I love cooking Chinese food. It really is, next to Filipino cuisine, my favorite. Whenever I crave something with Asian flavors that means family dinner will have rice and a Chinese viand. Also, it’s much easier to find ingredients for Chinese recipes nowadays as chances are you are within walking or driving distance from a Chinese store. However that is not often the case with my Filipino ingredients although of late many Asian stores now carry some of the basic Filipino must-haves for cooking. For this reason, Asian night means mostly Chinese night.
Red-cooked simply means a slow-braising Chinese technique which imparts a deep reddish-brown hue to the food. Soy sauce, sugar and other spices (usually included in the Chinese Five Spice family) like cinnamon, star anise, cloves are added to lend the meat that deep rich hue and also to give it that unique and delicious taste. Traditionally, rice wine or dry sherry are also used. For this version, I used balsamic vinegar instead of dry sherry or rice wine as I didn’t have any of the latter when I cooked this. I will provide both options in the recipe below. Of course, the dish is made even easier as it’s done in the slow cooker. You can certainly braise this in the stove top, just lessen the length of cooking. Also, if you wish to not brown the chicken – ensure that the chicken is skinless otherwise all the fat in the skin will get into your stew. It will be yummy with all that fat but it will be kind of greasy. Anyway, it is a flavorful dish that you can tweak to your taste buds’ liking. This dish tastes even better the next day so if you can wait then do so. Enjoy with Jasmine rice, of course!
Slow Cooker Red-Cooked Chicken
By: Manila Spoon
April 10, 2014
With a deep reddish hue, meat-off-the bone-tender chicken and deliciously spiced sauce, this Asian dish is an easy favorite.
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1/3 cup Soy Sauce (replace with Coconut Aminos for Paleo)
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar or 1/4 cup Rice wine or dry Sherry*
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/4 cup Oil for frying (Coconut oil for Paleo)
- 3 lb Chicken pieces (or 1 whole chicken cut-up)
- 6 Garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large Onion, sliced into quarters then sliced into halves
- 1 2-inch piece fresh Ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 Star Anise
- 4 whole Cloves
- 1 3-inch piece Cinnamon stick
*I only used 2 tablespoons vinegar as it’s quite strong but if you’re using rice wine or sherry use the full 1/4 cup. For the paleo diet, use the balsamic vinegar.
- In a bowl, mix together the sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, balsamic vinegar or dry sherry and water. Set aside.
- Heat the oil to medium high in a frying pan. Fry the chicken in batches until nicely browned. Set aside.
- Leave but 1-2 tablespoons oil in the skillet or frying pan. Adjust the heat to low. Saute the garlic, onion, ginger, star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick until aromatic.
- Place the chicken pieces on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the spices on top and then pour on the soy sauce mixture.
- Cook on high for 3 hours or until chicken is tender.
- Serve hot with some jasmine rice on the side and a little drizzle of the yummy sauce on top!
Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Time: 3 Hours
Total Time: 3 Hours and 30 Minutes
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