Friday, January 13, 2017

Healthier Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

For quick weeknight dinners we eat a lot of Chinese food.

Stir frys that I make using beef or chicken and whatever vegetable I have on hand.  It's soooo much better than takeout and done in a flash.

But there are times when we go out to dinner and just crave a good Chinese meal.  MGG loves Orange Chicken.  To tell the truth I love it too, but tend not to eat it as much due to the large amount of sugar in the sauce.  So I set out to make a healthier version at home, using less sugar so that it isn't as calorie ridden, and using the "slow cooker"!!


Now I want to state that doing this on the stove only takes about 20 minutes.  So why use the slow cooker?  There are just some days that I am so busy that it is late when we eat, and I really don't want to stand over the stove and cook. 

Days where I work all day, I can through this in the slow cooker when I get home, wait for MGG to get home, then we're off to the gym.  When we are ready to eat after we get back and shower etc....a hot meal is ready for us.  I LOVE THAT!  Seriously, when I don't want to cook, he's lucky I don't just throw a salad his way and call it a day!

The slow cooker gives me an option to have a hot dinner when I really need it.  So cooking on high for 2 hours is perfect for me.  Or need be on low for 4 during the weekend when I'm running errands.

I used my favorite multi-purpose Breville Risotto Plus Maker.  I love it because it sautés, steams, slow cooks, and makes risotto...yum!  It really has been my go to slow cooker this past year and I can't recommend it enough.

So try this Healthier Slow Cooker Orange Chicken soon.  You'll love the flavor and won't miss the deep fried fat, nor the extra sugar.  I promise.


Kitchen Note:  If you have a slow cooker with a sauté option, use that to brown the cornstarched chicken instead of a separate skillet.

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

3 thin Cut Boneless Chicken Breasts, chopped into 1" pieces
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup reduced sugar orange marmalade
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a small bowl mix the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, marmalade, salt and pepper.

On a plate add the cornstarch and the chicken tossing to coat. Preheat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil to heat. Add the chicken and quickly brown all sides, about 4 minutes. (You don't need to cook the chicken, only brown it.)

Add the chicken to the slow cooker.  In a small bowl mix the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, marmalade, salt and pepper.

Add the mixture over the chicken.  Cook on low 4 hours or on high 2-3 hours.  Serve over hot cooked rice.

adapted from The Recipe Critic

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