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Family-Style Dinner: Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

Being from an Italian family means there’s balsamic vinegar on the kitchen counter and the dining room table at all times. Whether I’m using it to dress a simple caprese salad or making a balsamic reduction to top my protein of the day, it probably gets the most use other than salt and pepper in my kitchen.

The thick, tangy vinegar seems to be popping up in recipes and kitchens more and more. I’ve seen balsamic chicken over and over again on Pinterest throughout the year. Whether it’s used as a taco filler, to top salads, or shredded and put on a slider bun, not a day goes by where I don’t see a variation of the dish.

If balsamic vinegar is on the ingredient list it couldn’t be bad, right? Right. The Test Kitchen developed our own recipe for balsamic chicken and talk about winner, winner chicken dinner.

The balsamic vinegar paired with honey, chives, and garlic leaves the chicken wildly flavorful (salty, sweet, and sour at the same time) while cooking it slowly gives the legs and thighs a moist, fall-off-the-bone texture you wouldn’t believe. And the red onions and sweet potatoes cook with the chicken in the slow cooker, enabling you to put a balanced meal on the table when it’s all said and done.

Serve balsamic chicken legs and thighs family-style. There’s plenty to go around and the full platter makes a statement in the middle of the table. And be sure to serve with crispiest, crunchiest baguette you can find – you won’t want any of that balsamic vinegar sauce to go to waste. Whether you are gathering around the table with the family during the week or having some of your closest friends over for a dinner party, slow cooker balsamic chicken is sure to have everyone at your table saying molto bene.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

Yield: Serves 6
Author: Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen


  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken legs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into eighths
  • 1 large red onion, quartered


  1. In a medium bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, honey, 1/4 cup chives, lemon juice and garlic. Set aside.
  2. In a large resealable plastic bag, add flour, salt and pepper. Seal bag and shake.
  3. Add half of the chicken pieces to the bag. Seal bag and shake until chicken are well coated. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  4. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the vegetable oil.
  5. Add a few chicken pieces to the skillet, cooking about 6 minutes, or until golden brown, turning once. Add chicken to crock.
  6. Place sweet potatoes and red onion over chicken. Pour balsamic vinegar mixture over chicken and vegetables in crock.
  7. Cook on HIGH for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or LOW for 6 to 7 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Remove lid and let cook an additional 30 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with remaining chopped chives before serving.

Program your slow cooker to automatically change temperatures during a cooking session with the FlexCook 6 Qt. Stay or Go® Programmable Slow Cooker.

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