This recipe for fall-off-the-bone lemon pepper chicken thighs (slow cooker recipe) may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Like you, I can’t get enough chicken recipes.
So today, I’m helping you out with a brand new chicken recipe that is 100 percent free from gluten, dairy, soy and full of only whole, fresh, all-natural ingredients.
What You Need to Make Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs
To make my fall-off-the-bone lemon pepper chicken thighs, you’ll need a trusty slow cooker and a few simple ingredients.
First let’s talk about that slow cooker. I got mine as a wedding gift 20 years ago and it still works like the day I got it. (When the times comes to replace it, I have my eye on this stainless steel slow cooker.)
As for ingredients, you’ll only need the following few items:
- Chicken thighs (with bone and skin on)
- Cooking oil (I always use this avocado oil for high heat cooking)
- Lemon pepper seasoning (I like this one from Spice Hunter, but also use Sprouts’ Lemon Pepper seasoning)
- Kosher salt
- Large onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- Chicken broth (check labels to ensure it’s gluten free)
- 6 ounces of manzanilla green olives
Once you gather up all your ingredients, you’re ready to get cooking!
How to Make Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs
First, sprinkle the lemon pepper seasoning and Kosher salt on the chicken thighs, then add the chicken thighs to a heated pan (with oil), to sear for two minutes on each side.
Remove the semi-cooked chicken thighs from the pan and place them into your slow cooker.
In the same cooking pan, add the onions and saute until they are slightly browning. You don’t need to add any new oil because you’ll be using the fat from the chicken to cook them.
Next, add garlic to the onion mixture and continue to cook for another minute until fragrant, then pour mixture over the chicken thighs inside of your slow cooker.
On top of the mixture, add chicken broth, green olives and slices of the lemon. Be sure to remove the pits from the lemons first.
Cover and set your slow cooker to cook for six hours. While you wait, enjoy the delicious smells wafting through your house all day long!
Here’s what the lemon pepper chicken thighs look like after six hours in my slow cooker:
The chicken literally falls off the bone and is as tender and juicy as can be. You don’t need a knife. Just your fork. Dig in!
You can serve the chicken alongside a baked potato, mashed potatoes or rice. It goes well with a side that can soak up the flavorful juices.
You won’t be disappointed because this chicken recipes delivers flavor, texture and so much goodness, and it took very little effort to make.
Plus, if you serve it straight from the slow cooker, it looks pretty elegant too, so don’t be scared to serve it to guests as the main course.
Can You Use Chicken Breasts
I’m often asked if you can use other types of chicken to make this lemon pepper chicken recipe. Let’s talk about your options:
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Do everything as instructed except do not sear the chicken first.
Drumsticks. Yes, drumsticks work well. Follow recipe as directed.
Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Yes, you can use bone-in chicken breasts but I suggest cooking the chicken for only four hours in the slow cooker so it doesn’t get mealy. Sear the chicken only if it has the skin intact. Dark meat is always best, when possible.
Boneless chicken breasts. Do not sear the chicken and cook for only four hours. You won’t get the same texture but if you want to try it, go for it (and let me know how it turns out in the comments below). I personally recommend dark meat chicken for this recipe.
I hope this recipe inspires you to dust off the old slow cooker and get cooking. Enjoy!
Fall-Off-the-Bone Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs
- Slow Cooker
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil or other high heat vegetable oil
- 3 lbs chicken thighs (bone and skin on) about 8 small thighs
- 1 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning more if needed
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 6 ounces manzanilla pitted green olives or green olives of choice
- 1 lemon sliced into round slices and seeds removed
- Heat oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick cooking pan.
- Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning and kosher salt on chicken thighs, rubbing in mixture to evenly coat both sides, then add chicken to pan. Cook chicken for about two minutes on each side, then add thighs to slow cooker.
- Add onions to the pan and cook until onions are soft and begin browning. No need to add more oil as the onions will cook in the chicken fat left behind from the thighs. Add garlic cloves and cook until fragrant (about one minute). Pour onion mixture over chicken.
- Add chicken broth, olives, and lemon slices to slow cooker. Do not mix, rather place the olives and lemon slices on top of the chicken-onion mixture.
- Set your slow cooker to cook for 6 hours. Serve chicken over rice, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes to help soak in the delicious juices.