Cheap chinese chicken

We all have our go-to meals, the ones we make often because they are quick, easy and everyone likes them.

One of our family favourites is this tasty chinese-style chicken cooked in the slow cooker. The recipe comes from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufman, and is apparently based on a recipe from a chicken package wrapper.

I’ve tinkered with it a bit, using chinese rice wine in place of sherry or apple juice, and adding some ginger. It results in a deliciously moist chicken, with plenty of sauce. And because it’s a whole chicken it’s easily enough meat for a family.

Serve it with rice and some steamed vegetables for an effortless meal.

Chinese Chicken with Sesame Seeds

Adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufman

Serves 4-6

1 free-range chicken, about 1.5-1.8kg
3-4 spring onions
1/3 c soy sauce
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c water
1/4 c shao xing wine (chinese cooking wine)
1 Tbs tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cm piece of ginger, grated
2 Tbs cornflour
2 Tbs water
2 Tbs sesame seeds, toasted in dry skillet until golden

Rinse chicken and trim off any lumps of fat. Place breast up in a large oval slow cooker.

Trim two of the spring onions and halve lengthwise. Place on top of the chicken.

Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, shao xing wine, tomato sauce, garlic and ginger and pour over the chicken. Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 3.5-4.5 hours until the chicken has cooked through. A thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 85C/180F and the juices should run clear.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and keep warm. Remove spring onions from sauce. Combine the water and the cornflour to make a slurry and stir into the sauce. Cook on high, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens.

Spoon sauce over chicken and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped spring onions.

Notes:

1. For extra flavour, add 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes to the soy sauce mixture.

2. The skin won’t go crispy, it will stay soft, similar to a poached chicken.

3. The chicken can be cut up, chinese style, or the meat pulled off the bone and served on the rice.

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