Slow Cooker Orange Chicken with Fresh Asian Slaw

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken with Fresh Asian Slaw -

When our weather turned chilly last fall, I made a vow to use my slow cooker more often until spring arrived. Not that our fair weather months don’t warrant the use of the slow cooker, but once the snow melts and the warmer temperatures come around, we are all about grilling. It’s almost a daily affair. And right now I’m missing it so much! Blake was doing a great job at keeping a path through the snow to our grills for most of the winter, but then we just kept getting hit over and over again with snow. And there just isn’t enough time or energy in the day to keep up with it when the snowfall is on constant repeat and there are kids and jobs and everything else to attend to. Needless to say, we lost the battle. So now we’re just waiting for some warmer temps to shrink away all this snow.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep experimenting with new slow cooker recipes. This Slow Cooker Orange Chicken with Fresh Asian Slaw has quickly become a favorite around here. And be sure to check back next week when I share a recipe that you’ve all been waiting for…a slow cooker version of that awesome lasagna soup. It’s been such a popular recipe, and I’ve received so many requests for a slow cooker version. So I incorporated not only the use of a slow cooker, but also a number of other things you’ve been asking for. It’s as wonderful as the original!

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken with Fresh Asian Slaw -

If you find most orange chicken dishes at restaurants to be cloyingly sweet and almost fake in their orange flavor…and if you try to stay away from fried versions of orange chicken…then I have a treat for you!

I love the fact that this dish of orange chicken comes together in a slow cooker. And that I can get that wonderfully warm and bright citrus flavor that I’m craving, and it actually tastes like orange! I am one of those people who tries to avoid fried foods (although I definitely have moments of indulgence here and there), so that part is also a plus for me. The recipe calls for a combination of both white and dark chicken and is topped with a simple optional fresh veggie slaw, packing in extra flavor. It’s the perfect meal solution when the path to your grills is piled high with snow!

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken with Fresh Asian Slaw

Yield: 6 servings


for the orange chicken:

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3 pieces each
  • 1 c. orange marmalade
  • 3/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice, from about 3 large oranges, divided
  • zest from 3 large oranges, divided
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. Trader Joe's General Tsao Stir Fry Sauce (or substitute hoisin sauce)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 c. chopped red onion
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 T. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • sliced green onions
  • sesame seeds
  • fresh orange slices
  • freshly ground black pepper

for the fresh Asian slaw:

  • 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 T. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 c. thinly sliced fresh vegetables - I like to use a combination of carrots, red bell pepper, and red onion, plus a little bit of minced Fresno chile pepper


for the orange chicken:

Place chicken thighs and breast pieces in the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, stir together the marmalade, 1/2 cup of the orange juice, the zest from 2 oranges, soy sauce, stir fry sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Pour over the chicken and gently combine to coat the chicken. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, stirring a couple times to incorporate.

Use a tongs or large spoon to remove the chicken pieces from the slow cooker to a cutting board. With two forks, shred the chicken into bite size pieces. The chicken should be very tender.

Transfer the liquid from the slow cooker into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Return the shredded chicken to the warm slow cooker. Bring liquid in saucepan to a boil. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of orange juice with the cornstarch, and then whisk the orange slurry into the boiling liquid. Cook until the liquid reduces a bit and thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining orange zest and then pour sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker, stirring to combine. Serve orange chicken over rice with sliced green onions, sesame seeds, fresh orange wedges for squeezing over the top, and fresh Asian slaw. A couple grindings of black pepper are lovely, too.

for the fresh Asian slaw:

In a medium bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, lime juice, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Add thinly sliced mix of vegetables and toss to combine. This can be made a day ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator, and is actually better when the flavors have a chance to mingle for at least a few hours before eating. I like the contrast of crunchy tangy vegetables in this slaw with the sweet and tender orange chicken. But this slaw is completely optional, and the orange chicken is perfectly wonderful without it.

from a farmgirl's dabbles


31 Responses to “Slow Cooker Orange Chicken with Fresh Asian Slaw”

  1. #
    Tieghan Gerard — March 7, 2014 at 7:58 am

    This is the perfect meal, Brenda! One that everyone will love, is easy to make and healthy too! Also, I hate frying so this is perfect! Oh and that slaw sounds delicious!

