Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Orange Chicken Slow Cooker

Orange Chicken Slow Cooker with Homemade Fried Rice

I don't know if you remember but I love to use my slow cooker. Especially when it's hot outside, or I've got a busy day, or even when it's cold outside. So pretty much anytime. Today is no exception. I have finals this week and so I'm trying to make my life pretty simple. That includes making things in the slow cooker for dinner. I have a hankerin'  (yes - I am Texan) for some orange chicken. Since we are saving every last penny for our trip to the beach next week, I can't very well go out and get some chinese take-out. So, my lucky stand by... check my favorite slow cooker websites such as crockpot365 to see if they've made any chinese food in their crock pots that will help me with my craving... She didn't let me down... She had made orange chicken in the slow cooker... Her's is gluten-free... mine can be made gluten-free. I followed her recipe pretty much to the "T" but I was making for three growing boys who are constantly hungry, so I doubled her recipe, then accidentally added some extra stuff... partly by accident. I was reading the wrong line, but I like it so it works. :) Here's my mishap delicious orange chicken. :)

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into pieces/chunks (bite size)
1 cup Bisquick mix (can use gluten-free Bisquick mix)
2 Tbsp olive oil (for browning chicken)
1 tsp kosher salt (course ground)
16 oz orange juice concentrate, thawed (I prefer no pulp, but I didn't have any)
6 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp chili sauce

Use 4 qt slow cooker for best results -

Dredge chicken pieces in baking mix - shake off excess. Throw away remaining flour. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on stove & brown chicken on all sides (you may need to do this in batches to evenly brown).  No need to fully cook, just enough to sear the flour and make it stick to the chicken for a nice coating.

Plop chicken pieces into slow cooker.

In a small mixing bowl, combine orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt,  chili sauce and ketchup. mix well, taste, if you need it a little sweeter add an extra Tbsp of brown sugar. For added heat add some extra chili sauce to taste.

Pour sauce over chicken and generously toss coat chicken with the orange mixture. Cook on high 3-4 hours 6-8 hours on low.

Serve with homemade fried rice, white rice, or brown rice.

I had Bryen (my eldest) try the sauce and he says it's better than take-out! Not a bad compliment if I do say so my self. It tastes pretty good. Waiting will be the hard part. But I'm excited about the prospects of chinese at home.

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