Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

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My roommate and I often give into food cravings.  By often…I mean probably three times weekly. We’ve overcome the fear of going in public without makeup and in sweats for the sake of donut holes, drumstick cones and cake at midnight.  Food is wonderful.  There’s that quote about nothing tasting as good as skinny feels.  I seriously doubt that.  I’ve been quoted as saying “The cracks in my heart have been temporarily spackled with Lo-Lo’s.”  For those who don’t know, Lo-Lo’s is chicken and waffles. And Kool-Aid.  And horribly delicious.

A craving my roommate and I often get is for Chinese food.  We’ve tried a handful of places trying to discover the deliciously greasy, crunchy and spicy perfect orange chicken.  We have yet to find our go-to Chinese place so if you’ve got any places, give a girl a shout.  In the mean time, I try to recreate everything at home a little healthier and a little cheaper, in much larger portions—perfect for sharing!

I highly suggest that everyone invest in a slow cooker if you don’t have one already.  $20 and you can make chili, carnitas, roast beef and honey sesame chicken!

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Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

8 chicken thighs (you could use about 4 chickens breasts if you don’t like thighs)

salt, pepper, garlic powder

4 cloves minced garlic

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup ketchup

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tablespoon sriracha (or more. I definitely suggest more. I LOVE it spicy!)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1.  In a bowl mix onions, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper flake, sriracha and whisk together with a fork.

2.  Pat dry the chicken, season both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

3.  In a large nonstick pan, add sesame oil, garlic and chicken.  Sear skin side of chicken to render fat and brown the garlic. (You could skip this step if you’re using skinless, I just personally love the flavor and smell of browned garlic)

4.  Place in insert of your slow cooker.  Cover with sauce mixture.

5.  Cook on high for 2.5 hours or low for 4 hours, until fork tender.

6.  Remove chicken, shred into bite sized pieces.

7.  Mix water and cornstarch, add to sauce in slow cooker. Leave it on high for 5 minutes to thicken.

8.  Toss chicken and sesame seeds back into sauce, serve with rice and your choice of vegetables.

I definitely recommend using chicken thighs.  You’re not deep frying chunks of chicken and coating it with a greasy MSG-laden sauce like the Chinese restaurants do, so you can definitely afford to splurge a little bit with dark meat.  Plus, it’s cheaper often times. It’s all about being economical in a college kitchen!

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