You know that scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary when she’s sad-drinking alone in her apartment and starts scrounging around her fridge because she’s hungry from all the drinking and all that’s in there is a moldy block of cheese? That has been my life for the past few weeks, minus the drinking. For no particular reason, grocery shopping just sort of…slipped our minds lately, so our fridge has been in a rare and depressing state of emptiness. I’ve been in constant fear of people asking me what we’re having for dinner because I know they’ll judge me if I tell them that we’re probably just going to eat cheese and crackers and/or Doritos…again. WHATEVER, OK? JUST BECAUSE I HAVE A FOOD BLOG DOESN’T MEAN I COOK ALL THE TIME, ALRIGHT?!?!?!
I finally gave in to the shame last week and ordered a whole bunch of groceries from Safeway so that I could plan out/cook our meals for the week. (Yes – ordered, for delivery. ‘Cuz, you know, physically going to the grocery store would be too much.) First up on the meal plan: crockpot honey garlic chicken, from Damn Delicious. The recipe popped up on my RSS feed a while back and looked so easy and delicious that I immediately flagged it for later.
My main problem with cooking lately is that I just don’t want to be in my kitchen, standing over the stove for a billion hours. When I get home from work all I want to do is sit on my couch with a glass of wine and watch whatever is queued up in the DVR. The great thing about this recipe (and all slow cooker recipes, really), is that I can just throw all the ingredients into my crockpot, put the lid on, and then walk away for a few hours while my food cooks itself. Magic!
Also making my life easier this time around was the Dorot’s Frozen Herbs & Spices I picked up from Trader Joe’s last week. Dorot sent me coupons a few months ago to try some samples of their products (available in Trader Joe’s and other stores around the country), and I finally got around to checking them out. I’m glad I did, because these little spice/herb cubes (they come frozen in adorable little freezer trays) are so convenient and easy to use. Instead of peeling/chopping a bunch of garlic cloves, I just popped a few crushed garlic cubes out of the tray and into my slow cooker, and voila – instant flavor, no hassle. And did I mention that these things all natural, non-genetically modified, and gluten free? I will definitely be trying the other flavors soon (ginger, chili, glazed onions, parsley, dill, cilantro, and basil).
But lets get back to the recipe, which was of course awesome. Aside from the chicken, all the ingredients required were already in my pantry (soy sauce, honey, etc.). All I had to do was mix everything up in a bowl, pour the mixture over the meat in my slow cooker and watch endless Parks & Recreation episodes (Dan and I are so hooked on this show right now) while I waited for everything to cook. Free time/great TV watching aside, waiting was pretty much torture – the magic happening inside my crockpot filled the whole place with just the most unbelievable smells. By the time everything was ready and I was portioning out a plate for blogging purposes, I had a cat wrapped around each ankle and a drooling Dan on the couch, all begging for a taste. And this chicken was definitely worth the wait – it was fall-off-the-bone tender, juicy, and packed with addictive savory-sweet flavor. Dan and I kept going back for more, even though we knew this chicken was supposed to last us through lunch this whole week. The recipe says it yields 6 servings, but I have a feeling the leftovers won’t last long this week…
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup diced onion
- 3 cubes Dorot’s crushed garlic (3 regular cloves, if you can’t find Dorot’s)
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp chili-infused olive oil (if you don’t have this, just go with regular olive oil + ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Green onion (optional)
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine diced onion, crushed garlic cubes, honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oils, and worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
- Season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place thighs in your slow cooker, and pour honey/garlic mixture over the meat. Toss gently to coat each piece of chicken with the sauce.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 3 hours and 30 minutes.
- Using two forks, shred chicken thighs into bite sized pieces.
- Cover and set crockpot to WARM for another 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and sliced green onion, with a big bowl of rice.
(Slightly adapted from Damn Delicious’s recipe)