Ever since Ken, a long-time reader of The Perfect Pantry, sent me a pile of Hawaiian cookbooks a couple of months ago, I've been having a wonderful time reading recipes and learning more about the island's multicultural cuisine. The book I reach for most often, Hurry Up and Wait: Hawaii's Favorite Recipes for the Pressure Cooker and the Slow Cooker, has yellow stickies on dozens of pages. When the oven is occupied with roasting and baking, both the slow cooker and the pressure cooker get pressed into service in my kitchen. I used my pressure cooker to make Hawaiian sweet potato salad, and the slow cooker to cook a batch of this chicken. If you like Korean barbecue, you'll love this dish, which mimics the spicy-salty barbecue flavor. I always have chicken breasts in the freezer, so I use those instead of thighs. The chicken is delicious hot, as the star of a rice bowl, but I think it's even better cold, sliced and served with crunchy munchy vegetables like crisp celery sticks, bell pepper strips, green beans or snap peas -- and that makes it perfect for take-to-work lunch.
Slow cooker Korean-style chicken
From the pantry, you'll need: chicken breasts, reduced-sodium soy sauce, dark soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, chili paste with garlic, fresh garlic, sesame seeds.
Adapted from Hurry Up and Wait: Hawaii's Favorite Recipes for the Pressure Cooker and the Slow Cooker. Serves 4-6.
3-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of visible fat (approximately 6 large chicken breasts)
1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 - 1 Tbsp chili paste with garlic (or sambal oelek)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water
Sliced scallions and sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
Line a 4-quart slow cooker with a liner bag, or spray with cooking spray.
Cut each chicken breast into three large pieces, and place all of the chicken in the slow cooker.
In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, chili paste and garlic. Pour the sauce over the chicken, and turn the chicken pieces to make sure each one is coated with the sauce.
Cook on LOW for 2-3/4 hours. Lift the lid and turn the chicken pieces, then continue cooking, covered, for 30 minutes more.
Remove the chicken from the pot. Turn the heat to HIGH, and when the sauce comes to a low boil, stir in the cornstarch mixture. Stir for one minute, until the sauce thickens slightly. If necessary, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl or pitcher. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled, garnished with scallions and sesame seeds.
More slow cooker chicken favorites:
Slow cooker tandoori pulled chicken
Slow cooker Middle Eastern garlic chicken
Slow cooker soy-braised chicken
Slow cooker chicken curry with sweet potatoes, tomato and raisins
Slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito bowl
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Soy sauce chicken, from Appetite for China
Chicken adobo (chicken cooked in soy sauce and vinegar), from Kalyn's Kitchen
Honey soy baked chicken thighs, from She Wears Many Hats
Hainan chicken and rice, from Viet World Kitchen
Taiwanese noodles with meat sauce, from Steamy Kitchen
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