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Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken – a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat…hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

One of my most favorite things about using a slow cooker is that it’s easy and my least favorite things is…. well…its slow! My slow cookers (at current count I have 4) get a workout around here but require patience…and Lord knows I don’t have much of that! Anyway, this really awesome recipe takes only about 2 -1/2 hours from start to finish, so do we really call it a slow cooker meal? You decide.

My friends, I can’t lie to you…if you love Chinese food this stuff is addictive. The sauce becomes so thick and the chicken so flavorful that if I closed my eyes (and didn’t see my messy kitchen) I would have believed we had just brought in take-out. And the sauce recipe is so delicious I think I am going to use it for stir-fry too!

 

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

For this dish, I did brown and almost pre-cook the chicken chunks first in a little oil. If you don’t want to take the time (or add the calories) to do that, the chicken chunks can just be thrown in the slow cooker and then allow about 3-4 hours for the cook time.

 

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

Here is the cast of characters – I did not take a picture of the rice or broccoli because they are optional…but I will put what you need in the ingredient list below.

Ingredients

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)

8 oz whole cashews, divided into 4 oz portions (I used salted cashews)

3 TBSP vegetable oil

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup *Ponzu sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup sweet Thai chili sauce

1/3 cup **rice vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

4 cups cooked white rice (optional for serving)

2 cups steamed broccoli stems (optional for serving)

*Ponzu sauce is similar to soy sauce but it has added citrus flavor and is lighter than soy sauce. Sold in the oriental food aisle

** Rice Vinegar is lighter and less sour than regular vinegar. It is sold in the oriental food aisle. Substitute another light vinegar like champaigne vinegar if you do not have rice vinegar. If using regular white vinegar, use 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup water instead.

 

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

 

Get started by cutting up the chicken breasts into large bite size chunks. Use a really sharp knife and make sure the breasts are really cold or even slightly frozen. It makes cutting so much easier. Note – I always cut chicken on a glass cutting board so I can sanitize it afterward.

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

 

Mix the cornstarch and the pepper in a large plastic bag or large container with a lid.  Add all the chicken chunks to the cornstarch mixture and shake until all of the chicken is coated.

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

 

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken and over medium-high heat, brown the chicken on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. The smell of that browning chicken is just heavenly!

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

 

This is what the chicken should look like on all sides…a lovely golden brown. Aren’t they pretty!  Oh so pretty! The chicken chunks should be more than half cooked thru when you are done. While the chicken is cooking, mix up the sauce. Into a medium bowl, add the Ponzu, ketchup, Thai chili sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, pepper flakes and 1/2 (4 oz) of the cashews. Stir until blended.

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

Place the chicken into the slow cooker and pour the sauce over the chicken, Set the slow cooker on high for 2 hours. Start checking the chicken at 1-1/2 hours for doneness. The chicken is done when tender and cooked thru and the sauce is thick. If the sauce gets too thick, just add a little water to thin it out, it won’t hurt a thing!

 

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

During the last 1/2 hour of cooking the chicken, make the white rice and broccoli. To serve, place rice portion into a bowl and top with chicken and sauce.  Decoratively tuck broccoli stems into the bowl and garnish attractively with remaining cashews, then take 200 pictures until you get just the right ones… (just kidding!)

 

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

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Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Description

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken – a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat…hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • 8 oz whole cashews, divided into 4 oz portions (I used salted cashews)
  • 3 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup *Ponzu sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup sweet Thai chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup **rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups cooked white rice (optional for serving)
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli stems (optional for serving)

Instructions

  1. Cut up the chicken breasts into large bite size chunks.
  2. Mix the cornstarch and the pepper in a large plastic bag or large container with a lid. Add all the chicken chunks to the cornstarch mixture and shake until all of the chicken is coated.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken and over medium-high heat, brown the chicken on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. The chicken should be almost cooked thru.
  4. Into a medium bowl, add the Ponzu, ketchup, Thai chili sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, pepper flakes and 1/2 (4 oz) of the cashews. Stir until blended.
  5. Place the chicken into the slow cooker and pour the sauce over the chicken, Set the slow cooker on high for 2 hours. Start checking the chicken at 1-1/2 hours. The chicken is done when cooked thru and the sauce is thick.
  6. Optional- During the last 1/2 hour of cooking, prepare the white rice and broccoli according to package directions.
  7. To serve, place rice portion into a large bowl and top with chicken and sauce. Tuck broccoli stems into the bowl and garnish with remaining cashews.

Notes

*Ponzu sauce is similar to soy sauce but it has added citrus flavor and is lighter than soy sauce. Sold in the oriental food aisle

** Rice Vinegar is lighter and less sour than regular vinegar. It is sold in the oriental food aisle. Substitute another light vinegar like champaigne vinegar if you do not have rice vinegar. If using regular white vinegar, use 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup water instead.

 

Put down that take-out menu! Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - a zesty blend of chicken, cashews and a spicy sauce has your favorite fast food beat...hands down! Served with rice and broccoli it is a complete meal!

If you enjoyed this recipe, please pin it and share it with your friends!!  This was adapted from a similar recipe by  The Recipe Critic.