Monday, February 16, 2015

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

Photo by Something Quite Domestic
One of my Facebook friends posted a new recipe and raved about it. I'm always on the hunt for a tasty crockpot dinner that used fresh ingredients and not just a bunch of canned everything. I also love using my slow cooker because it saves time and makes effortless dinners, which I need 99.9% of the time.

The one thing I don't love about slow cookers is that the food looks so boring after cooking. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind if awesome tasting food looks a little ugly, but sometimes it just needs to be dressed up a little. I don't love a bunch of brown matter slopped on top of carbohydrates. I like slicing the chicken the first and then serving it on top of the sauce. Make sure to garnish with green onions or other green herbs to give it some color (cilantro would taste awesome, too.). If I would've thought about it I would have layered it this way: rice, then sauce, then purple cabbage, then chicken, then green onions and sesame seeds.

This is the original recipe and I adapted it slightly. I found that after cooking, some of the flavors were meshed together a little too much, so I brightened them up a bit by adding some lemongrass and more fresh ginger right before serving. I also love using Ultra Set (modified corn starch like Clear Jel, but the liquid doesn't have to be hot to thicken) because it doesn't go watery when it cools or when you reheat leftovers. And who doesn't love leftovers? Ok, well if you are one of those "I'm-too-cool-for-leftovers" people, then I'm not sure we can be friends. Kidding. Ok, maybe I'm not. No, but really, I love leftovers and you could make a lot of fun things with the leftover chicken. You could make chicken sandwiches with slaw, Asian chicken salad, teriyaki won tons, lettuce wraps, etc., so you want to thicken it with something that won't break down during heating and cooling and I find regular corn starch just doesn't work as well. Seriously, can you tell that I love Ultra Set? I bought it at my local kitchen supply place (Kitchen Kneads) and I know you can buy Clear Jel online, but you'll just have to make sure your liquid is hot when thickening. I also love using Ultra Set for homemade canned pie fillings, but that will be for another post.

So here's what you'll need:
-4 large chicken breasts (about 2 lbs.)
-3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
-1/2 c. white onion, chopped
-1/2 c. honey
-1/4 c. brown sugar
-2/3 c. soy sauce
-1/2 c. rice wine vinegar
-1/4 tsp. black pepper
-2 TBS freshly grated ginger (do not use powdered)
-1/4-1/3 c. Ultra Set or Clear Jel

To add right before thickening and serving:
-1/2 TBS freshly grated ginger
-2 TBS brown sugar
-2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS rice wine vinegar
-optional: 1-2 tsp. lemongrass

-Green onions
-Sesame seeds (black and white mixed would look awesome)

1. Place chicken breasts in the bottom of crock pot. Whisk garlic, onion, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper and ginger together. Pour over chicken. Cover crockpot.

2. Cook on high for 4 hours, or until chicken pulls apart easily. If you have the time and are home, cook on high for 2 hours and then turn down to warm for 4-5 hours. The "low and slow" method makes the chicken extra juicy and help prevent dry chicken.

3. Remove chicken from crockpot using a slotted spoon. Stir in the extra ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce and vinegar. Add lemongrass, if desired, for an extra layer of flavor. Stir in Ultra Set.

4. Serve with sticky rice and a side of steamed veggies. Slice or shred chicken. Top rice with teriyaki sauce. Place sliced chicken on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions. Or you can shred chicken, combine with sauce and then top over rice.

Photo by Something Quite Domestic

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It's one that has been added to our regular rotation. Here's the printable recipe. 

Happy Cooking!

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