Recipe: Slow Cooker Honey-Garlic Chicken Breasts

updated Apr 30, 2019
Slow Cooker Chicken Breast
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

If you’re looking for an easy way to dress up that pack of chicken breasts this week, this is it! These slow-cooked chicken breasts are juicy and full of flavor. Finished with a sticky-sweet honey-garlic sauce, this chicken is versatile enough to top a week of meals — from polenta and potatoes to stir-fry and noodle bowls — that the whole family will love.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Buy Family Packs for Similarly Sized Chicken

The key to serving juicy boneless breasts is braising them in a flavorful sauce just until they are done (and no longer!). Starting with similarly sized chicken parts (for consistent cooking) sounds simple, but compare two trays of boneless, skinless chicken breasts side by side and you’ll see their sizes can vary dramatically. I find the most consistent sizes in the larger “family packs,” which are usually sold at a lower price per ounce as well.

3 Steps for Crowd-Pleasing Chicken

It takes just three steps to turn lean chicken breasts into a sweet and garlicky dinner that the whole family will love.

1. Sear the chicken breasts on one side to develop color and flavor. This stovetop step takes just a few minutes, although if you truly don’t have time, don’t despair — you can simply add the raw chicken directly to the slow cooker. The role of the slow cooker for this recipe is to provide an hour or two of hands-free cooking.

2. Slow-cook on LOW for 2 hours or HIGH for 1 hour once the chicken breasts are seared and the sauce is mixed. Although the sauce is initially thick and syrupy, it thins when simmered with the chicken in the slow cooker.

3. Reduce the sauce until thick, sticky, and deep mahogany in color.

Slow Cooker Chicken Breast

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes to 2 hours 10 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1/2 cup

    honey

  • 2 tablespoons

    ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon

    low-sodium tamari or soy sauce

  • 5 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • Sesame seeds and sliced scallions, for serving

Instructions

  1. Season the chicken all over with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken and sear until the bottoms are browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker seared-side up, doing your best to arrange in a single layer, though you may need to overlap them slightly.

  2. Whisk the honey, ketchup, tamari or soy sauce, and garlic together in a small bowl. Pour over the chicken.

  3. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and registers an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 hours on the LOW setting or about 1 hour on the HIGH setting.

  4. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board to rest. Pour the sauce in the slow cooker into a wide skillet or saucepan. Cook over medium heat until darkened in color, thickened slightly, and reduced by about 1/3, about 5 minutes.

  5. Pour the sauce over the chicken and top with sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The honey-garlic sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight container and whisk to combine before adding to the slow cooker.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Styling by Ayda Robana

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