Slow cooker honey orange chicken gives you the taste and flavor of Chinese takeout without all the breading and oil!
I’m pretty sure the first time I had Chinese takeout I was in college— my family never ordered it growing up! Our weekly food tradition was Friday night pizza night and my Mom cooked most other nights. But Ted’s family had [and still has] an affinity for Chinese takeout. And since I’m no longer in college and married to man that loves good Chinese food, its can be found on our menu every now and then. Want to know what I think about this new tradition? Why the heck didn’t my parents jump on the Chinese takeout bandwagon when I was a little girl!!!
Seriously though, what’s not to love about it? Plenty of sauce, lots of oil, and breaded and fried chicken can be found on most Chinese food menus. While I love someone doing all the cooking for me, my waistline thinks otherwise. Instead of nixing Chinese food all together, Ted and I made some compromises. And that compromise involved me making one of his favorites at home: orange chicken. But as the title of this recipe tells you, I’ve changed up the recipe and made a slow cooker honey orange chicken. Less oil. Less fat. And a lot of flavor! And it’s made in the slow cooker… cha-ching!
While it seems strange to cook meat in the slow cooker with variable temps and times, I assure you cubed chicken cooks quickly— not matter what the slow cooker temp. This adjustment in heat from high to low also helped my sauce thicken and prevent the chicken from overcooking. And if you opt for a higher temperature the entire cooking time OR need more than 4 hours for cooking, keep the chicken breasts whole! And one more thing: for those of you that live in the metro Detroit area, I’d love to hear your favorite Chinese takeout restaurant. We have yet to find one we like other than a chain!
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 2-inch cubes
- ½ cup orange marmalade
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup honey BBQ sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- For Serving:
- Brown rice, green onions and sesame seeds
- Optional: Stir orange zest in at the end for extra flavor!
- Spray the insert of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Add all of the ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for four hours, stirring halfway through. Then reduce slow cooker to warm and let rest for an additional hour, to let sauce thicken.
- Serve immediately with brown rice, and top with green onions and sesame seeds.