Crockpot Chicken Gets a Spicy Vibe With Dry Rub

Chicken with spicy dry rub

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  • Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings

This crockpot chicken uses a dry rub rather than a liquid barbecue sauce. Unlike many crockpot chicken recipes, which produce a pale result, this one results in chicken drumsticks and thighs with a gorgeous browned finish, perfect for these less expensive cuts.

Designed for the new Versaware™ Crock-Pot®, you can still use your old slow cooker. Simply brown the chicken on the stovetop before adding to the crock pot.


  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 3 chicken drumsticks

Steps to Make It

  1. Whisk together paprika, thyme, sage, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, and lemon pepper to make the dry rub.

  2. Sprinkle the dry rub evenly over both sides of the chicken thighs and legs. Pat gently to make the dry rub adhere to the meat.

  3. Remove the 6-quart heat-proof stone crock from the Versaware™ Crock-Pot® base, and rub or spray with vegetable oil. Do not use this method with a standard slow cooker. If you are using a regular slow cooker, brown the chicken in a standard heavy skillet before placing in the slow cooker.

  4. Place the chicken legs and thighs into the crock, skin-side down. Place the crock on the metal rack for use on a cold glass-top stove. Turn the heat to low, then increase to medium heat, and cook until the bottom of the chicken is browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

  5. Turn the chicken pieces, and brown an additional 5 minutes.

  6. Return the slow cooker to the base.

  7. Cover with the lid and set to "High."

  8. Cook for 2 hours or alternatively, cook on the "Low" setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Menu Suggestions

If it's a cooler season, this riff on barbecued chicken pairs well with hot German potato salad and steamed green beans. French fries are tasty with it all year long, and, in the summertime, serve potato salad, pasta salad or cole slaw for a classic menu. Homegrown tomatoes and cucumber salad in vinaigrette round out the meal. For dessert, stay with American classics like apple pie, chocolate cake, cheesecake, or ice cream. For adult beverages, beer is best with this faux backyard-grilled chicken. Think amber-brown lagers, bieres de garde, or ​helles lagers. All will set off the chicken to a "T."

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