I know, another slow cooker recipe! But I can't help it! This is the season for cozy meals, and cozy meals that cook themselves... need I really say more? This recipe I have been developing for a little while now. And it is finally ready to be shared with all of you. It combines so many of my favorite things in one dish:
my beloved peanut butter (Mmmmmm)
crunchy slaw to balance the creamy chicken
and lots of cilantro- which is optional. But I highly recommend it!!!
Thai Style Peanut Pulled Chicken in the Slow Cooker
These two recipes go hand in hand together and balance the flavors of one another perfectly. A match made in Heaven, really. And goodness are they versatile!! They taste delicious pretty much any way you heart moves you! In the photograph above, you see them all wrapped up together in a flour tortilla. Super good, and perfect for a lunch on the go. But we also enjoyed them stacked onto sandwich thins, pilled onto a nice crisp salad, and tossed with udon noodles, or over a bed of basmanti rice. One day of cooking with endless options. I love recipes like that!
3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, breasts or a combination of the two
1 medium onion, halved and quartered
torn cilantro leaves and crushed peanuts for garnish
for the sauce
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup chicken stock (or warm water)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon chili flakes
Puree all ingredients of the sauce in a blender for two minutes, or until smooth. Set off to the side.
Place the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker and lay the chicken on top. Pour the prepared sauce over the top of the chicken. Place the lid back on and cook on high 3-4 hours on HIGH or 6-8 on LOW.
About an hour to 40 minutes before your final cooking time*, very carefully, because the chicken will be hot, remove the meat from the slow cooker and place on a large cutting board. Using two forks, shred the chicken by pulling away from each other. The meat should be very tender by this point. Place the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker, stir well and continue to cook for that additional 30 minutes to an hour. This will make the chicken nice and juicy because it will soak up some of the peanut sauce.
*I have found that if I cook the chicken on high, at two hours into the cooking time is when I remove the chicken and shred it. Then replace it and cook for that additional 30 minutes to an hour. At this point the chicken is cooked, you just want the chicken to get nice and saucy.
You could also choose to just chunk the chicken if you are serving the meat over rice or tossed with noodles. If doing so, I have found that it is good to cut up the chicken at this time instead of initially. It retains the juiciness of the meat this way.
Once ready to serve, remove from crock pot and garnish with lots of cilanto and crushed peanuts. Be sure to serve alongside extra peanuts and chopped cilantro if your family is anything like mine! These two components truly bring out and enhance the flavors of the dish.
Don't forget the Asian Slaw!
1 bag of shredded cabbage, preferably added veggie variety (it has lots of carrots and red cabbage mixed in)
1 english cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
1 carrot (about 1 cup), sliced into matchsticks
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
For the Dressing
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons fish sauce (this can be omitted if you don't have any on hand)
4 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ground
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Slowly while mixing with a whisk, add in your olive oil to emulsify. Taste and readjust seasoning as needed. Add your salt and pepper.
Combine all the veggies in a big bowl and pour the dressing on top. Add the sesame seeds. Mix with a big spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Put in the fridge until ready to be used.
To make the Wrapped sandwich pictured above
Place on large lettuce leaf on top of your flour tortilla. Spread chicken over the lettuce and tortilla, leaving about 1/3 of the tortilla bare. Top it with asian slaw and a lot of cilantro leaves. Wrap tightly, jelly roll style, from the chicken side to the bare part of the tortilla. With the seam side down, cut the wrapped sandwich in half on a diagonal. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap until ready to be eaten.