Creamy Lemon Slowcooker Chicken

During the last week of December 2014, our family took a little vacay to Jackson Hole, WY. We’d never been and were hoping to hit up Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Well, 1 out of 2 isn’t so bad. Due to it being winter and all, the south entrance to Yellowstone was closed so we’d have to drive around to the west entrance through Idaho. That wouldn’t be so terrible, but the area had just been hit with a ton of snow and sub-zero temps (seriously, -40°F windchills) and the roads were basically pure ice. So we opted out of the 3-hour-minimum trip to Yellowstone and stuck around the Teton/Jackson area for the week.

OPL Family Trip to Jackson, WY

I really wanted to see 2 things on our trip: moose and bison. Oh, and Tetons. Three things. And guess what? All 3 eluded us for the first 3-ish days. We did, however, see an adorable family of otters playing in a partially frozen river. Finally, we saw a mama moose and here little one snacking along the side of the road. It was dusk and my iPhone pic turned out pretty grainy, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. We never did see any bison, I assume they were all up north in Yellowstone. And because of the snow I mentioned earlier, the whiteout conditions prevented us from seeing any mountains until day 5! Finally, the skies opened up and BAM there were Tetons against a pure blue backdrop. It was simply stunning and I’m so glad we rode out the storm to see that sight.

Anyway, back to real life and real food. January 1st marked Day 1 of our family Whole30. I know for a fact that we’re not alone in this, that many of you are also doing a Whole30 (or something similar) right now. While I’ve got a ton of recipe ideas and (literally) half-baked recipes planned out that are so very not Whole30-compliant, they will have to take a back seat for the month of January since I have no taste testers in my home for that type of food this month.

Instead, I’ll be focusing on more wholesome, Whole30-friendly meals. In case you haven’t seen it yet, go check out my Whole30 meal plan. It’s written out to make life easy for you and minimize cooking by utilizing leftovers for lunch so you don’t have to think as hard and can be just as healthy.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}

I’m a sucker for easy meals. I often overlook the all-powerful slow cooker, even though it can make my life eight million times easier. {Fun Fact: when I exaggerate, I always use the number 8} I recently bought a huge bag of lemons at Costco and by the time I got home, realized I had no idea what I wanted to use them for. So I tossed around a lot of ideas (some sweet, some savory) and tried to think of recipes to make using what I already had since I didn’t want to make any extra trips to the store.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}

Chicken thighs? Check. Lemons? Double check. Artichokes? Of course. Coconut milk, chicken stock, arrowroot? Duh. And if you don’t have these things, maybe you should check out our Paleo Food Staples, it’s a pretty thorough list of what we almost always have on hand and use on a regular basis.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}

Now that I had everything, it was time to get testing. The first time I made this, it was way too lemony. I also added white potatoes and really didn’t like the mushiness that they added. Maybe as a side dish, but not cooked in with the chicken, nope. So I made a few tweaks, changed the method a tad bit, and voila! Whole30 chicken perfection.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}

And I love that because the chicken shreds up so easily due to the slow cooking, this is more of a stew, which just warms my heart (and toes, and fingers, and nose) during these cold winter months. Also, leftovers. Such good leftovers. If you’re not a leftover kind of person, you should start. So many recipes actually taste better the next day and it’s one less meal to prepare! How could you not love leftovers?!

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}

Now, honestly, this meal would be really good with some gluten-free/paleo bread or rolls to sop up all the yummy sauce, but since I’m on this Whole30, and you probably are too, just pretend I didn’t say that. You can think of that later, like in 28 days, but not now. No bread, no bread, no bread….

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}

Are you hungry yet? I am. Luckily, this isn’t an 8-hour slow cooker meal, and if I forget to put everything together first thing in the morning, I still have time to get it done by lunchtime and still have dinner ready before 6pm. Phew.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}
Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}

Creamy Lemon Slowcooker Chicken

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Kendra Benson
Using ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen, this is a super easy meal that comes together quickly and tastes great as leftovers as well.The lemon isn't overpowering and the artichokes add great taste and texture.
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Ingredients

Instructions

Crockpot Method

  1. Trim chicken thighs of any excess fat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken evenly with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken. Cook a couple minutes per side, until browned. Set aside.
  3. Drain the artichoke hearts and cut into quarters (if they didn't already come cut). Place the artichokes in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add browned chicken to the slow cooker on top of the artichokes.

