Slow Cooker Soy-Braised Chicken

I found this recipe on one of the cooking blogs I check daily – it is a great resource – The Perfect Pantry – you should check it out, you can look up almost any pantry ingredient, common or exotic, and find information and recipes from a professional food writer.

I omitted a few things and changed it to suit my on-hand ingredients, but it is essentially the same recipe!  I also added chick peas – I didn’t have quite as much chicken as called for, and I was using a 6 quart cooker, not a 3 quart – it didn’t look like there was enough food in that big pot, so in went the chick peas!

Slow Cooker Soy-Braised Chicken
2/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock (I use Swanson 99% fat-free)
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce (this and the bean paste are optional, added because they’ve been hanging around my fridge for a while)
2 teaspoons black bean garlic paste
10 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 small onions, peeled and quartered
2 tsp brown sugar
1-2 inches ginger root, peeled
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1 small dried thai red chile pepper
1-1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch, dissolved in 2 Tbsp water
pic 002Process the ginger, garlic, and onion in a small processor, or mince/grate finely.  Mix soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, sugar, ginger, chili pepper and zest together.  I used a peeler to make large peels of the outer layer of orange skin, because my orange was to old and shrively to zest well.  I will remove these large pieces later.  Combine with thighs and marinate til ready to use (I did overnight).

Optional:  Dump the marinade into the crock pot, remove chicken thighs to a plate.  Brown chicken thighs in sesame oil in a medium skillet in batches if necessary.

Optional browning of chicken thighs.  I just really like browned meat.
Optional browning of chicken thighs. I just really like browned meat.

Remove thighs and put in cooker, then pour the 2/3 cup chicken broth into skillet to remove any bits at the bottom of the pan – add broth to cooker.  Add chick peas to cooker.
pic 002If you don’t want to bother with browning, simply add the chicken, chick peas, marinade and chicken stock to the cooker.

Add chile pepper to the cooker then cook on low for 5 hours, til tender (2 1/2 or so on high).

Assembled dish, ready to simmer on low for 5 hours.
Assembled dish, ready to simmer on low for 5 hours.

After the chicken is tender, stir in dissolved arrowroot and and continue to cook until sauce is thickened – 30-45 minutes, or you can add the arrowroot earlier.

Serve chicken with rice and vegetables, or your desired sides, pouring some sauce over the chicken to coat.  I’m planning on serving them with couscous, lentils and vegetables.
picResult:  This was very good and very filling – the chicken fell apart, and the sauce was really nice, quite thick – it definitely doesn’t look as pretty as the version on The Perfect Pantry but it tasted great!  I served it with whole wheat couscous, lentils, carrots, parsnips and celery.

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