This recipe for spiced ginger soy chicken is one that lets the Instant Pot or crock pot do all the magic, giving you an insanely aromatic, fall-off-the-bone-tender chicken dish
Of all the many ways I love my Instant Pot (and there are many!), I love it the most for its slow-cooking feature. When I talk about my Instant Pot it does sound like I’m gushing about a lover! Truth is, I use my Instant Pot nearly every single day when I’m at home, and have been fawning over it ever since I bought it more than a year ago. Oh this is not a sponsored post, although I wouldn’t mind if the good folks at Instant Pot would like to pay me for writing about them one day…
Coming to this dish itself – this slow-cooked chicken recipe is inspired from classic Chinese flavors – it has a mix of warm spices, similar to those used in a Chinese 5-spice mix. I just made my own version, from the spices I had on hand, and it turned out fantastic. Ginger and rice vinegar gradually tenderize the chicken over the time its being slow cooked, and the flavors of soy, garlic and spice mix intensify and are beautifully absorbed by the meat. By the time it was done, the meat was practically falling off the bones and my house was smelling like heaven – or more specifically, if ever heaven decided to open a Chinese restaurant and I happened to walk past.
This sauce is the kind that perfectly normal people would lick clean off a plate. And then ask for seconds, and thirds. I think I’ll be making this dish with pork next – slow cooking does the most wonderful things to pork! . Finish off the dish with some lightly toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallion stalks, and serve this dish with some jasmine rice that makes for the perfect vehicle for all that sauce.
If you’re looking for a warm and hearty Chinese-inspired recipe to liven up mealtimes in the Fall, you may also like my Cashew Chicken recipe .
- 4 star anise
- 5 cloves
- 1 teaspoon fennel
- 3-4 whole black peppercorns
- 2 inch piece of cinnamon
- 1.2 kilo chicken thighs and legs, skinned (8 pieces), preferably bone-in (you could use boneless chicken pieces as well)
- 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2-3 cloves garlic, grated
- 2-3 dried whole red chilies
- ½ cup sweet soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch/cornflour
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- Chopped scallions / spring onion stalks to garnish
- In a pan, on the stove-top, dry-roast the star anise, cloves, fennel, peppercorns and cinnamon for a minute, until the whole spices are fragrant. Grind the spices in a mortal and pestle or in a masala or coffee grinder. Keep the spice mix aside.
- In the bowl of your slow cooker (I used my Instant Pot), combine the chicken with the ginger, garlic, ground spice mix, red chilies, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey. Make sure the chicken is well coated with all the seasonings and sauces.
- In the 'slow cook' mode, cook the chicken for 2.5 hours on 'High' (see notes).
- Once done, the chicken will be tender and nearly falling off the bone.
- Now, switch to 'Saute' mode in the 'Less' setting.
- In a cup, mix together the corn starch and a couple teaspoons water to form a slurry. Add this to the chicken, giving it a few gentle stirs.
- Let it simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Turn it off after 5 minutes.
- Serve with a garnish of sesame seeds and chopped scallion stalks.
When using the slow cook mode on the Instant Pot, cook on 'High' for 2-3 hours or 'Low' for 3-4 hour. I cooked it for 3 hours and the meat was literally falling off the bones. Adjust the cooking time depending on how tender you like your chicken. If you are slow-cooking in a pot on a stove-top, make sure you turn the chicken over occasionally, and that you cook on low heat.
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