December 23, 2009

Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken Thighs

I found this recipe on a blog I read called A Year of Slow Cooking, that also has a companion cookbook called Make It Fast,Cook It Slow. This blog is chock full of easy slow cooker recipes, which are both yummy and family-friendly. I was browsing through the "chicken" recipes on the site and found this one for chicken wings. Since I did not have chicken wings on hand, I decided to adapt it for chicken thighs. Basically, I took the ingredients listed in the recipe and put them in the crock pot (with a couple of additional items)(without measuring). I just used the recipe as a base guide and added what I had on hand. Since I am not sure the quantities I actually used, I think I will just link to the original recipe and then tell you what I did differently in my "notes". I think I am going to serve this meal with some rice and steamed Asian-style veggies. So far, this is bubbling away in my slow cooker and it smells fantastic!

Here is the original recipe:

Crock Pot Hoisin Chicken Wings

Jen's Notes:
I still used most of the original ingredients, but here is what I did differently:

I used 4 frozen chicken thighs, a pinch of Chinese 5 Spice Powder, ground ginger instead of fresh, a few glugs of soy sauce, a big drizzle of the honey, a few shakes of the sesame oil, some smashed garlic cloves, and a splash of water (I was afraid the sauce would burn and stick so I added a tiny bit of didn't). I had half a jar of hoisin sauce in the fridge that was a little "long in the tooth" so I just added it needed to be used up anyway. For the spicy element, I added maybe a 1/2 teaspoon of Sambal Oelek chili paste. I put my frozen chicken thighs in and piled the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker--in no specific order--and cooked them on high for 5 hours.

The Result:
Yum! This was both easy and satisfying. We all really like it! This was a solid choice for an Asian-inspired chicken dish that the whole family enjoyed. The flavors were not anything super-original, but it was darn tasty nonetheless. It was exactly what I wanted in an easy recipe. The chicken thighs worked out well, and were fall-off-the-bone tender. The sauce was flavorful, and I like the mixture of sweet and savory with the smallest bit of a kick from the chili paste. Again, yum!!!
The only negative aspect of the dish would be that the long cooking time really rendered the fat out of the chicken thighs and skin. This made the sauce really greasy on top, but I quickly remedied the problem by skimming the fat off of the sauce with a big spoon. Once that was done, the sauce was perfect for coating the rice, veggies, and chicken; without being too oily. Overall, this earned "thumbs-up" rating around my table!

No comments: