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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

A note before we begin:  I'm posting this without pictures for the time being. My computer still will not read my memory card. Since Aaron is already asleep I can't ask him to e-mail me the photographs. I promise to edit the post to include pictures as soon as possible, but for now this is the only photo I have of our meal and it's not the best quality. My apologies.

It seems I've been branching out a bit with my cooking. I've been cooking large beef roasts, whole pork shoulders, and bone-in chicken more often. I even made Pioneer Woman's chicken and noodles with a whole chicken. That was a bit scary for me since I generally stick with boneless chicken breasts or chicken tenders and it was my first time cutting up a whole chicken.

I had noticed that the bone-in, split chicken breasts at the grocery store go on sale for $0.99/lb. I know that includes the weight of the bones and the skin, but that's half what I give for boneless chicken breast on sale. Plus, the bones are where the flavor is, trust me.

This recipe is from Pinterest. I chose it because it seemed to be something Aaron would like. I served it with steamed vegetables and brown rice tonight, but the chicken itself is just chicken. There aren't any vegetables or unusual flavors with it. I thought if nothing else, Aaron could have chicken, macaroni and cheese, and bread.

I was pleasantly surprised with the texture of the chicken as well as the sauce. Usually when I use the crock pot the chicken winds up dry and overcooked and the sauce is too thin to coat the chicken. This time the chicken was perfectly cooked. It practically fell apart when I started shredding it. The sauce is thickened with a cornstarch slurry on the stove turning it into a glossy glaze.

The low sodium soy sauce is a must. Soy sauce is unbelievably salty, especially when the sauce is reduced. The blackberry and honey keep the flavors balanced without overpowering sweetness. This is delicious. I mean, really, try it this week if you can.

Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

Source: Just a Taste

3 large bone-in, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup blackberry jam (I used seedless preserves)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I thought it could use more but I like spicy)
1/2 cup onion, diced (optional)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp water
sliced green onions and sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Layer the chicken as evenly as possible in the bottom of your crock pot. I have a tall, narrow crock pot so this was difficult for me.

In a medium bowl (or a 4-cup liquid measuring cup) combine the honey, soy sauce, blackberry jam, hoisin sauce, olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and onion. Stir with a fork until combined and there are no large chunks of blackberry jam.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Once the chicken is cooked through transfer the chicken to a large bowl and shred the meat with two forks. Discard the bones.

Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and water and stir with a fork. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

Pour about half of the sauce over the shredded chicken and stir to coat.

Serve with rice and vegetables. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds if desired. You can drizzle some of the sauce over the chicken and vegetables before serving also.

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