes it’s that good.
THICKEN THE SAUCE: If you prefer a sticky, thick sauce, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Heat 1 cup of the teriyaki sauce in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture until the sauce reaches desired thickness. It should be thick and glossy. Before broiling the chicken, brush the thickened sauce on. You don’t want to use the thickened sauce in the slow cooker.
Add the chicken thighs to the slow cooker and cover with 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce.
Cook on high for 2 hours. Remove the chicken from slow cooker and place on baking racks over a foil lined baking sheet. Brush the thighs with the reserved teriyaki sauce. If you have chosen to thicken your sauce, this is the time to do it. Broil each side until browned. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with steamed white rice and extra teriyaki sauce on the side.
MAKE IT HEALTHY: If you want to make this recipe healthier, use skinless chicken thighs and serve with brown rice or quinoa. You could even substitute boneless, skinless chicken breast, but the meat will not be as moist and delicious as the thighs!
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