    • Brenda replied on March 7th, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks, Tieghan! I do love fried foods, but don’t like doing it in my own kitchen, either…takes days for that smell to leave!

  2. #
    Kim | Just For Clicks — March 7, 2014 at 8:01 am

    My husband loves Asian flavors and I love the convenience of using my slow cooker… so this recipe is a win! Pinning to try soon…. PS ~ We normally grill year round. This winter? NotSoMuch! Cannot wait to grill again too. Spring is coming soon Friend.

    • Brenda replied on March 7th, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      I’ll hold you to that, Kim. I’m really craving getting back outside for walks and opening up the windows! Have a great weekend!

  3. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — March 7, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I made myself the same slow cooker promise, and still need to use it a few more times to make good. Love homemade versions of restaurant dishes like this!

    • Brenda replied on March 7th, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      It’s been fun using it more, for sure. So wonderful to have all the cozy meals during this crazy winter of low temps and high snowfall!

  4. #
    Sandy @ ReluctantEntertainer — March 7, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Looks fantastic, Brenda. Orange chicken is one of my favorite entrees! Ever!

    • Brenda replied on March 7th, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks, Sandy! :)

  5. #
    ATasteOfMadness — March 7, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Wow, this is a gorgeous meal! I just found out that I have a slow cooker in my house, so I’m dying to take it out and give some recipes a try.

    • Brenda replied on March 7th, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Have fun! There are so many great meals for the slow cooker.

  6. #
    Kelly Finger — March 7, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Is there an easy substitute for the hoisin sauce/Trader Joe’s sauce? I don’t love hoisin sauce and don’t want to make a special trip to Trader Joe’s.

    • Brenda replied on March 7th, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Hi Kelly! How about a sweet chili sauce or a sweet jalapeno jelly…any kind of sauce that has a sweet and spicy combo. I could even see some kind of bbq sauce.

  7. #
    Maria | Pink Patisserie — March 7, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I’m such a fan of slow cook dishes and my teenagers love, orange chicken. This dish is perfect for my busy life and it looks gorgeous!

    • Brenda replied on March 7th, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Thank you so much, Maria. Hope your family likes this, too!

  8. #
    Gaby — March 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    What a fantastic meal, so bright and delicious!

    • Brenda replied on March 7th, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Thank you so much, Gaby. Happy Weekend to you!

  9. #
    cheri — March 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Love this! What a great family meal.

    • Brenda replied on March 7th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Thank you, Cheri! :)

  10. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — March 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Oh how I miss grilling, too. But I’d quickly get over it if I had this orange chicken for dinner! And psst — I hear we’re getting into the 40s next week… there is hope! ;)

    • Brenda replied on March 7th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      I’m not sure I’ll know how to act next week, we’ve had it so cold and snowy all season long. Giddy, for sure! Hope you’re doing well – have a great weekend!

  11. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — March 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Looks delicious Brenda! Love orange chicken.

  12. #
    Tammy — March 7, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Has anyone else had trouble printing the Orange Chicken recipe? Twice my printing comes out like gobble degook.

  13. #
    Rebecca {foodie with family} — March 7, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Brenda- I bet this is such a fantastic meal to bridge the cap between winter and spring. I love orange chicken and I love the slow-cooker angle!

  14. #
    julia — March 8, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    This looks wonderful! I love orange chicken and that Asian slaw looks perfect!

  15. #
    Paula – bell’alimento — March 8, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I love slow cooker recipes! This asian bowl looks amazing!

  16. #
    Megan @ Country Cleaver — March 9, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    It’s like you’re reading my mind Brenda – orange chicken is my kryptonite! Ben is going to flip for this – I might have to make this for our busy week!

  17. #
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea — March 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I have a daughter in law who craves orange chicken. I crave Asian slaw. I think this may be a match made in heaven to quote an overused metaphor. Also since I am a working woman, the slow cooker is my very very dear friend.


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