Slow-Cooker Chicken Thighs
Winner winner, chicken dinner!
And a slow-cooker one, to boot!
In all transparency here, I have to tell you I usually don’t do the ‘precook before adding to slow-cooker’ thing. I have always felt it defeated the purpose.
But that being said, I’ve also always kind of thought many slow-cooker recipes tend to be bland or all one-noted.
So when I mistakenly took out and defrosted chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts last week, I researched thigh recipes. Side note- label your frozen items so you don’t do what I did.......I should have known everything in the deep freeze turns into identical replicas of each other! :0
Anywho, I found this recipe and loved the flavors it included. Honey, soy, ketchup, some garlic......mmmMMMMmmmm. And it was the type that didn’t sear first- even better!
But then I thought to myself, why not give that extra cooking step a twirl? I had a few extra minutes that day so I passed on doing extra laundry and got to precooking. Priorities, people, priorities!
And now I’m a believer in that extra step, 100%. The chicken, the sauce, the entire damn thing- it was a.may.zing. The original recipe has the cornstarch step as optional, but I wrote it in as a must. The thick and rich sauce was almost the whole reason why I ate 3 bowls of this dinner. The chicken, ever so moist and fall apart tender, took responsibility for my other devouring. :)
So there it is, friends. A delicious and comforting meal that taught even the teacher (!) a few things or so. Enjoy....
Slow-Cooker Chicken Thighs
Slightly adapted from: Food Network
6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/3 C honey
1/3 C ketchup
1/3 C low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
One, 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 C chopped carrots, 1/2 inch rounds preferably
2 TBS cornstarch
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Cooked white or brown rice for serving
Roasted cashews, optional- for topping
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown the thighs on each side. About 4 minutes each side.
Place seared chicken thighs in 6-quart slow cooker.
In a bowl, whisk together the honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic and ginger.
Pour this mixture over chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. *** after 3 or 4 hours- quickly open the slow-cooker, add carrots and push them down into sauce, recover and complete cooking.***
After 5 or 6 hours, remove chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Turn the slow-cooker to high.
Stir the cornstarch and 2 TBS cold water until to resembles heavy cream. Add more water or cornstarch accordingly if needed.
Pour this mixture into the slow-cooker and stir. Cover and cook until the sauce is thick and bubbling, about 30 minutes. (Mixture must come to a boil to activate and thicken the sauce)
Return the chicken to the slow-cooker, let it heat through for about 5 minutes, serve over rice. Top with sesame seeds and cashews (if using).