Margaret Button: Weather still calls for slow cooker, unfortunately
In self-defense, I find myself singing Alvin and the Chipmunks' song, "Christmas Don't Be Late," only with my own not-so-original-or-great lyrics:
Summer, summer time is near
Time for pools and time for beer
We've been good, but we can't last
Hurry summer, hurry fast
Want a day, hot and hazy
Me, I just want to be lazy
We can hardly stand the wait
Please summer, don't be late.
Knowing that it would be cold, and getting home late Monday due to T-ball, a hot, no-fuss supper sounded ideal. I pulled out my Crockpot on Sunday and searched through my recipes for something with ingredients I already had on hand. And since I was craving Chinese food anyway, sweet and sour chicken was the winner. I had boneless chicken breasts on hand and substituted those for the thighs called for in the recipe. I didn't have baby carrots, but did have full-size carrots, which I peeled and cut in thick diagonal slices. I also added the red and green pepper about an hour before the dish would be done because I prefer them to be a little less crispy and crunchy than called for.
Slow-Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice
1 cup baby-cut carrots, cut in half
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
Hot cooked rice or chow mein noodles, if desired
Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Place pineapple chunks in small bowl; cover and refrigerate.
Place carrots, onion, garlic and ginger root in 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Top with chicken. Mix soy sauce, brown sugar and reserved pineapple juice; pour over chicken.
Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 9 hours or until juice of chicken is no longer pink.
During last 30 minutes, add pineapple and bell peppers. Increase to high heat setting. Mix cornstarch and water; stir into chicken mixture during last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve with rice.
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