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Apple Balsamic Chicken

I just love the sweet and tart flavor that balsamic vinegar gives to this dish. It's easy to prepare and after cooking in the slow cooker, the chicken thighs are tender and flavorful. —Juli Snaer, Enid, Oklahoma
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 4 hours
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 pounds), skin removed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup apple cider or juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  • Place chicken in a 1-1/2-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the broth, cider, vinegar, lemon juice and seasonings; pour over meat. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.
  • Remove chicken; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add cooking liquid. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Serve with chicken.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Balsamic vinegar originates in Italy and is aged in wooden barrels.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 chicken thigh with 1/3 cup sauce: 277 calories, 15 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 103 mg cholesterol, 536 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate (4 g sugars, 0 fiber), 25 g protein.

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    • Monkeyshines1
      Jun 5, 2020

      Thank you Brandy, I do the same thing and feel the same way you do...

    • Brandy
      Aug 2, 2019

      I actually followed the exact recipe which is why I'm rating it. If I change even one thing in a recipe I don't review it because that's NOT the printed recipe. It's annoying when you see a recipe with all five stars but based on the reviews it doesn't even resemble the original recipe anymore. Ugh. Anyway on to this dish. As I said I followed the exact recipe and didn't add or change anything. I, personally, thought it was bland. All I could really taste was a slight bitterness from the balsamic vinegar and apple juice. There just didn't seem to be any outstanding flavors or one of those recipes I'd definitely make again. If I did happen to make it again I'd try to figure out what's missing and add it. Overall just really bland, but the chicken was tender and juicy. I'll give it that.

    • Tanya
      Jul 31, 2019

      The chicken came out very tender, so I pulled it off the bones. Then I piled it on some rice

    • Foodie
      Jan 24, 2019

      "Very similar to Sauerbraten," my German husband tells me. I liked it - convenient small meal cooked up nicely in my little mini 2 qt crockpot. I chose pasta for the side - elbows to grasp up sauce that's not sweet, but not quite tart either.

    • s_pants
      May 25, 2018

      Very simple and tasty; I usually have all ingredients on hand. To a 4 qt. slow cooker I added baby carrots and 3 medium cut up potatoes and 8 chicken thighs. I did not have enough balsamic vinegar so I used 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup apple juice in my double recipe. I also did not have enough thyme, so I substituted the remainder with basil. It was done by 4 1/2 hours which was good because at that point our power went out. I was therefore unable to thicken the liquid. But I really don't think it needed it.

    • AllisonO
      Feb 13, 2017

      Really flavorful and very simple! I used a maple-infused balsamic vinegar which added a touch of sweetness. If I only had regular balsamic vinegar, I think I would use more apple juice or maybe a touch of honey. I didn't have thyme so I used rosemary and it tasted great. I also cooked this on the stove top and it translated nicely--turned into a 30-minute meal. The next time I make it, I'll use boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

    • LPHJKitchen
      Jul 14, 2015

      Overall, this dish had a lot of flavor and was really good. The chicken was very tender but I was expecting a slightly sweeter sauce. Might add more apple juice next time. Also, I added some carrots, onions and chopped beets to the slow cooker and they were great also!

    • sjmdam
      Jun 26, 2015

      did not like this one as much as I do other recipes.

    • blue_eyes998
      May 28, 2015

      This was good! There is enough sauce to have rice, couscous, or pasta on the side.

    • grandmaabbott
      Mar 23, 2015

      I made this tonight and it was just so so. I used chicken breasts (boneless) and cooked it in the oven. I don't know if that would make that much difference, but I won't be making this again.