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Easy Winner Crock-Pot Chicken Dinner

I had planned a simple chicken dinner yesterday.  I had a pile of chicken thighs in the freezer, so my plan had been to pull them out and simply bake them with some rice and serve some green beans on the side.  My problem with that plan was timing- we have dance classes on Tuesday and dinner has to be planned right down to the minute because of being in-and-out and back-and-forth.  I could rely on Andy to assist with popping things in and out of the oven, but the more I thought on this plan, the more I thought I wasn’t in the mood for simple baked chicken thighs.  I wanted to do something different.

So I went to A Year Of Slow Cooking and looked through Stephanie’s chicken recipes for something that spoke to me.  The only requirement I really had was that it used on-hand ingredients.  Brown Sugar Chicken kept calling to me, so that’s the direction I went.

Literally, this took less than five minutes to put in the crockpot, and it used seven ingredients that required very minimal preparation.  The most difficult thing was smashing the cloves of garlic with the side of my knife- I didn’t even need to chop them, just smash and drop them in.

I did use frozen skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs.  I had to adjust cooking procedure a bit because of that, but what I ended up doing was dropping them in the crockpot with the sauce on high for a couple of hours.  Probably about three hours or so into cooking, I removed the skin from the thighs and then let them continue cooking on low for the remaining time while I was away.  I had a simple pot of rice on the stove, and green beans on the side, and this dish turned out better than I expected.

My changes to the recipe were as follows:  I only used 2/3 cup of brown sugar, and then increased the Sierra Mist to 1/3 cup from 1/4 cup.  For the vinegar I used apple cider vinegar, and while you couldn’t really identify the vinegar in the finished dish, it added a pleasant tang that cut through the sweetness.   And as far as the sweetness goes, it was not anywhere near as sweet as I was expecting.  Sweet and sour chicken is way more sweeter than this dish.

Really, it’s very, very good.  Andy used those exact words last night- more than once.  Zander ate some of his chicken and said it was fine, which is high marks from the boy who doesn’t care much for chicken.  Abigail had two thighs on her plate, and a few minutes later there was only a little pile of bones.  So this was a winner with the whole family.

You can find the recipe right here at Stephanie’s place.

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