Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken

Hello lovely,

Welcome to what was supposed to be the first recipe of the year! I kept pushing this back because of time and forgetfulness, but we’re finally here! I honestly couldn't wait to use my new slow cooker. I looked through Pinterest for the perfect recipe (because, duh, I don't know how to cook in one yet). I don't know why I put so much pressure on picking the perfect recipe just because it would be the first. What I really needed was convenient and cost effective. So when I found this recipe on Kitchen, I knew this would be the one to tackle. It even came with helpful tips on choosing the right part of the chicken and how long the recipe keeps in the fridge.

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Go Thighs for the Slow Cooker

Chicken thighs are the right choice for this take on takeout because their meaty flavor isn't overshadowed by the rich teriyaki sauce and they are more forgiving than chicken breasts, consistently remaining juicy after a couple of hours in the slow cooker. That said, if you've only got chicken breasts on hand, you can substitute them with no change in prep or cook time.

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Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger

  • 1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

For serving: Cooked rice, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, sliced scallions

Instructions

Arrange the chicken in a single layer in the bottom of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Scatter the onion and garlic over the top. Whisk the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, pepper, and ginger together in a small bowl and pour over the chicken.

Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 2 to 3 hours or on the HIGH setting for 1 to 2 hours. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest piece registers 165°F.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Once the sauce has reduced, whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Return the chicken to the slow cooker and pour in enough sauce to coat the chicken. Reserve any remaining sauce for leftovers. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and scallions.

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Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftover chicken and sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Make ahead: The chicken and sauce can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. Warm in a saucepan over medium-low heat or in the microwave before serving.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH & BACON STUFFED SHELLS

Hello Lovely,

Let me start this post by saying, I really hate making stuffed shells. They are by far one of the most tedious recipes I can think of. Having to cradle al dente pasta shells, while stuffing them without tearing them is just not my idea of fun. That’s why there’s only one other stuffed shell recipe on this blog. I made this recipe about two weeks ago during the week for lunch. The original calls for sausage, but I had more bacon and wanted to quickly use it before it went bad in the fridge. This recipe has a lot of steps so I would recommend saving it for a Sunday dinner.

Despite the hassle, it’s very delicious and filling. Other than the carbs in the pasta, it’s still a relatively healthy dish that is sure to give everyone perfect Autumn feelings.

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH & BACON STUFFED SHELLS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • ¾ cup milk

  • ¾ cup vegetable broth

  • 1 pound bacon

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 pound jumbo shells, cooked al dente

  • 15 ounces ricotta

  • 1 egg

  • ¼ cup parmesan, shredded

  • Additional parmesan, shredded

  • Olive oil

  • Salt & pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Arrange onion and butternut squash in an even layer on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast for 40 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, cook bacon over medium heat. When bacon is mostly browned, add spinach and garlic. Cook until spinach is wilted and remove from heat.

  4. Place roasted butternut squash and onion in a food processor.

  5. Pulse until a smooth puree forms. Allow to cool. Stir in milk and vegetable broth. Pour butternut squash sauce into base of a 9x13 baking dish.

  6. In a large mixing bowl, stir together ricotta, parmesan, and egg. Add bacon and spinach into ricotta and stir until evenly distributed.

  7. Fill cooked pasta shells with 3-4 tablespoons of filling. Arrange shells in butternut squash sauce in the 9x13 baking dish.

  8. Bake for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil followed by 15 minutes uncovered. Top with additional parmesan.

Apple, Feta Cheese & Pecan-Stuffed Pork Chops

Hello Lovely,

I found this recipe on ALDI’s and I immediately wanted to try it. With Thanksgiving coming up, this is the perfect alternative for those like me who do not have time to roast an entire turkey (or whatever it is you guys do). After making stuffed chicken breasts, I was confident that I could do this too! Has that ever happened to you? In my mind, I was wearing a cape and everything! But I had one major problem: I had never seen pork chops thick enough to stuff before.

I went to the store (still confident) to look for pork chop centers (which my mum told me would be the thickets part). When we could find any thick cuts, we went to the butcher who unapologetically told us that’s the thickest he cuts them and there are no more pieces to cut from. I didn’t know how I would make it. When I took them out Sunday morning to cook, I instantly knew they were to thin so I got the idea to simply put my stuffing on top. And trust me, it was just as good!

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But I did make one boo boo. Don’t judge me: I forgot to season it! I know, how could I? We were rushing out of the house so I quickly threw it together then into the oven when mum asked if I seasoned it. It was too late as it had already been baking for 20 minutes. But when I went to eat it, all I had to do was sprinkle a little lemon pepper and balsamic vinaigrette and that little mistake made for the best meat dish I have EVER prepared! Can anyone say, GOAT?

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Apple, Feta Cheese & Pecan-Stuffed Pork Chops

Ingredients:

  • 6 center cut pork chops

  • 6 cups water, divided

  • ½ lemon, juiced

  • ¼ cup Honey or maple syrup

  • ¾ teaspoon iodized Salt, divided, plus additional to taste

  • 1 cup  Chopped Pecans

  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

  • 4 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced

  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette

  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper, plus additional to taste

  • 6 ounces or Feta cheese crumbled

  • 2 tablespoons lemon pepper

  • 5 tablespoons cranberry sauce

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot, bring 4 cups water, lemon juice, honey (or maple syrup) and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil for 2 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat, add 2 cups cold water. Pour the brine into a plastic container large enough for the chops. Add the chops, brine overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Place pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

  4. For the stuffing: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apple slices, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Sauté until tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add the chopped pecans and goat cheese.

  5. Remove the chops from the brine.

  6. If your pork chops are thick enough Slit each chop horizontally to create a large hole for the stuffing. Spoon the stuffing into the chops. Season each chop with salt and pepper and lemon pepper to taste. Then top with cranberry sauce (1 tablespoon per pork chop).

  7. Place chops on a baking pan and bake for 20-30 minutes until internal temperature is 155-160°. Top with balsamic vinaigrette before serving and enjoy!

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