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.
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.
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
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.
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.