Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Apricot Walnut Crockpot Chicken

I feel like in some ways I should call this "never give up" chicken, because I hate to admit it, but I almost did.

I am trying to learn to use my crock-pot, and there is a lot of variation in how well this goes (I nearly had a Thai-beef-curry induced meltdown a few weeks ago). I saw this recipe, which seemed easy and good, made some tweaks, and gave it a shot.

--11 oz jar of apricot preserves- it took me a while to find one without high fructose corn syrup, and surprisingly the grocery store brand is the one that won out
--1 T dijon mustard
--2 T soy sauce
--2 tsp ginger
--1/4 to 1/2 t red chili flakes, OR 2 tsp chili sauce (like Sriracha)
--6 chicken breast pieces or (thighs would work)
--1/4-1/2 cup walnut pieces

 Throw it all in there, and turn it on. I put it on low, and theoretically it should have taken 5-6 hours, but it took more like 4.5, probably because my chicken pieces were pretty puny.

Now, this is the point where I almost gave up.

My chicken did not look delicious like the chicken in the picture on the blog I read, it looked like flat chicken pieces in thin brown soup. Chicken floating in thin brown soup (chunky soup, because of the walnuts!) actually looks pretty gross. BUT, Charlotte reminded me that I am not one to back down from a challenge, and that cooking on a budget does not allow for throwing away large quantities of chicken, and I continued on. I took all the sauce, put it in a saucepan, and simmered it for a while until it was reduced into something thicker and more appetizing (see below).

It actually turned out! One note is, this was really sweet (I should have known something involving an entire jar of jam would be sweet), I think kids would like it as it is, but if I make it again, I'll double the chili sauce and soy sauce to jazz it up a little. Enjoy!

ps. I'd like to make a shout out to my sister-in-law Carmen, the Christmas-Elf who supplied me with some new and exciting plates to make my blogging photos more exciting... yay!

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