Cooking chicken breasts in a crock pot

Any time I cook chicken in the crock pot it always seems dry. I was wondering how long I should cook chicken breasts in the crock pot to avoid this. I'm planning on using a tomato kale sauce I've prepared if that makes any difference. Thanks in advance.

  • Posted by: skittle
  • January 30, 2013


Author Comment
If you need to get your cooking done ahead of time, perhaps it would work to make your dish ahead of time, then re-warm it in a crockpot on low. This might work for larger, thicker pieces braised in a sauce--maybe. I'd be interested to see what people think.
SKK February 1, 2013
Poaching chicken breast is easy and sounds ideal for your sauce. You can poach in a very short period of time. Boneless chicken breast cooks so quickly, a crockpot is not the answer.
ChefOno February 1, 2013

What's the situation? Will you be gone all day or can you attend to the dish for a couple of hours? The basic problem is one of time and temperature. It only takes two hours to braise an entire bird and you cannot let it overcook else the juice literally gets squeezed from the meat (which I suspect is the reason behind your previous failures).

skittle January 31, 2013
Thanks for your replies! I'm having a guest who only likes chicken that's all I'll be using. And perhaps the reason that my chicken has always turned out so dry is because of the crock pot itself. While some swear by it...I've never had success with chicken. I guess I just wanted to be one of the "cool kids". ;)
bugbitten January 31, 2013
Skittle, Use the pan to get the breasts to about an even size by banging down on them. Once they are even in thickness, dust them with an even coat of flour. Fry them up and then take them out of the pan. Let the pan cool a bit then rewarm your sauce in the pan to make a fine meal. Period, and cool, kid.
pierino January 31, 2013
I will just say this now, a slow cooker is the worst possible apparatus for cooking chicken. Period. A big mass of meat is fine but chicken, no. The slow cooker, aka "crockpot" is not the universal tool. I certainly wouldn't want to cook a live crab in one. Braising chicken requires your attention. You can't just dump it in and walk away.
ChefJune January 31, 2013
pierino speaks the truth. Listen to him.
bugbitten January 31, 2013
Diana B. January 31, 2013
I don't know if this would apply in a crockpot, but I saw (on some cooking show or other) a stove-top braise in which the chicken breasts were placed on top of the darker meat to elevate it a bit above the darker meat so it didn't overcook. Might be worth a try.
bugbitten January 31, 2013
Sounds like an interesting sauce. Since you'll be braising the chicken pieces in the sauce in a crock pot, probably dark meat pieces will turn out better than breast meat. Try thighs with the bone in after you've trimmed off most of the fat, for instance. If you don't care for dark meat, sauté the breasts in a pan, and then clean the pan by making your sauce in it as the breasts rest. It's a pretty quick method, and everyone gets to see you at work at it.
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