Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

So the Cook90 Challenge continues and I ate up all my taco bowls, so it was time for something new. I needed to shop for the new week, so it was time to break out the Slow Cooker. If you have read my blog, you know I am a big fan. Yes, I own the Instant Pot, but my Slow Cooker is my jam.

This was super easy, but the original recipe was pretty poorly written as execution was a mess. I had to add water a couple of times to the recipe and was thankful I didn’t just leave my house with it running – and it was on LOW! I’ve fixed the recipe and made adjustments where needed. This recipe turned out great and frankly I felt it could use a big more vege for my tastes. So feel free to add a couple of bell peppers instead of just the one, or even throw in a couple of rainbow carrots sliced on the bias.

I went with regular jasmine rice for this one, but brown jasmine is also a favorite of mine.I also had both black and white sesame seeds, so I tossed them both in for color.

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Yields 6 servings
From the unknown interwebs, but edited to make it work

Ingredients:
2/3 Cups cornstarch
1/4 tsp pepper, black, ground
1 Pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless cut into bite sized chunks
2 to 4 Tbls oil, olive
4 Each pepper, ancho, dried asian peppers
2/3 Cups peanuts, roasted
1 Large bell pepper, red bite sized pieces
1 Large squash, zucchini sliced in half moons
1/2 Cup soy sauce, low sodium
1/3 Cup water
3 Tbls honey
3 Tbls hoisin sauce
3 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1 tsp ginger root grated
1/4 tsp pepper, crushed red
2 Tbls cornstarch
3 Tbls water
2 Cups rice, jasmine (cooked)
2 tsp sesame seeds, white
2 Each onion, green chopped

Directions:

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
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In a large zip-top bag, toss in chicken, cornstarch and black pepper. Shake until well-coated.
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Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Make sure to cook the chicken in at least two batches depending on the size of your skillet. Cooking too much of the protein at once will cool down the pan and cause the meat to steam. You want the meat to get a great crust on it.
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Transfer chicken into the slow cooker.
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In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, honey, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger and red pepper chili flakes. Combine well.
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Pour soy mixture over chicken in the slow cooker. Add 2 cups water. Stir well.
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Cover and cook on LOW for 2 1/2 to 4 hours or HIGH for 1 1/2 to 3 hours.

About 30 minutes before serving, whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir into the slow cooker if the mixture in the slow cooker is very liquidy – if not, then skip this step altogether.

Toss in the dried red chili peppers (if you cannot find these, just add another 1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper), red bell peppers, zucchini and peanuts, stirring to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened up.
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Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over zoodles, cauliflower rice, quinoa or your favorite rice.
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For meal prep
Divide rice evenly into lunch containers. Add chicken and sprinkle with sesame seeds, cover and store in fridge for up to 4 days.
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