So I know that some of you have been busting out low carb slow cooker recipes all summer – I mean Carolyn over at All Day I Dream About Food made CHOCOLATE CAKE in the slow cooker a few weeks ago! Color me impressed!
For me though, busting out the slow cooker is like saying goodbye to Summer. I have a mental block against it, but I’m trying to overcome my aversion. With kids heading back to school in the next couple of weeks, the slow cooker is making a comeback in my kitchen – and earlier in the season than usual.
You just can’t beat the convenience of throwing your ingredients into a slow cooker and coming home to dinner being ready hours later. So I’m getting on board, and working on some keto friendly slow cooker recipes to make the back to school transition/chaos a little easier to deal with.
This low carb Slow Cooker Mandarin Chicken is one of my new faves. A little sweet, a little spicy, and with a decidedly Asian flair, I could eat this all week long (and I will!) It would be perfect served over my low carb coconut cauliflower rice!
I usually hate the extra step of browning my meat first, and will avoid it if possible – I don’t recommend skipping it for this recipe though, because the browning of the meat adds a lot of flavor. It also crisps up the skin which keeps it from being flabby and unappetizing after 6 hours in the slow cooker. The couple of minutes it will take you to brown this Slow Cooker Mandarin Chicken is definitely time well spent!
While your chicken is browning, you can throw the sauce ingredients into a bowl. Make sure you get no sugar added mandarin oranges in water. They are plenty sweet and low enough in carbs to work in this dish. If you don’t have access to fresh red chili peppers, you can use dried red pepper flakes instead.
Then just nestle your chicken thighs in the slow cooker and pour the sauce over it. Cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 4 if you’re short on time) and you’re good to go.
Before serving the Slow Cooker Mandarin Chicken, I recommend removing the thighs from the sauce first. Then transfer the remaining liquid to a magic bullet or blender and add about 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum. Blend for about 20 seconds and you’ll have a beautiful sauce to serve with your chicken and cauliflower rice (if using.) That step is optional, but I find that when you blend and thicken it, the sauce sticks to the chicken better and feels more authenticly Asian.
Hope you guys like this one as much as we did!
- 6 chicken thighs
- 1 Tbsp Chinese Five Spice Powder see example
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Rub the chicken thighs with the five spice powder and salt. Sear skin side down over high heat for about 3 minutes. Turn and sear the other side for 3 minutes. Place the chicken skin side up in the slow cooker. Add all of the sauce ingredients (except for the xanthan gum) to a small bowl and stir. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker. Cook on high for four hours, or low for 6 hours. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker to a serving dish. Pour the remaining sauce into a magic bullet or blender and add ½ tsp xanthan gum. Blend for about 20 seconds. Pour over the chicken on the platter and serve warm. Cilantro garnish is optional.
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