When you cook for large groups of people as often as I do, slow-cookers really do become your best friend. I swear. It’s like the greatest cooking tool ever invented.
My last visit to the slow cooker was to make last week’s amazing apple pulled pork. If you happened to miss that, seriously, go read it, and mark a day to make it. It’s the most popular post I’ve ever written, by a long shot!
This week, however, we’re paying homage to the other side of the world and tipping our hats to Asian cuisine, with a little bit of a twist. This requires almost no work at all, seriously, so there should be nothing keeping you from tackling this one!
Start by making your sauce right in the slow cooker itself. Dump in 1 cup teriyaki sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp thyme, and salt and pepper (about 1 tsp each). Use a whisk to combine it all (it may take a minute or two to fully break up the honey and dissolve the brown sugar).
Take 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut them up into bite size pieces. As you cut each breast, put the pieces right into the slow cooker.
Stir the chicken a little to ensure every piece is coated, put the lid on, set the slow cooker to low, and walk away for 4 hours.
After the time is up, the chicken should have darkened in color from absorbing the sauce. It should also be super tender and pretty much fall apart if you try to stab it with a fork. Use a slotted spoon to dish the chicken out, and then serve with fried rice (recipe below) or stir-fried veggies. (Tip, use the leftover sauce from the chicken to flavor your rice and/or veggies.)
I have done several variations of cooking with this honey-teriyaki concept and this is by far the one that is the least work, but they are all delicious! When it gets warmer out, I’ll post the grilled version – it still has an Asian flair but is definitely much more home-town barbecue-esque!
Depending on the size of the breasts you use (the ones I used were fairly large), this should feed about 5-6 people, bearing in mind that it’s meant to be combined with rice or vegetables to make a full meal.
Honey Teriyaki Slow Cooker Chicken
Yields: 5-6 Servings when served with rice or vegetables.
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1) Combine all ingredients except chicken in slow cooker; whisk to combine.
2) Add chicken to sauce in slow cooker. Put the lid on and cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through and darkened in color.
3) Remove chicken from slow-cooker with a slotted spoon and serve with fried rice or vegetables.
For those interested, here’s a quick process on how I do my fried rice:
Yield: 5-6 servings
2 cups uncooked rice
4 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 green, orange, or yellow pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
If you are NOT using the teriyaki sauce from the chicken above, also:
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup soy or teriyaki sauce, to taste
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1) In a large sauce pan, add the uncooked rice. Pour the water on top of the rice, add the olive oil and salt, and cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let simmer until all the water is absorbed. (15-20 minutes, typically.)
2) In a frying pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and then quickly saute diced peppers and onions (3-5 minutes). Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute, then push veggies to the side of the pan.
3) Crack eggs directly into the empty half of the pan and quickly move them around to pan-scramble them (1-2 minutes).
4) Once veggies and eggs are done, add them to the rice and stir to combine.
5) Add seasoning elements (either remaning teriyaki sauce from above, or sauce elements listed in this recipe). Stir to combine and then serve immediately.