The crock pot is great. It saves time, creates tender meats and flavorful meals. The only issue I take with slow cooker meals is that sauces tend to be watery and sometimes need to be over seasoned to make up for lack of evaporation during the cooking process. When I made this Cashew Chicken Recipe, I had to throw a few of my rules and beliefs about slow cookers out the window. I also made this recipe as part of my 30-day recipe challenge with a few blogger friends, make sure to scroll all the way down to see what creations they shared!
First, I generally have a “10 minute, set it and forget it” rule. Meaning that if it takes more than 10 minutes to load everything into the pot, then it defeats the purpose. Secondly, that sauces need to be doctored before serving. Instead of the objective of the slow cooker to be ease, I used it as a tool to braise, essentially.
I typically avoid having to brown or cook meat before adding to the pot, but for this recipe, I breaded and browned chicken bits and then let them stew in the sauce, thickening and building flavor instead of losing. To save time on the day I served Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken, I prepared the chicken and sauce the night before, placing them in separate containers in the refrigerator and popping into the slow cooker 3 hours before I was ready to serve.
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- 2 large chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fine black pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoons ketchup
- 3 tablespoons sweet chili garlic sauce
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger micrograted
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder optional
- 2 ribs celery sliced
- 1 sweet onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 bell pepper cut into thin slices
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup scallions sliced
- 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients for chicken. Toss bite size pieces in flour mixture.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet. Shift out chicken pieces, adding to hot oil. Brown lightly, about 5-6 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
Combine soy sauce through bell pepper in slow cooker bowl, mixing well. Add chicken and set to low for 3 hours.
Right before serving, add bean sprouts and toss to coat. Sauce should have thickened.
Spoon over jasmine rice, topping with cashews and scallions.
You can use raw, cubed chicken breast without breading, add to slow cooker with sauce and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and stir in before serving to thicken sauce.
Check out all the other lovely chicken recipes below from bloggers who took part in our 30 Day Chicken Challenge.
- Mini Creamy Chicken Stroganoff Pot Pies by Lovefoodies
- Slow Cooker Chicken Strogranoff by The Kitchen is My Playground
- Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken by Savory Experiments
- Baked Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks by Culinary Ginger
- Basil, Chicken and Hard Boiled Egg Macaroni Salad by Hot Eats and Cool Reads
- Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup by Who Needs A Cape?
- Polynesian Chicken Sandwich by Num’s the Word
- Extra Crisp Fried Chicken by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch