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Crock It! Winter Citrus Chicken


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There are a couple of things I know about myself. One is that I often run out of time for making dinner. So if I don’t plan ahead, I’m toast and my kids are having hot dogs. The second is that I love citrus. Not just to eat, but also to smell. Winter is known for citrus fruits and aside from being good for you, they are also quite versatile for cooking. Growing up, broiled grapefruit was a common snack in my house after playing in the snow and now, as an adult, macerated fruit is a lovely dessert with a little home made whipped cream.
However, citrus fruit involved in a dinner time meal, other than lemon, is not a normal occurrence in my family.  After making this meal and smelling the orange and cinnamon wafting through the house, I think I need to find more ways to incorporate citrus fruits into our winter meals.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Fine Cooking involving marinating and roasting chicken. While I like roasting chicken, I really needed something for my Crock Pot. So with a little altering, I ended up with Winter Citrus Chicken.
Slow Cooker Winter Citrus Chicken


6 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 orange, juiced and zested

1 lemon, juiced and zested

1 medium-sized onion, peeled and cut in a rough dice

3 large carrots, peeled

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup chicken broth

salt and pepper

What’s Next:

Season thighs with salt and pepper.

Place olive oil in large pot or dutch oven. Cook thighs, skin side down first, until browned; about 5 minutes per side. Set aside to cool slightly.

Add onion and carrots to pot and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Cook until browned and onions are soft, stirring occasionally. About 10 minutes.

While onion and carrots are browning, remove zest of orange and lemon and place in small bowl.

Then cut orange and lemon in half and juice. Total amount of juice will be about 1/3 cup.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin.

Place cooked onion and carrot in slow cooker.

Place chicken on top of onion and carrots.

Pour broth over chicken and vegetables. Pour lemon and orange juices over chicken and vegetables.

Sprinkle zests of lemon and orange over chicken.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Notes from my experience:
  • This was an easy recipe, which I love.
  • The simplicity of ingredients led to complex but not overwhelming flavors in the chicken and the cinnamon added a level of sweetness I wasn’t expecting.
  • This is version two of my original recipe. The first batch I think had way too much going on with flavors and ingredients and clearly simplicity was the key.

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