Like most of you, my introduction to sweet and sour chicken was by way of my local takeout joint. Several years later, I discovered that this takeout favorite is surprisingly easy to make at home — and easier still when your slow cooker is involved. The impossibly delicious sweet and tangy sauce comes together with just a few pantry ingredients, and it thickens while it cooks, blanketing the boneless chicken thighs and veggies.
The Easiest Sweet & Sour Sauce Needs Just 4 Ingredients
As the name implies, this bold, sticky sauce hits your tongue with a sweet flavor, but stops short of being overwhelmingly sweet, thanks to a pop of vinegar that lends tangy balance and brightens things up. You'll start with brown sugar and ketchup, and then add a splash of apple cider vinegar and a few tablespoons of cornstarch (which gives this sauce the thick texture you expect). It's stirred together directly in the slow cooker so all that's left to do is add the chicken, peppers, and onion and stir it all together.
Crock-Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
Prep time: 5 minutes ; cooking time: 1 hour to 3 hours
packed brown sugar
apple cider vinegar
boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6 to 8)
medium red or green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
large onion, chopped
Place the brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, and cornstarch in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the chicken, peppers, and onion and stir to combine.
Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 2 to 3 hours or on the HIGH setting for 1 to 2 hours.
Storage: Leftovers will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.