Now that the slow days of summer are over and school is in full swing, I’ve been thinking a lot about make-ahead meals, quick and easy recipes, and anything that can be made in the crockpot. Depending on my kids’ after-school schedules, sometimes it’s best to have dinner ready in the crockpot so the kids can eat dinner as soon as they walk in the door. I’ve found the crockpot and rice cooker make a great team – rice or quinoa keeps warm in the rice cooker, and one-pot meals stay warm in the crockpot, ready at anytime to be eaten.
This Crockpot Asian Chicken Stew is a recipe I tried recently with great success. All the ingredients just went into the crockpot without any stove-top cooking. I threw everything into my crockpot at 2:30PM, and by 4:30PM, it was done, and I just turned off the crockpot to keep dinner warm until the rice was done. I cooked this stew on high as I got a late start, and I used boneless chicken thighs cut into smaller pieces, so the cooking time was less than it would have been had I used chicken on the bone. Next time, I’ll start earlier in the day and try using chicken on the bone and cook everything on low.
The Asian flavors in this chicken stew come from soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, garlic, onions and sesame oil. I also added some Korean red pepper flakes which I’ve seen used in a similar Korean chicken dish. Finally, I tossed in some potatoes and carrots from my CSA box. The key is to make sure the vegetables are cut into small pieces so they cook in the same amount of time as the chicken. Since I used boneless chicken, this stew did not take that long to cook, just 2 hours on high.
Now I have two Asian inspired chicken crockpot recipes – this one and the Five Spice Braised Chicken I made last last fall. Served with a bowl of Steamed Brown Rice, either of these recipes would make a fine meal.
Asian Crockpot Chicken Stew
- 4 dried shitake mushrooms soaked in 1 cup hot water for 2 hours, optional
- 1 pound boneless chicken thighs cut into 1" chunks
- One 1" piece fresh ginger peeled, minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 onion or 2 leeks chopped
- 4 carrots cut into 1/2" pieces
- 3 medium potatoes cut into 1/2" thick chunks
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce gluten-free
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 2 teaspoons Korean red pepper flakes or substitute a few dashes of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup mushroom soaking liquid strained
- 1 scallion minced, for garnish
- Trim stem from pre-soaked shitake mushrooms; quarter mushrooms; reserve soaking liquid.
- Put all ingredients (except for scallions) in slow cooker and mix well. Cook on high for 2 hours. Sprinkle with minced scallions before serving. Serve with steamed rice.
If you don't have Korean red pepper flakes, you can leave them out and serve with your favorite chili sauce if you like spicy food. Alternatively, add a few shakes of cayenne pepper as a substitute.