This Slow Cooker Chinese Three Cup Chicken Recipe is a lighter version of a traditional Chinese braised chicken dish.
I love authentic Chinese food but unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to come by where I live. Most of the restaurants around serve either Asian fusion food or Chinese American food. So, whenever I crave real Chinese food, I make it at home.
Fortunately, most Chinese food is not hard to make in a home kitchen. Although you can’t replicate the high heat stir-fried dishes, braised dishes and steamed dishes can be easily made at home. I made this for my niece from Taiwan recently and she called it “good old home cooking.” I took that as a compliment ;).
This Slow Cooker Chinese “Three Cup” Chicken recipe is a modified version of the original recipe, which literally calls for one cup each of sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine. I just can’t fathom using that amount of sesame oil or soy sauce in a single dish, so I’ve cut back on both of those ingredients. However, I did use one cup of rice wine since that’s the only liquid in the recipe. This recipe calls for dark soy sauce, which is actually less salty, a little sweeter and thicker than regular soy sauce. To make a gluten-free dark soy sauce substitute, mix a little molasses into gluten-free soy sauce.
Braising can easily be done in a slow cooker, so that’s what I opted for. Of course, you could just cook this on the stove top, which would probably take about 30 minutes.
Slow Cooker Chinese Three Cup Chicken
- 3 pounds chicken I used dark meat; remove skin for less fat
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 5 cloves garlic left whole
- 5 slices ginger each the size of a quarter
- 1 scallion cut into 2" pieces
- 1 cup rice wine or sherry
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce see notes for gluten-free version
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
Heat sesame oil in a large skillet and add garlic, ginger and scallion; sauté until fragrant, then add chicken pieces. Lightly brown chicken pieces. Transfer everything from skillet to slow cooker. Add rice wine, dark soy sauce and regular soy sauce.
Cook on high for 4 hours.
Store bought dark soy sauce usually contain wheat. To make your own gluten-free dark soy sauce, mix some 1 teaspoon molasses into 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce.
For lower calorie version (298 calories/serving; 5 Freestyle points), substitute 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.