*The recipe below is excerpted from Valerie’s Home Cooking by Valerie Bertinelli. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved. We received a complimentary copy of the cookbook to include in our Holiday Gift Guide. This post also contains affiliate links. I may make a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on the links below.
I am a huge fan of Valerie Bertinelli! I was really excited when she came out with a cookbook! I like how the ingredients she uses are easy to find and the fact that she uses a slow cooker is even better! Below is one of her recipes, “Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken”. You will find this delish recipe plus many more in her cookbook!
This is Chinese takeout at home. What I love about this, besides the fact that it’s a favorite of mine, is that the slow cooker does all the work. When I have a long day on the set, I put everything in the slow cooker before I leave for work and then I have a ready-to-eat meal when I return at night. The chicken stays tender, and I can vary the seasoning to taste depending on whom I’m feeding that night, whether it’s Tom and me, who enjoy more acute flavors, or less- adventurous house guests. The chicken can also be made ahead of time and reheated and served over a bed of white rice. With an egg roll, it’s convenient and still satisfying when you feel like ordering in without picking up the phone.
Slow-Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Chicken
Serves 4 Hands-on 30 minutes Total 4 hours
2 tablespoons canola oil
8 (8-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 white onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1⁄3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3 cups hot cooked white rice
¼ cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the chicken to the skillet, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place the chicken in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker.
2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet. Add the bell peppers and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the vegetables to the slow cooker.
3. Whisk together the vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar. Pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 3 hours and 30 minutes to 4 hours. Serve the chicken mixture over the hot cooked rice topped with the scallions and sesame seeds.
Chicken thighs have more flavor and are more forgiving during cooking, staying juicy.