  4. With a whisk, mix 2 tablespoons of the starch into the chicken broth, then add in the coconut milk. Pour mixture evenly over the chicken in the slow cooker.
  5. Slice the lemon (not too thin, not too thick). Remove and discard any seeds. Place one lemon slice on top of each chicken thigh.
  6. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours. Remove the lemons and discard. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken and set aside.
  7. Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of starch with 1 tablespoon of water. Add to the crockpot and stir to thicken. Add the chicken back to the crockpot and stir to combine. Serve hot.

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31 Comments on “Creamy Lemon Slowcooker Chicken

  1. Kristen

    I don’t have arrowroot…what would you suggest I use in place of that as a thickener? I’m making it today, so I will post a picture of the finished product too 🙂

    Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Kendra Benson

    You could use tapioca starch or potato starch, both work the same as arrowroot to thicken soups and sauces. Or you could just leave it out altogether and have a thinner sauce. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out for you.

    Reply
  3. Evee

    It sounds wonderful. I’m going to try this. I’ve never used artichoke hearts before. Presuming they are in tins? Must look for them next time I go shopping! Giving it 5 stars just because it sounds so good!

    Reply
  4. Eileen

    I’m not a huge fan of artichokes. Is there anything I can substitute for them in this dish? I *am* a huge fan of your recipes, I *do love* my slow cooker, and I have a *ton* of lemons. So I eagerly await your response!

    Reply
    1. Kendra Benson

      Hmmm, do you like green olives? I don’t really, but I imagine if I did, they’d be good in this. Maybe zucchini but add them in the last hour so they don’t turn to complete mush. Or you could just leave out the artichokes with no sub and see how that goes.

      Reply
  5. amber

    Has anyone tried not the full fat coconut milk? I don’t have it on hand just the light cocnut milk. so just wondering.

    Reply
  6. Courtney

    My husband is allergic to nuts of all kind but for this recipe and other ones that call for coconut milk what can be an alternative?

    Reply
  7. Jen

    Very very tasty. Came together quickly, chicken shredded up beautifully. Served it over pasta for the non paleo boyfriend, and cauliflower rice for myself. Definitely recommend trying this…

    Reply
  8. J

    Sounds like it will be delicious! Do I have to brown the chicken? Please share the reason for that step. I’m tempted to just skip that step and leave in the slow cooker for 8 hours instead.

    Reply
  9. Naseem

    I have made this a couple times. Substituted cornstarch for arrowroot starch and substituted low fat coconut milk for full fat. Turned out FABULOUS. I usually serve over rice, but I’m going to have to try the cauliflower rice. This recipe reminds me of old school chicken a la king for some reason. Really great. Thanks!

    Reply
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  12. kristi

    I used boneless chicken breast instead of thighs and worked great. Additionally, I added chopped spinach and mushrooms for the last hour to bulk it up a bit more. Served it over zoodles! Have made it several times now and love it!

    Reply
  13. Kelly

    Loved this! I used breasts and added mushrooms and corn. I also added some spice cumin, paprika and tumeric. Served over quinoa. Yum! Satisfies the comfort food craving as it is very reminiscent of chicken Ala king.

    Reply
  14. Jenn

    Made this tonight for dinner. I have to say it was just ok. There was a certain bitterness to the final taste that I can only attribute to the lemon slices. Maybe lemon juice squeezed in with no peels cooking in the mix would fix this problem. The recipe seemed like it was missing something, but I’m not sure what that might be. However, it was definitely a change from a lot of the usual slow cooker meals!

    Reply
  15. Kelli

    Absolutely delicious! Tastes sinful but it’s not! Stuck to the paleo recipe & wouldn’t change a thing ?

    Reply
  16. Kendra Benson

    @MegS, you might need to reduce the salt a bit if there is already salt in the marinated artichokes. I haven’t used those, so I can’t vouch for the flavor, but I imagine it would still taste great.

    Reply
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  19. Claire

    I would like to make this for a large gathering and my crockpot is not big enough for a double or triple batch. Can I make this in the oven? If so, at what temp and for how long?

    Reply
  20. Sarah

    I made something based from this recipe (only because I forgot about the slow cooker part). I butterflied and sauteed the chicken breasts, mostly drained the quartered artichoke hearts and dumped them in when I flipped the chicken. I seasoned the chicken with Penzy’s Fox Point seasoning. Towards the end, I added a jar of roasted red peppers and the juice of a lemon. I served it over riced cauliflower and I must say, it was pretty great. Total time was about 30 minutes (thank goodness for riced cauliflower in the freezer section!)

    Reply
  21. Brittany

    So easy & So Good! This was amazing, I served it over spaghetti squash! I just finished my first week on the Whole 30, thank you for your Meal Plans and recipes. They have made the transition easy. My Family Loves the food and I feel like I have become a better cook. Thank You!!!

    Reply

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