Perfect Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts

Cookbook author Sarah DiGregorio slowly simmers chicken breasts in seasoned olive oil until they’re wonderfully juicy and flavorful. She uses that delicious oil to make a silky aioli, which gets served alongside the chicken. This duo makes for a spectacular light meal with a salad, but could also be turned into a perfect sandwich. Slideshow: More Slow Cooker Recipes 

Perfect Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts
Photo: © Abby Hocking
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins


  • 1/4 cup fine salt

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 lemon, scrubbed and quartered, plus 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Four 7-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 3 cups extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 1 rosemary sprig

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • Crusty bread and green salad, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, whisk 5 cups of cold water with the fine salt and sugar until dissolved. Squeeze and add 2 of the lemon quarters to the bowl. Add the chicken, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a 6-quart slow cooker along with the garlic, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary sprigs, black peppercorns, 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and the remaining 2 lemon quarters. Cover and cook on low until the oil registers 200° on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour. (The oil can be kept in the slow cooker on low for up to 6 hours.)

  3. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry; transfer to a plate. Discard the brine. Using tongs, carefully lower the chicken into the warm oil. Cover and cook on low until the chicken registers 155° on an instant-read thermometer, about 40 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and garlic to a plate. Cover with foil and keep warm. Discard the lemon quarters and herbs. Using a ladle, transfer 1 cup of the infused oil to a measuring cup (do not use the peppercorns) and let cool until just warm, 15 minutes. Reserve the remaining oil for another use.

  4. In a blender, puree the egg yolks with the lemon juice, 1 of the cooked garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the machine on, gradually add the 1 cup of cooled oil until creamy, about 1 minute. Season with kosher salt.

  5. Slice the chicken and serve with the aioli, bread and salad.

Make Ahead

The chicken and aioli can be refrigerated overnight.

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