Slow-Cooker Yumminess: Soy-Simmered Chicken


I am generally not a fan of the slow cooker, unless I am using it to “slow-finish” dishes I have started on the stove-top.  That way I get the caramelization from the high heat and the benefit of a long-“slow cook”.  Very few dishes work, cooked almost entirely in the slow-cooker, but this one does. One can dump it in the slow-cooker and then forget about it.  You can pan-fry the chicken pieces if you want to, but omitting that step is totally OK too.  This dish can be made on the stove top as well, but the slow cooker just makes it easier and the chicken comes out super fork-tender.

The potatoes I added to our dish were a super hit and everyone was fighting over them.  Just because I always like a bit of heat, we also added about a tablespoon of Sriracha.  And we prefer thighs over chicken breast, though the recipe allows for both.  Enjoy with some fluffy white or brown rice and a big side of your favorite vegetables.

Our little ones are fans of this dish and Stacie and I had a great time tweaking this recipe for our bi-weekly San Jose Mercury article.

Soy-Simmered Chicken

Serves 4


  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 inch-piece ginger, peeled then grated or finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1 to 2 teaspoons Sriracha, optional
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced, optional


1. In the slow-cooker, mix everything except the chicken and scallions until well combined. Add the chicken pieces, making sure to push them down into the liquid.

2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

3. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish; using 2 forks, break the chicken into smaller pieces for serving. Pour half the simmering liquid over the chicken.

4. Pour the remaining liquid into a small saucepan. Taste and correct seasoning, adding salt, sugar or vinegar, a little at a time. Simmer over moderate heat for about 5 minutes, reducing the liquid until it is syrupy. Brush or drizzle the glaze on the chicken and garnish with sliced scallions.

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