Monday, July 21, 2014

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken

Chicken thighs, simply seasoned and slow cooked in the crockpot with a mixture of pineapple juice, brown sugar and soy sauce, that is thickened and brushed on as a finishing glaze.

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken

It's become pretty clear that folks love the combination of savory meats with sweet brown sugar. I've used it to candy bacon, love it for ham, for rubs on ribs and steaks, it's amazing with chicken and I've even used it for fish. Here lately, I've been seeing brown sugar everywhere in these 2, 3 and 4 ingredient dishes you see pass via Facebook and Pinterest.

This is another great way to incorporate it in a slow cooker recipe made with three simple ingredients - brown sugar, pineapple juice and soy sauce (I like the low sodium version). Finish it off with salt, pepper and of course, a little Cajun seasoning, and add some of your own favorite seasonings for chicken. When it's done, make a glaze from the drippings, and you've got a simple, easy chicken dish for the crockpot, that I know your family will love.


Remove skin from chicken. In my crockpot cooking, I've learned that chicken in the slow cooker tends to generate a lot of fat, so while I didn't always, and I typically don't with stovetop or oven cooking, I usually remove the skin now when the slow cooker is in play.


Season the chicken lightly with salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and garlic powder. Pat seasoning into chicken and place into the slow cooker.


I have a variety of premixed seasonings in my pantry so I also added a few grinds of Rachael Ray's Perfect Poultry seasoning to the chicken with this batch. It contains sea salt, black pepper, onion, sage, rosemary and thyme, if you'd like to add a few of those to your chicken too.


Whisk together the brown sugar, pineapple juice and soy sauce; pour around chicken. Cover and cook on low for about 5 to 6 hours, depending on the size.


Use a wide spatula to remove the chicken from the slow cooker to a platter and loosely tent with aluminum foil; set aside to prepare the glaze, though honestly, this chicken is pretty divine just as it is.


To make the glaze, turn the cooker to high until mixture comes to a boil, or for a speedier transition, transfer to a saucepan for the stovetop. I'm not that patient, so that's what I usually do. It's just faster. Whisk together the water and cornstarch until there are no lumps. Slowly stir into the boiling sauce until fully incorporated and continue boiling for about 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let rest a moment. Brush the sauce over each chicken thigh and serve the remaining sauce at the table.




Recipe: Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 6 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


Ingredients
  • 3 pounds of chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 (6 ounce) can of pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of water
Instructions

Remove skin from chicken and season lightly with the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and garlic powder. Pat seasoning into chicken and place into the slow cooker. Whisk together the brown sugar, pineapple juice and soy sauce; pour around chicken. Cover and cook on low for about 5 to 6 hours, depending on the size. Use a wide spatula to remove the chicken from the slow cooker to a platter and loosely tent with aluminum foil; set aside to prepare the glaze.

Turn cooker to high until mixture comes to a boil, or transfer to a saucepan for the stovetop. Whisk together the water and cornstarch until there are no lumps. Slowly stir into the boiling sauce until fully incorporated and continue boiling for about 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let rest a moment. Brush the sauce over each chicken thigh and serve the remaining sauce at the table.

Cook's Note: I also added a few grinds of Rachael Ray's Perfect Poultry seasoning to the chicken with this batch, which contains sea salt, black pepper, onion, sage, rosemary and thyme. I use low sodium soy sauce so I can control my added salt.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on July 21, 2014
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19 comments:

  1. Sounds and looks delicious. Blessings, Catherine

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  2. WOW! Capital letters WOW. Defrosted the chicken after reading this last night, just assembled the whole thing for the crock pot and it smells good from the get-go. Can't wait for dinner. Thanks.

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  3. Sounds delicious! Would this work as well with chicken breasts?

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    Replies
    1. I wrote it for thighs because that's what I use, and favor, for the slow cooker. Chicken breasts cook so fast conventionally that I'm not a big fan of using them in the slow cooker for low and slow extended cooking times. You can certainly adapt this recipe to other cuts of chicken, keeping in mind that cooking times may be affected depending on the cuts used & whether they are bone-in or boneless, so you would have to adapt the time according to the cut you substitute! I didn't test with those so I really can't advise on the times.

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    2. I find the problem with chicken breast in the slow cooker is it becomes very dry because it is so lean. I've made other dishes using breast and am always disappointed. I would recommend if you are using chicken breast to leave the skin on and the bone in while cooking as that will protect the meat.

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    3. Thanks for your input Lin - that's been my experience as well. I just haven't had a lot of success with breasts in the crockpot, and especially boneless, skinless breasts. I'm sure that it's because I've always overcooked them, but recipes out there have ranges anywhere from 3 to 6 hours, some on low some on high!!

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    4. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong until I saw Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) make chicken stock. When she was done making the stock she just threw all the chicken away as it was now inedible because all the flavor had been sucked out of it during the cooking process! Thus, the longer you cook it the less edible it is. LOL!!! Thank you for a lovely recipe! {{hugs}}

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    5. You're welcome Lin! I'm not sure that I can agree with Ina's method of discarding 15 pounds of whole chickens though!! I'm sure it's an amazing stock, but that's a lot of waste & pretty darned expensive stock for us Southerners!! I generally make my stock from things like chicken backs & wing tips that I've saved up in the freezer, or of course when we use a whole chicken to make a stock, we don't cook it quite so long, but we sure use the meat for soup, chicken & dumplings and gumbo down here! I guess it all boils down to the budget & Ina's a bit more wealthy than most of us I reckon.

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  4. Oh my, when did the Devil start sharing recipes because this looks awesome! I hadn't heard of brown sugar chicken until just this morning and I have pinned this for trying soon. The older I get the more I enjoy thighs and drumsticks over breasts. Breasts do tend to get dry and I find I like to pound them so they are thinnner and just saute. Thanks for some lovely recipes!

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  5. Wow this look delectable. Mouth is watering.

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  6. I love everything about this one, especially the fact I can do it during the day and have it ready when we get home from work. My son is at the 15 y/o growth spurt and practicing football 2 1/2 hours a day...he could eat about all of that and maybe leave a thigh for Alexis and me.

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  7. I made this dish last night for a family of 4 and it was a major hit so much so my family requested I make it again this weekend. I made a few minor adjustments because of the ingredients I had on hand like fresh pineapple juice, fresh garlic and low sodium soy sauce.This is definitely a new family staple.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so happy to hear y'all enjoyed it and thank you so much for taking the time to come back by and let me know!!

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  8. Is there any way we could cook this on high instead of low to save a little time?

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    Replies
    1. My preference for chicken, generally speaking, is low because it cooks through better and stays tender on low where high tends to dry it out. Now... I've not tested this recipe on high, so iI can't speak to the results. I'd say approximately 3 hours or so with bone-in. Boneless thighs are probably gonna shred on you, especially on high. Be sure to check the internal temp before serving though!

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