02 March 2009

teriyaki chicken

art of the slow cooker by andrew schloss -- this is hands-down my favorite slow cooking book i've come across. instead of chicken-and-stovetop meals, there's much more 'uptown' fare (can crock pot food be snooty?). some of the offerings are more involved, but there's also a super simple crock pot applesauce and a ricotta vanilla bread pudding that i need an excuse to try. it also has great reference sections -- and i'm a big believer in understanding the 'why' behind my ingredients so that i can tailor recipes to my family's tastes. this is one of my favorite recipes from the book. enjoy! 

slow -cooked teriyaki chicken
1 T vegetable oil
4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8), bone-in 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T finely grated gingerroot
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 T water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sherry or apple juice
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 T dark molasses
3 T honey
2 t cornstarch
1 t dark sesame oil
2 scallions, trimmed and cut into thin slices

heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. brown the chicken thighs in batches on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, then transfer to a 5 - 6 quart slow cooker. 

add the garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook over med-high heat until aromatic, about 30 seconds. add the 1/4 cup of water and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. add the soy sauce, sherry/apple juice, rice wine vinegar, molasses, and honey and stir to blend. pour over the chicken, cover the cooker, and cook on high for 2 -3 hours, until the chicken in cooked through. 

preheat the broiler to high; remove the chicken to a broiler tray and broil for 2 minutes on each side. while the chicken is broiling, pour the liquid from the cooker into a skillet. bring to a boil over med-high heat. dissolve the cornstarch in the 1 1/2 T of water, add to the sauce in the skillet, and stir until the sauce is lightly thickened, about 1 minute. arrange the chicken on a platter and spoon the sauce over top. drizzle with sesame oil, and sprinkle with the scallions. serve with sticky rice. 

**my notes: i used boneless thighs and the chicken was done in 2 hours. i highly suggest using thighs -- the meat was so tender and flavorful, and the fat melts right off. chicken breasts just don't cook as well in a slow cooker (but if you use breasts anyway, cut it into big strips; it should be done in 2 hours). throw in a big handful of matchstick carrots in the slow cooker with the chicken (for the last 30 - 45 minutes -- i like a tiny bit of crunch left). you could also toss in some broccoli for a more well balanced meal. you could try sprinkling with sesame seeds instead of the oil -- that might be nice. the author suggest chili oil if you like it spicy. and i didn't bother with the scallions -- it's really for presentation purposes and my kids would have picked them off anyways. 

btw, this is my dream slow cooker because i can braise on the stove top and then put it right into the cooker (plus tons of other features), but this is the one that i have and i love it. it's actually $39.99 in the store and i got it with a $10 off coupon. a total steal. 

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