The only thing better than a slow cooker chicken dinner is one that's cooked on a bed of tender red potatoes, then tossed with a buttery lemon sauce that's punched up with briny capers. This piccata will win your heart not only for its bold layers of flavor, but also for how simple it is to pull together.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Piccata: Watch the Video
A Slow Cooker Meal for the Weekend
There are some set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker meals where we can go to sleep or dash out the door to work, and let it simmer away for upwards of eight to 10 hours. Chicken, though, doesn't care for quite so much time in the slow cooker. This meal comes together in about four hours, making it an especially good choice for weekend slow cooking. It's the kind of dinner I lean on when I don't want to turn on the stove or don't have the time to cook a hands-on meal, but want a meal that's comforting and nourishing.
A French Trick for a Thicker Sauce
The shining star of piccata is, of course, the signature briny sauce. The flavors blend and build during the hours in the slow cooker, but the sauce remains thin and soupy. To create the velvety sauce we expect from piccata, we're borrowing a French technique called beurre manie. It sounds fancy, but it's nothing more than equal parts flour and softened butter that's rubbed together. When whisked into the bubbling sauce and cooked, it creates a wonderfully thick and lush sauce.
Slow Cooker Chicken Piccata
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the chicken
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning the chicken
2 pounds small red potatoes, halved or quartered if larger
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 to 3 medium lemons)
1/4 cup capers, drained
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Liberally season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken on one side until browned, about 5 minutes.
Place the potatoes in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker, seared-side up. Pour in the broth, lemon juice, and capers.
Cover and cook on the LOW setting until the chicken is cooked through, tender, and registers an internal temperature of 165°F, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Meanwhile, use your fingers to rub the flour into the butter; set aside.
Transfer the chicken and potatoes to a serving dish. Pour the liquid and capers into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the butter mixture, whisking constantly until it's completely incorporated into the sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve over the chicken and potatoes, garnished with the parsley.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.