The slow cooker and stir-fry might seem to live in different worlds — one slow, the other flash-fast — but sometimes you want the lively flavors of stir-fry without the last-minute prep and cooking. With a little planning, you can easily create a dish that replicates the goodness of a stir-fry with the help of the slow cooker.
Here, a rich, creamy peanut sauce, enlivened with scallions, ginger, garlic, and red curry paste, envelops tender, slow-cooked chunks of chicken and broccoli. Stir-fry, meet the slow cooker.
Choose Chicken Thighs for Flavor and Texture
When choosing chicken for the slow cooker, we like to go with dark thigh meat, which offers good flavor and doesn't dry out like white breast meat can. Choosing skinless, boneless chicken thighs makes prep especially easy.
The meat will become meltingly tender as it cooks for hours, so we make sure to cut it into large chunks (about six pieces per thigh) and avoid stirring it during cooking, which can break it up and cause it to shred.
A scattering of thinly sliced scallions and chopped roasted peanuts over top adds a bright punctuation to this wholesome, kicky dish.
We believe that the slow cooker is a tool that can help you eat well no matter your goals. With the start of the new year, we're utilizing the slow cooker to create wholesome meals to nourish us from breakfast to dinner. In this series you'll find recipes full of veggies and never short on flavor. It's time to take advantage of all this workhorse appliance has to offer.
Slow-Cooker Peanut Chicken and Broccoli
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 bunch scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably natural
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 pounds broccoli crowns, cut into bite-sized florets
Steamed rice or rice noodles
Chopped roasted peanuts
Asian chili-garlic paste
Combine the chicken, cornstarch, measured salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss until the chicken is lightly coated; set aside.
Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the scallions, garlic, and ginger, season with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring until bright green and fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape into a 5-quart or larger slow cooker.
Add the chicken broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, red curry paste, and sugar. Whisk together until smooth and well-combined. Add the chicken, scraping out any cornstarch stuck to the sides of the bowl, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on the LOW setting without stirring until the chicken is cooked through and tender, 4 to 6 hours.
Add the broccoli, gently stir to combine, and cover and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 30 to 45 minutes more. Serve over rice, topped with chopped peanuts and scallions. Serve the chili-garlic paste on the side.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.