orange chicken | cooked in the slow cooker

This is a spin on the good old Apricot chicken of my childhood. Similarly, the chicken is cooked in fruit juice; this time – an orange as opposed to an apricot. There are subtle Asian flavours present; with the garlic, ginger and soy sauce and you can make it as hot as you want. Just add chilli flakes!

Coined “orange chicken” by my girls, they absolutely love it. Using the slow cooker results in the meat being unbelievably tender, completely falling off the bone and melting in your mouth.

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I go through stages with my slow cooker. I’ll go months on end without dusting it off and giving it a whirl and then I’ll find myself using it once a week! For a quick, easy and more importantly – tasty meal, you can’t go past it. There are many slow cooker recipes out there that the whole family will enjoy. The hardest part, I find, is trying to figure out just how long you need to cook it for as all slow cookers seem to be different.

In my opinion, it is hard to overcook this chicken. I love how it falls off the bone completely and you can shred it just by touching it with your fork. I think of my friend Sal each time I make it as as she hates meat that is served on the bone. If you’re like her, simply use chicken thigh fillets instead.

I reckon I’ll be making this again and again in the years to come. Orange chicken. Apricot chicken. What will we come up with next?

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orange chicken (makes enough for 2 ravenous adults, 2 hungry littlies + a little bit of leftovers)

You will need a slow cooker for this recipe

8 chicken drumsticks (or you can use chicken thigh fillets instead)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A piece of fresh ginger, grated (about the size of a 20 cent coin)
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of honey
The juice and zest of 1 large orange
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
1/2 cup of soy sauce
Shake of chilli flakes (to taste)
2 tablespoons of plain flour
Salt, freshly cracked pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • In a small bowl, mix the garlic, ginger, honey, juice and zest of the orange, vinegar, soy sauce and chilli flakes. Set aside.
  • Put the chicken drumsticks in a plastic bag and add a sprinkling of flour and a good pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper in on top. Shake it around in the bag so that the chicken is coated in the flour.
  • In a fry pan, heat the olive oil over a medium to high heat and add the chicken pieces, browning them on all sides.
  • Place the chicken pieces in to the slow cooker.
  • In the same fry pan, throw in the onions to soften them. Add a little bit more oil if you need it or a dash of water if the pan is too dry. You don’t want the onion to brown, just soften a little. Scrape the onion in to the slow cooker with the chicken.
  • Add the contents of the mixing bowl to the fry pan and turn off the heat. You just want to swirl the liquid around in the pan to deglaze the pan and make sure that you don’t lose any of those pan juices. Then pour the juice over the chicken and onion.
  • Cook on high in the slow cooker for approximately 4 hours or until extremely soft. I love it when it is really falling off the bone.
  • You can either eat it now or let it cool and then put it in the fridge for tomorrow night.If you want to eat it straight away – reserve the chicken on to a serving platter and then pour the juices from the slow cooker in to a saucepan, putting it on a high heat. Cook till it has reduced by a third, (here the liquid gets thicker in consistency).  This should take about 5 minutes, stirring constantly so as not to burn it. Pour the juices over the chicken pieces and serve with steamed rice and veggies.
  • If you want to keep it for dinner the next day– let the chicken cool and then pop it in the fridge overnight (I leave it in the slow cooker bowl and pop the lid on, as its easier). The next night when you want to eat it, simply take the chicken from the fridge and scrape the chicken and its liquid (which would of solidified over night) in to a large saucepan or fry pan and heat over a medium heat until the chicken is hot. Reserve the chicken on to a serving platter and turn the heat up on the liquid in the saucepan. Let it reduce until a third of its size. This should take about 5 minutes. Stir constantly as you don’t want to burn it. Then, pour the liquid over the chicken pieces and serve with steamed rice and veggies.

Lo’s tips

  • You can also serve this with mashed potato or jacket potatoes, alternatively, shred the cooked chicken and use as a filling for a puff pastry pie. Delish!
  • The reason I use chicken drumsticks is not only because they are a very affordable cut of meat for a fuss free weeknight, but by cooking the meat on the bone, it gives a better flavour and doesn’t dry out the meat.

Give it a go.

If you make this chicken, send me a pic here as I would love to pop it up on the blog! xx

6 Comments

  1. I have a large slow cooker so doubled the liquid. The chicken fell off the bone beautifully! The reciepe says to use a golf ball worth of ginger, I halved this and would use even less next time as the ginger flavour was quite strong (my husband doesn’t love ginger). Loved the dish and was super easy. Will be cooking it again! Thanks Lo xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ummm YUM! I’ve had this bad boy simmering in the slow cooker since breakfast and I was planning to save it for dinner but I just walked in the door and it smells amazing I’m going to have to sneak in some for lunch too!! Thanks for making seem like a way better cook than I am!

    Liked by 1 person

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