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Slow-Cooker Braised Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Spinach for Two

Why This Recipe Works

A specialty from the Catalonian region of Spain, sautéed spinach with garlic, raisins, and pine nuts is a simple yet satisfying combination of flavors and textures. To create a complete meal in the slow cooker inspired by this traditional tapas dish, we braised chicken thighs in an aromatic mixture of onion, garlic, and sweet paprika with a bit of tomato paste for depth. We then used the flavorful braising liquid to wilt the spinach and meld all of the flavors. Quick-cooking, delicate spinach may not seem like a good match for the slow cooker, but by adding it for just 15 minutes at the end of cooking, we had perfectly crisp-tender spinach without all of the oil typically needed for sautéing. We placed the cooked thighs on top of the spinach as the leaves cooked, which both kept the chicken warm and moist and weighed down the spinach so it stayed submerged in the liquid. A splash of lemon juice added bright acidity to the spinach and balanced the rich, tender chicken thighs perfectly.

Ingredients

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1 onion, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon canola oil
½ teaspoon paprika
teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup water
4 (6-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed of all visible fat
Salt and pepper
12 ounces (12 cups) baby spinach
¼ cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
Nutritional Information

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving (Serves 2)

  • Calories 715
  • Cholesterol 233 mg
  • Fat 45 g
  • Sodium 1506 mg
  • Saturated 11 g
  • Carbs 32 g
  • Trans 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 6 g
  • Monounsaturated 18 g
  • Sugar 15 g
  • Polyunsaturated 10 g
  • Protein 46 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Instructions

Serves 2

1. Lightly spray inside of slow cooker with vegetable oil spray. Microwave onion, garlic, tomato paste, oil, paprika, and pepper flakes in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Stir in water. Season chicken with salt and pepper, place in slow cooker, and turn to coat with onion mixture. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 3 to 4 hours on low.

2. Transfer chicken to plate. Stir spinach into slow cooker, 1 handful at a time, until slightly wilted. Stir in raisins, then nestle chicken into spinach with any accumulated juices. Cover and cook on high until spinach is fully wilted and tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken to plates. Stir lemon juice and pine nuts into spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chicken and spinach with lemon wedges.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.