Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Crock Pot Brown Sugar Chicken Recipe!

I decided to try Brown Sugar Chicken in my crock pot again for dinner last night--I hadn't made it since the first time a few months ago when Dan and I really enjoyed it, but it turned into a screamfest with Jake (and Alex didn't eat it, either).  I made a few tweaks to the recipe based on some of my feelings about the meal first time I made it, and was really hoping to get the kids' approval this time.  Here's my recipe, since I modified it a bit from the original!

Good Housewife Crock Pot Brown Sugar Chicken

Prepared in a manual 3-quart round Crock-Pot. 
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  3 hours
Makes 4 servings.

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into halves
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 clove chopped garlic (I used 1/4 tsp minced garlic seasoning to save time!)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda
  • black pepper to taste (I put in 4 small shakes from my pepper shaker)
  • 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Veggies (your preference--I used baby carrots, 1 bell pepper, and some green beans)
  • Rice, prepared per directions (I use white Minute Rice)

  • Place chicken halves into the bottom of the crock pot.
  • Cover chicken with brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, and soy sauce.
  • Pour in the lemon-lime soda, and shake pepper in to taste.
  • Cover and cook the chicken on low for 2 hours.
  • After two hours, open the crock pot, turn your chicken pieces if they weren't fully submerged in the broth, and add cornstarch to the broth--make sure you stir it up really well!  If you prefer a thicker, less watery broth, add more cornstarch (in small increments!)--it will thicken more as it is heated.
  • Add veggies to your pot--I put the carrots in first, down into the broth around the chicken (because carrots take longer to soften, and because the brown sugar flavor really complements the carrots), and then added the peppers and green beans on top.
  • Cover and cook on low for 1 more hour, or until chicken is done.
  • Serve chicken and veggies over rice, with as much broth as preferred.

Nutritional Information:  Between 260-300 calories without rice and veggies, depending on how much chicken you eat.  I ate half of a chicken breast (267 calories for chicken and broth) with 1/2 cup of white rice (200 calories) and some carrots, green beans, and peppers (70 calories).  I also had 1/4 of a dinner roll for an extra 25 calories.  My whole meal came to 562 calories.

Good Housewife Crock Pot Brown Sugar Chicken

I love the changes I made to the recipe--cutting down on the pepper was a fantastic call for my family.  Adding a little more brown sugar this time around also improved the taste--it felt a lot more balanced.  And I may have finally figured my kids out...which is a pretty bold (yet sure to be short-lived) statement, considering that what I have figured out for today almost certainly won't hold true for tomorrow.  When Abby asked what I was making for dinner (in front of both boys), I just said, "Chicken and rice," as nonchalantly as I could.  I pulled Abby aside later and told her I was actually making Brown Sugar Chicken, but that I didn't want the boys to freak out.  Everyone asked to see the chicken in the pot, but I conveniently covered it with veggies before lifting them up to see...sneaky mom!  Then when I plated it, I cut the kids' chicken into small pieces--Jake freaked out that the outer part of the chicken was brown last time, so I attempted to make it look not so brown on his plate.  The only meat Alex has ever eaten (other than bacon!) is turkey, so I set his plate in front of him and said, "Eat your turkey, Alex!"  Dan totally wasn't following along with my tricks--he kept asking me what the meal was called, and kept calling it chicken...grrr.  Jake started to fuss about the chicken (without trying it, of course), but I just told him that it was delicious, that I wanted a quiet meal after cooking it for him, and that he wasn't getting anything else.  I tried to be firm yet pleasant...and wouldn't you know?  It worked!  He ate all his chicken, and he did not cry--he even said it was good!  He also ate rice and carrots--success!  Abby ate all her meal and thought it was great, so then I just had to work on Alex.  He ate all his carrots first, and then dug into the rice...but of course, left the turkey/chicken untouched.  I kept calling it turkey for him, but he finally corrected me:  "Mommy, it's not turkey--it's chicken!"  I conceded and asked him to try it--I told him that it tasted like candy.  :)  He tried it, and LOVED it!  He ate all the chicken on his plate--I couldn't believe it!  We may get a carnivore out of that kid yet.  It was such a nice meal--it tasted delicious, and at one point, I looked around the table at everyone quietly and happily eating and thought, "So this is what a good family home-cooked dinner should look like."  Hooray for a few recipe modifications, and for being persistent in trying new meals with the kids!

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