Chicken/ Hearty Dinners

Slow Cooker Chicken and Chorizo

October 4, 2020 by Chris Collins

This slow cooker chicken and chorizo is absolutely loaded with flavour! It’s rich, hearty, and delicious comfort food that’s perfect for a no-fuss dinner.

black serving spoon digging into slow cooker of chicken and chorizo

The ULTIMATE Chicken and Chorizo Recipe

The great thing about a slow cooker recipe is the fact you can just flick it on and leave it to do its magic. However, if I’m leaving something to cook for up to 8 hours it best be darn flavoursome when it comes out the other end. That’s something I was conscious of when working on this recipe.

One of the very first things you can do to work in extra flavour to this dish is fry the chicken before placing in the slow cooker. By doing this you build a nice golden crust on the chicken where the meat caramelizes on the hot pan. This is bonus flavour you simply won’t get by plonking the raw chicken straight into the slow cooker. Same with the onions and peppers, I fry them over high heat to char them slightly, just to add a gentle smoky flavour.

Do you need to cook chicken before putting it in a slow cooker?

Short answer – no. There’s little difference in texture between frying and not frying, but there is a difference in flavour, so it’s definitely something I recommend doing if you’ve got the time. If you’re throwing the chicken straight in the slow cooker I recommend trimming any fat beforehand as you won’t have a chance to render this down in the pan.

Best cut of chicken to use?

Chicken thighs work best as they tend to be more flavoursome than breast. You can use boneless or bone in, but in both cases you’ll want to remove the skin.

Process shots: heavily season thighs and add to pan over high heat with oil (photo 1), flip when golden then place in slow cooker (photo 2), add peppers and onion to pan (photo 3), stir in garlic then place in slow cooker (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to pan fry chicken and veg

Slow Cooker Chicken and Chorizo

Frying the chicken, onions and peppers is the only pre-cooking you’ll need to do, it’s smooth-sailing from here out, promise 🤣

Once you pop in all the ingredients you want to add chicken stock and chopped tomatoes – both of these will help create the sauce. At the start it may seem like there isn’t enough liquid, but as the stew cooks it squeezes all the moisture from the veg which help create the sauce.

How long do I need to slow cook for?

I’ve tried this recipe on both low and high settings and the difference is negligible. I find best results come when cooked on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8hours.

Can you overcook in a slow cooker?

You can, so I don’t recommend going too much over those timings (more leeway on low settings, going over an hour or so won’t hurt). You’ll notice the top of the stew start to dry up and the edges of the sauce start to burn if you slow cook for too long.

Process shots: add everything into a slow cooker (photo 1), give it a good mix (photo 2), pop lid on and slow cook (photo 3).

3 step by step photos showing how to slow cook chicken and chorizo

Serving Chicken and Chorizo

When it comes to serving this dish I usually serve individual portions with buttered bread, but it’s hearty enough to serve by itself. If you want to bulk out the meal more you could serve with rice or mash. If you want to add a little ‘something something’ then crumbled feta and finely diced fresh parsley goes nicely on top.

If you’re looking for another delicious chicken and chorizo recipe check out my Chicken and Chorizo Pasta!

If you’re looking for more similar recipes check out these beauties too:

Delicious Hearty Dinner Recipes

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this slow cooker chicken chorizo shall we?!

close up shot of chicken and chorizo in large white bowl served with two slices of buttered bread

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How to make Slow Cooker Chicken and Chorizo (Full Recipe & Video)

black serving spoon digging into slow cooker of chicken and chorizo

Slow Cooker Chicken and Chorizo

This slow cooker chicken and chorizo is absolutely loaded with flavour! It's rich, hearty, and delicious comfort food that's perfect for a no-fuss dinner.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 4
Calories: 653kcal
Cost per serving: £3 / $4

Equipment:

  • Slow Cooker
  • Large Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Tongs
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Serving Spoon

Ingredients (check list):

  • 4 Skinless Chicken Thighs, boneless or bone-in
  • 7oz / 200g Chorizo, diced into bite sized chunks
  • 1 cup / 240ml Chicken Stock
  • 1x 14oz/400g can of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1x 14oz/400g can of Butter Beans, drained (can sub Cannellini or other large bean)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup of Mixed Olives
  • 8 Sun Dried Tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Peppers, cored & diced into large chunks
  • 2 small Red Onions, peeled & quartered
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Honey (can sub sugar)
  • 1 sprig of Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • splash of Vegetable Oil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • Chicken: Generously season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of oil to a pan over high heat and add chicken. Fry both sides until nice and golden then place into the slow cooker. No need to cook them right through, this step is just to render down the fat and build extra flavour in the crust.
  • Fry Veg: Place pan back on high heat and add onions and peppers to the leftover fat. Fry for a couple of minutes until they begin to char, then add in garlic and fry for another 1-2mins longer. Scrape everything into the slow cooker.
  • Slow Cooker: Into the slow cooker add in chorizo, beans, olives, sun dried tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, smoked paprika, cumin, honey, rosemary, bay leaf and a pinch of salt and pepper. Give it all a good mix then place on the lid and slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8hours.
  • Serve: Take off the lid and keep on warm or low for 10-15mins, just to let the steam escape and allow the liquid to thicken/reduce slightly. Serve up and enjoy! (suggestions in notes below)

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Serving Suggestions - I usually serve this as it is with some buttered bread on the side. It also works nicely with rice or mashed potato. The beans do bulk it out nicely though so you won't need much of either. Another nice way to serve this is with some crumbled feta and or finely diced fresh parsley! 
b) Chicken - Chicken thigh works best here because it's generally more flavoursome than thigh. You can also fry it on high heat to get a really nice crust without it drying through the centre. Bone in or out won't make a huge difference, but just ensure you take the skin off. Slow cooker chicken skin doesn't have an appealing texture (in my opinion!)
c) Do I have to fry the chicken/onions/peppers beforehand? - If you're short on time you can skip this, you'll just miss out of a bit of bonus flavour from the caramelization in the pan. If you're throwing the chicken straight in the slow cooker I recommend trimming any fat beforehand.
d) Calories - assuming the whole thing is shared between 4 people using 2 tsp veg oil to fry, 3/4 cup olives and no sides/toppings.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Chicken and Chorizo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 653 Calories from Fat 299
% Daily Value*
Fat 33.26g51%
Saturated Fat 11.688g58%
Trans Fat 0.039g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.179g
Monounsaturated Fat 14.435g
Cholesterol 225mg75%
Sodium 1209mg50%
Potassium 1335mg38%
Carbohydrates 30.79g10%
Fiber 7.7g31%
Sugar 10.46g12%
Protein 57.96g116%
Vitamin A 1352IU27%
Vitamin C 67.7mg82%
Calcium 126mg13%
Iron 6.11mg34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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