Life has been busy as of late, between the various design-related events and jobs we have going on, teaching yoga, planning a retreat and keeping up with recipes for this site, I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed. When life gets hectic not only do I crave home cooked food more than ever, but I also find myself looking for easy, delicious and light meals that will not only satisfy me, but also require very little energy and attention. Bonus points for meals that you can make once and eat for 2 or 3 more meals. The perks of being a family of two!
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed that I was up in San Francisco last week, visiting with two of my favorite ladies in the world! Vyana, the amazing goddess with whom I am co-hosting Rise, the upcoming women’s retreat and Gina, of So Let’s Hang Out, one of my most favorite people in the world, and one of the best things to come from all this food blogging fun.
With two long days of filming in San Francisco and at the Sequoia Retreat Center with Vyana, we found ourselves grabbing food when we could, eating in the car on the way to the next location, eating bunless burgers in the park quickly before teaching a yoga class, slicing fresh avoacado and shoving it into our faces while we drove two hours to the retreat center. Not exactly ideal optimal eating conditions. Outside of all of that, Vyana so lovingly made us breakfast each morning and even found time to bake a delicious stone fruit tart, but it was a lot of eating on-the-go. By the time I got to Marin County to see Gina, I was hankering for some home cooked food and a good sit!
Gina took care of me and then some. Not only did she serve me some yummy food, but she introduced me to some classic Hawaiian foods she grew up on, like Kalua Chicken (she used her Kalua Pork recipe and sub boneless, skinless chicken thighs). This brilliantly simple meal plus the delicious breakfast fried rice she made me the next morning with the leftover chicken and a fried egg – all this got my wheels turning and totally inspired this recipe!
I flew home late last Wednesday evening, our farmer had dropped off one of his organically grown pasture-raised whole chickens during the day with our CSA box and I already knew how I was going to prepare it the next day, before I even got off of the plane. Mid flight I was dreaming up a slow cooker dish with some of the delicious Hawaiian/Asian inspired flavors I had enjoyed while at Gina’s. Early in the afternoon, I loaded the crock pot up, set the temperature to low and then went about my day working. Since that evening I taught my first yoga class at the new fitness studio where I am teaching once a week, I wanted to be able to walk in the door and enjoy a home cooked meal, with very little effort.
This Slow Cooker Sesame Ginger Chicken has so many amazing flavors and it’s delicious with some shredded cabbage or broccoli, we enjoyed it both ways. Since we ate it for several meals we tried it over both regular rice and also over cauliflower rice, both were amazing. I love the subtle sweetness from the honey, the kick from the ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes and the smokey, nutiness of the sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds.
serves 6-8 – this is the slow cooker I use
- 1 whole pasture-raised chicken approx 3-4 lbs*
- 1/2 cup gluten-free coconut aminos, low sodium tamari, soy sauce or soy aminos
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced/grated*
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 4 cups green cabbage, shredded or broccoli florets
- rice or cauliflower rice
- green onions, thinly sliced
- fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- toasted sesame seeds
1) Rinse the chicken. Place the chicken on a work surface or cutting board and pat it dry with paper towels
2) Cut the chicken into 6 parts – 2 legs, 2 breasts and 2 wings, excluding the back*. Cut off and discard as much of the skin as you can and any extra fat. Many times I leave the skin on and just taking it off when shredding. Add the chicken to your slow cooker.
3) In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker and give it all a good stir.
4) Let cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high or until the chicken is cooked (at least 165 degrees in center of meat). Remove the chicken from the crock pot, remove the meat from the bones, shred it with two forks, it will practically fall apart. Discard the bones and any skin and set the chicken aside.
5) If adding cabbage or broccoli, heat a large skillet, add a spoonful of the cooking liquid to the pan or just a little sesame oil. Add the cabbage (or broccoli), then add the shredded chicken. Put the lid on the pan and give the cabbage a minute or two to wilt or the broccoli a few minutes to steam and cook up. Add another spoonful or two of the cooking liquid, as needed.
6) Serve over rice or cauliflower rice, top with green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds and a little sriracha. Enjoy! [/print_this]
You could also just use boneless chicken breasts or thighs, etc
Save the neck and back whenever you cut up a whole chicken. They are great for stock.
I like a lot of ginger, so sometimes I use more like 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, go with what you like.
Looking for More Slow Cooker Meals? Check these out:
Spinach, Lentil and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Soup
Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde
Creamy Crock-Pot Pumpkin Risotto
Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream
Crock-Pot Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers
Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew
Crock-Pot Butternut Squash & Chickpea Coconut Curry (Crock Pot Recipe)
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
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1) I love you. 2) I love that you think I took care of you and then some… because I’m pretty sure I starved us. This is the Hawaiian in me. Can you tell? MUST FEED EVERYONE ALL THE TIME. 3) Come back. I miss my roommate. 4) Emma wants to make out.
I love YOU!!!! You didn’t starve us and you totally took care of me, anytime I don’t have to do the cooking and I can sit around in yoga clothes, talking, watching chick flicks and reality TV, that’s being taken care of in my book 😉
Um, was the chicken alive or butchered?
I can’t tell if this is a serious question or not 😉 No definitely not alive. Already butchered, just a regular whole chicken as you would buy it from the store, just happens to be organic, pasture-raised and local, delivered from our farmer vs being packaged at the store.
This looks absolutely incredible, Beth. WOW!!! Can’t wait to show this to Naomi and I hope we make this soon!
Thanks so much Matt!! I hope you love this as much as we do, if you make it.
This looks so tasty Beth!! Definitely need to try that as I LOVE any Asian flavour!
Thanks Millie!! I hope you like it as much as we do!
This sounds soo simple and delicious! Perfect after a busy day 🙂
Thanks Shelley, it really is the perfect, simple meal!
I don’t know which I like better: the fact that I now know what I’m making for dinner tonight or the hilarious comments/responses following the recipe!:)
This looks soooooo good! I’m absolutely making this one fo’ sho’ !
This came through on my Pinterest feed yesterday and today it’s in the slow cooker. Can’t wait to have dinner tonight! Slurps big time.
Amazing! I hope you loved it, Kate!!
That is an understatement!!! Our entire family, including the in-laws loved it. I served it with a big stir fry of mixed greens as you suggested with some of the sauce mixed through. The only thing is that I would add more ginger, but that’s because I adore the stuff and I am one too!! tee hee I have forwarded this recipe on to several of my friends to make too. It’s a keeper.
p.s our youngest daughter finished the last little bit tonight!!!!
Hi, again! Is there anyway to make this without a slow cooker?
Sure you can definitely make it in a pot on the stove, just the same. I would think a dutch oven style, large heavy pot would be best. Cooking time will obviously be much less, but I cannot say exactly how long, since I haven’t made it myself this way. Hope that helps.
Success! I adjusted this recipe to fit the tastes of my household (which was minor) and now it’s a favorite! I used four frozen chicken breasts and left out the sesame seeds, HIGH for 4 hours. There was a lot of moaning at dinner last night…even with the sriracha drizzled on top in addition to the red pepper flakes, the spicy-factor was perfect. My internet search was for crock-pot chicken and this is one of the recipes to come up; gluten-free and minimal prep. Thank you!
Hi there! Thanks for the comment. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe. It’s so easy right?