Friday, February 19, 2010

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

After making the Crockpot Brown Sugar Chicken recipe from over at A Year of Slow Cooking, it was where I went when I was looking for a new chicken crockpot recipe. I decided to try the Slow Cooker Orange Chicken Recipe and it was yummy! Head over there for her original post with pictures and all, but here's the basics with my comments.

I cooked up the chicken, mixed up the sauce & threw it all in the slowcooker in the early afternoon, but if you were going to be away from home all day and wanted to make this, I think you could easily cook up the chicken the night before (while doing other stuff since it doesn't take a whole lot of attention, but a fair amount of time, esp. if doing it in batches) and mix up the sauce, too. Refrigerate them separately overnight, then throw in the crockpot together in the morning on low.

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken, cut in 2-inch chunks (Since the taste is so covered up, I used the IQF kind in a bag & did the whole 3 lbs.)
1/2 cup flour (or more)
olive oil, for browning the chicken
kosher salt - she calls for 1 Tbl., but I found 1/2 tsp. plenty for us, maybe because if the IQF chicken.
6 ounces (1/2 can) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup

1. Dredge the chicken pieces with the flour, and shake off the excess. Toss the leftover, chicken-germy flour. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and brown the chicken on all sides. There is no need to fully cook it, just sear it enough for the flour to stick and get a nice coating. Doing more chicken, I ended up doing this is several batches. Since my girls don't much like things all mixed together, the last batch I cooked thoroughly & set aside for them to be plain.

2. Plop the chicken pieces into your slow cooker. In a small mixing bowl, combine the orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Pour sauce mixture evenly over the chicken, and toss gingerly to coat. I found her recipe as is to be enough for the 2 or 2 1/2 lbs of chicken pieces I put in with it.

3. She says to cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4, but I found that since I'd already mostly cooked the chicken, I don't think it would necessarily need that long. I think I did 3 hours on high because I threw it together in early afternoon.

Serve over white or brown rice or couscous. I microwaved a bag of Asian-style vegetables to go with it that the girls ate separately (sense a theme here?), but I stirred in with the chicken & sauce.

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