Friday, December 30, 2016

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Last Year's Post: Hot and Sour Soup
Two years Ago:  Korean Seafood Pancakes

I had a love/hate relationship with my slow cooker for years.  I originally bought it thinking it would be great for cooking a meal during the work week, but then I realized that if you have an 8-5 job very few recipes call for cooking the 10-11 hours that you'll be gone.  So, it turned into more of a weekend or day-off type of meal prep when the recipe particularly benefits from low and slow cooking.

Boneless skinless chicken thighs are one of those things.  They're perfect for the slow cooker because they stay moist while they become fall-apart tender.  It's actually the only way I cook chicken thighs because they can turn tough and chewy when cooked faster at higher heat. No one likes chewy chicken.

This is a simple yet very flavorful recipe for teriyaki chicken.  You could even just buy a bottle of teriyaki sauce if you're really pressed for time, but the homemade sauce allows you to control sodium and vary the other ingredients according to your family's taste.  More garlic, anyone?  Tip of the day:  Trader Joes has excellent soy sauce that has one of the lowest sodium levels I've found.

Don't be tempted to substitute cooking sherry for the dry sherry because it tastes bad and it has sodium.  Salted wine?  No thanks.  Buy a bottle of dry sherry at the liquor store and keep it on hand - it tastes much better, it's not expensive and it keeps forever.

Kids love teriyaki, so this is a great family meal when paired with white or brown rice and some sauteed sugar snap peas.  Leftovers make an excellent lunch the next day - warm, cold, or in a sandwich with some sliced cucumbers.

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
Serves 4-6

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry sherry
3 cloves minced or grated garlic
Slice green onions, for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry and garlic together.

Place chicken in the slow cooker, cover with sauce.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5.  Serve with green onions and toasted sesame seeds on top.

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