Friday, March 9, 2012

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

I have been looking for a great slow cooker orange chicken.  I saw a couple on pinterest, and I found the comments (on the actual blog post) to be very mixed.  People either loved it or hated it, it was too orangey, it was bitter, chicken was soggy, chicken was dry, etc.  So, I decided to google for a recipe.  I looked at probably 15-20 different sites and every single recipe was identical!  Interesting thing is, if a source was noted on any of the posts, they didn't match the others.  So, although the same recipe is out there, they don't lead back to one source.  So, I allowed that to be my inspiration and tried to create my own.  This is what we came up with.  We loved it.  My daughter, who doesn't like chicken, had 3 helpings!  I understand everyone has preferences, and I do love to hear feedback on my recipes, so even if you don't like it, it's okay.  Cooking is an Art right?  We can change things to our likings.

One reason we all love the crock pot is because we can basically turn it on in the morning and let it go all day.  I think that this recipe will NOT work that way.  It's just too long.  For me, I love having dinner set to go when the kids come home from school.  I want to hear about their day and be available to them without having to multi task and make dinner at the same time.  So, even though this isn't an all day slow cooker recipe, it was still very helpful for me because it gave me that time with the kids.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
canola oil
1/2 cup pineapple orange juice concentrate, thawed  (100% juice)
3 tbs ketchup
1/4 cup honey
2 tbs low sodium soy sauce
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1- 1 1/2  inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
1 onion, cut into chunks
2 celery stalks sliced
1 red bell pepper cut into chunks
1 green onion thinly sliced for garnishing

Mix the flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl.  Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture.

Heat oil in a fry pan.  Brown the chicken pieces, working in batches if necessary.  Don't crowd the pan.  The chicken does not need to be cooked through because it will be going in the crock pot.  Your pan should be very hot before you brown your chicken, then it will not stick and you will get a nice golden color with some crispiness.  Make sure you use canola oil, or another oil that can stand high temperatures, olive oil will not due here.

Once you brown all your chicken, place it in the slow cooker.

In a separate bowl combine the juice, ketchup, honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger.  Whisk to combine well.

Pour over the chicken add your vegetables* and stir.  Then set your crock pot on low for 2 1/2 hours

This recipe is definitely a little more prep than a typical set it and forget it recipe.  But it was well worth it  for me.  If you work, I would do this recipe on the stove top, it will go relatively quickly.

*I added my carrots, celery and onions right away, and my peppers a little later so they wouldn't be mushy.  Almost any veggies would work in this, or no veggies.
Also, if you like heat, I would definitely add some red pepper flakes.

Would love your feedback!

1 comment:

  1. This looks great! I am copying it and will try it soon. I am now egg and dairy free so looking for new recipes that I can make work. Thanks for sharing :)