October 4, 2008

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken

My friend Claire gave me some skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks that she was not going to use. Since I never turn down free ingredients, I wanted to find a new and easy way to use these items. Typically, I do not have the best luck with skin-on whole chicken legs/thighs (and neither does Claire, hence my acquisition of these babies). I did not want to try the usual grilling method, but I still wanted something easy. I did a quick google search, and this recipe was the first one that caught my eye. It seems easy enough, and I have all the ingredients. As a bonus, it employs the use of my trusty slow cooker. I do not have the greatest luck with slow cooker chicken, but I hope this will be the exception. I will report my findings later to let you know how it all works out. I am excited because this is my first brand spanking new recipe in quite a while (since September 20th)!

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
6 chicken drumsticks with thighs attached (skinless recommended)

1. In the bottom of a 3 1/2-quart, or larger, slow cooker, place all of the ingredients except for the chicken, stirring well to mix.
2. Add chicken; stir to coat with the sauce.
3. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

Cooks Notes:
"I have only ever used leg and thigh quarters with the skin on, and it turns out just fine. The chicken comes out super tender. I usually serve this with some sort of vegetable and plain brown rice with some of the sauce spooned on it. It's also good with fried rice. Enjoy!"

Jen's Notes:
The original cook sounds like he or she knows what to do, so I am just going to follow what they advise. The recipe sounds super-easy and flavorful. We will see how this all comes together!!!!

The Result:
Despite my trepidation, this recipe turned out great. It was easy and very flavorful. The best part about it was that the chicken did not dry out! I even decided to remove the skin before cooking...and it still did not dry out. Granted, I cut the cook time down to 3 1/2 hours from the 5 hours that was suggested. However, that may not be the recipes fault. My slow cooker gets unusually hot, and always ends up cooking most recipes faster than the written recipe has indicated.

I was totally skeptical about how this was going taste, as the final result. As I was loading up the ingredients in the slow cooker (before I put in the chicken), I took a little taste of the sauce. Trust me....DON'T DO THAT. It was awful. My husband also took a taste and described it as tasting like, "SpaghettiO's with soy sauce mixed in them". Not good. I had a minor panic attack, and decided that I should have a Plan B. I stressed about it most of the afternoon, since Plan B. was either going to be hot dogs or eggs...not my idea of a fabulous dinner solution. About 1/2 hour before the cook time was over, I tasted the sauce again. Thankfully, it was yummy. Whew! During the magic process of cooking, the sauce morphed into something really good. Double whew! I served this meal with brown rice and steamed broccoli and I was very pleased with the result.

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