When it is summertime I am always looking for meals to make that don't heat up my kitchen. Not that it gets that hot here very often, but once in a while it can sneak up on us so I want to be prepared when it does. So when I ran across a recipe for Beer Crockpot Chicken on My Daily Dish my curiosity was peaked. I mean what is not to like about the idea? Beer + chicken + crockpot + cheap = dang good idea in my book!
I had it stashed in my "going to make someday" file when I had one of those days. You know what I mean. I call them manic Mondays but really they hit anytime they want. I had been working on blog posts and recipes all day when I looked up at the clock and realized UH OH it is 1:00 and I haven't planned dinner! I rushed out to the fridge, no meat to be found, thought quickly about a salad but Kevin would shoot me (just kidding folks no need to call 911) if I sat a salad in front of him and called it dinner. The I thought about the beer crockpot chicken recipe. I vaguely remembered something about the fact that you could use frozen chicken and it would still be ready in 4 hours! No way right? Yes way.....I am serious!
I ran to my freezer, OK well maybe I walked briskly, and grabbed the frozen chicken thighs. With chicken in hand I snatched a beer out of the fridge and to my crockpot I went. within a few minutes I had the meal cooking away and I was back to work on the computer, my stress relieved. As I finished my work for the day I realized there was a very pleasant smell coming from my kitchen. I was still a bit skeptical that it was actually going to be done when that timer went off. Shock of shocks it was! Plus it was so tender it was amazing. Kevin loved it so I knew it would be a keeper. Gotta love low impact cooking hehe
Fast forward to one of my late night, unable to sleep, thinking about food sessions. You know my love for Mexican food so I thought why not use the seasonings I use for my Mexican style chicken recipes. DUH what took me so long to think of that? So I took a trip to the store and picked up a 6 pack of a dark Mexican beer, a pack of chicken thighs, and some corn to grill for a side dish. I was excited to give my recipe a try.
Kevin came home after it had been in the cooker for about 2 1/2 hours and immediately asked what smelled so good. Seriously, the smell was amazing! I couldn't wait for it to finish cooking. Finally 4 hours were up and we dove in to the chicken like we hadn't eaten in a week. I don't think we even left the kitchen, we just stood at the island and scarfed it down. Kevin's only complaint? Was that I hadn't made more!
As I said, I used frozen thighs the first time and they were perfectly cooked on high for 4 hours. Depending on your cooker I would say 4 to 6 hours would be fine on high or 8 to 10 hours on low. I cooked the thawed chicken for 4 hours on high and it was falling off the bone, so I would say no more than 4 hours if your chicken is fresh and 7 to 8 at the most on low.
Whether you make the original recipe, or my Mexican version, I know you will love it and keep it as a "go to" recipe for a nice stress free week night meal.
Mexican Style Slow Cooker Beer Chicken
adapted from Beer Crockpot Chicken by My Daily Dish
6 to 8 bone in skin on chicken thighs
1 bottle of dark Mexican Beer (I used Modelo Negro)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (I used roasted ground cumin by McCormicks)
1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Mix all of the seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle each thigh with the seasoning blend and place them in the cooker. Pour in the beer (I pour it down the side so I don't rinse the seasoning off the top of the chicken. I just think it is pretty with the seasoning on it) cover the cooker and set your time.
Frozen - 4 to 6 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low
Thawed - 3 to 4 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low