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.