Lemon Apple Butter Chicken

December 13, 2023

closeup lemon apple butter chicken

The slow cooker is your time-saving friend all year long. Especially during the end of year holiday rush. You eat and feel better when meals are homemade. Attend holiday events and join shoppers knowing that this Lemon Apple Butter Chicken awaits you at home.

A quick sear of bone-in chicken thighs and a whisk of a simple sauce and five hours later dinner is served. The recipe makes a tasty sauce which complements a creamy starch side like rice,  polenta or mashed potatoes.

seared chicken thighs

searing the skin side gives a roasted quality

Chicken cooked on the bone is more flavorful and meat shrinks less than with boneless varieties. Chicken thighs cooked in the slow cooker are meltingly tender and tasty, absorbing sauce flavors well. Seared chicken skin is no longer flabby, but more like roasted chicken if sauce is concentrated at the underside, as in this dish.

ingredients for lemon apple butter chicken

just two more ingredients – worcestershire sauce and garlic – for this simple sauce

File this entree under Easy Chicken Dinners. Happy holiday season to all.

full plate of lemon apple butter chicken

Lemon Apple Butter Chicken

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes 4-8 servings (one or two chicken thighs per person)


eight bone-in skin on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess skin
kosher salt
finely ground white pepper
1 ½ tablespoons neutral oil like canola
¾ cup apple butter
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
one large clove garlic, zested on microplane grater
optional garnishes : fresh parsley, thinly sliced lemon


  1. Season room temperature chicken thighs with kosher salt and pepper, skin side only.
  2. Heat large heavy skillet over medium high heat and add oil once hot.
  3. Without crowding pan, in two batches sear thighs skin side down until golden, 2-4 minutes.
  4. Place chicken snugly into large slow cooker crockery insert, skin side up.
  5. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken, using spatula to cover all surfaces.
  6. Cook on low heat for 5 hours.
  7. Some sauce will be absorbed as chicken settles for 15 minutes.
  8. Spoon sauce over servings, preferably with a good base like rice, polenta or potatoes.
  9. If desired, garnish with lemon slices and parsley.
  10. Entree may be made 1-2 days ahead, but skin will be of best quality on the day made.


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