You love your slow cooker and we love ours! It’s one of the most versatile tools in the kitchen, and will never fall out of favor, so we’re big fans of blogger Kelly Kwok’s new cookbook. While you may think of beef stews and other long braises when it comes to this device, consider slow cooker sweet and sour chicken, for example. Not every Asian dish is slow cooker-friendly, but the ones that are can certainly benefit from “set it and forget it!”
When I was younger, sweet and sour anything was one of my favorite flavors and anytime my mom made it, my brothers and I would rush to help set the table. Here, tender bite-sized chicken, sweet pineapple and crunchy bell peppers get a generous coating of the sweet and tangy sauce. This is a lighter version of the classic Cantonese dish but is just as delicious!
- 1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce (leave out if you can't find this)
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons cool water
- 1 cup pineapple, cut into bite-sized chunks (fresh or frozen)
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
- cooked rice, for serving
- sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
For the chicken
In a large zip-top bag, toss together 1 cup cornstarch and black pepper. Add the chicken to the bag and give it a little shake until well coated.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, and then transfer to the slow cooker.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, broth, sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and ginger and pour over the chicken. Cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours.
About 30 minutes prior to serving, whisk together the remaining cornstarch with water in a small bowl and stir into the slow cooker along with the pineapple and bell peppers. Turn the heat to high and allow the sauce to cook and thicken up for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Serve with cooked rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions, if desired.