Lunar New Year, which starts Friday, is a big event in my house this year. My father is celebrating the holiday in Vietnam. My younger daughter's teacher just moved to Hong Kong for the semester. And I'm organizing a New Year celebration for her preschool class.
I've never been very successful at making Asian foods in the past. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the heat of the pan that I'm stir frying items in or not having all of the ingredients I really need to make it just right.
So, Asian food purists, bear with me. This recipe is not authentic Chinese food. But it does serve up a quick and easy main dish that sort of resembles the same dish you'd order from your corner Chinese restaurant.
For this recipe, I searched around the Internet for slow cooker version of this sweet, slightly spicy dish. I came up with my own variation based on the items that I had and my family's tastes. I served it up with rice and steamed broccoli. It was enough for two dinners for my family of two adults and two young kids and a lunch for my husband.
This is different from most slow cooker recipes that I'm used to. Instead of cooking for 8 hours, the cook time is just 3.5 hours. But I found it turned out delicious, moist chicken.
Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken
1.5 to 2 pounds thawed, boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
one small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
4 teaspoons cornstarch mixed in six tablespoons of water
Put the whole chicken breasts in your slow cooker. Mix together the next eight ingredients together in a small bowl and pour on top of the chicken. Cook on low for 3.5 hours. At some point, toast your sesame seeds by putting them in a pan over medium heat. Gently toss them until they get darker and fragrant.
Once the 3.5 hours is up, take the chicken out of the slow cooker and shred. Pour the sauce from the slow cooker into a sauce pan. Mix in the cornstarch with water and stir until thickened over medium heat. Put the chicken in the sauce and mix around. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and serve over rice.
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