On the never ending quest for more and more slow cooker recipes, I came across this one for Honey Garlic Chicken, and I must tell you it was simply amazing! At first I was a bit skeptical of one of the ingredients. Ummm… Blackberry jam…? It reminded me of an appetizer that my mom used to make in the crockpot using grape jelly, cocktail sauce and cocktail wieners (I did like those ‘lil guys as a kid… but…). The blackberry jam just adds an element of richness to the honey garlic chicken. It doesn’t make things overly sweet like you may think.
I just love using the slow cooker on weeknights. It’s like a *bonus* when you come home from work and realize that you have all this extra time to
watch the Kardashians catch up on other things. Plus, when you walk through the door and are greeted by the aromas of this sweet and spicy chicken, you’ll thank me. The chicken is cooked in a sauce of tamari, honey, aforementioned blackberry jam, oyster sauce, and, of course, garlic. Once fully cooked, the meat is shredded, the sauce thickened, and then it’s all tossed together again, coating every little bit with that delicious sauce.
I’m looking for all the extra time I can get right now. Last weekend I attended a blogging conference, IndulgePDX, and have been scrambling ever since to get back on track with my recipe planning and grocery shopping. It was such a great conference though you guys. I learned more than I could have ever imagined. But, the best part was making connections with fellow food bloggers. They all have such amazing blogs, and most of them are quite a bit more established than myself, so they had plenty of helpful advice for me.
On our final day of the conference, we were treated to an amazing trip to the Willamette Valley (just out my backdoor). We were led on a tour of a local farm, Our Table Cooperative. We got to taste blooms from the mustard plant (that taste just faintly of mustard), fresh blueberries still on the plants, and we even snuck a jar of honey from their bees to take along to our next stop on the tour. Our Table Cooperative’s on-site grocery offers a curated selection of foods and products, including dairy, produce, meat, health and wellness, dry goods, and prepared meals. There’s also a bulk section, an amazing array of wines (my personal favorite) and a growler station pouring beer and kombucha.
After the farm tour, we were “indulged” in a hands on cooking class at The Kitchen at Middleground Farms – OMG, this place, like amazing. The kitchen of my dreams. Housed in a barn with concrete floors, a huge island, and commercial cooking equipment. The barn doors open fully to the outdoors letting in all of the fresh air and beautiful sunlight. There’s also chickens on site as well as goats, for producing cheese and milk. Plus, we were greeted with a tray of Pinot Gris and Albarino (WOOT WOOT). We made such a yummy dish of crostini topped with strawberries and a red wine caramel over whipped goat cheese. Like really, we made that! Maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten!!! Umm… And ALSO, we made butter – Like for reals. And… We topped it with Jacobsen Sea Salt and spread it on a baguette and topped it with fresh radishes and… and… and… It was SO good! If you’re in the area, I highly suggest checking out their schedule of classes and visiting this place.
To top it all off, we ended our stay with a truly decadent lunch at The Allison Inn & Spa, prepared by their on-site restaurant JORY. The presentation was over the top and we were entirely spoiled with three courses and wine pairings. The Inn is in such a serene location surrounded by grape vines and sloping green hills everywhere you look. Plus, their 15,000 square foot spa features 12 individual treatment rooms, a swimming pool, whirlpool and sun terrace. If you’re looking for a location that is near dozens of amazing wineries and feels like a true escape, this is the spot for you! PS – If you’re looking to learn more about traveling to Oregon, check out Travel Oregon – They’ve got tons of great resources for visiting this great state.
And… we’re back to food talk. No more daydreaming about goats, and chickens, and wine and spas. Put this recipe on your list of things to make this week. I promise, you won’t regret it!
- 2½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup tamari, or soy sauce
- ¼ cup blackberry jam
- ¼ cup oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup diced onion
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 3 tbsp. water
- Sliced scallions, for garnish
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in the slow cooker.
- In a medium bowl, combine the honey, tamari, blackberry jam, oyster sauce, olive oil, garlic, onion and crushed red pepper flakes. Pour this mixture over the chicken thighs. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker (reserving the liquids) and place it on a plate. Using two forks, shred the chicken.
- In a small mason jar or tupperware, combine the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water. Shake well until fully combined.
- Transfer the liquids from the slow cooker into a small saucepan set over medium-high heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken, tossing to combine. Serve topped with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
- Chardonnay works well with this dish. Look for one with low oak and a good acidity.
- Riesling and Viognier are also great matches for the slightly spicy, yet sweet flavors of the dish. Look for one with low alcohol, below 14.5%.
- You can also use chicken breasts for this dish. However, its best to use bone in, as skinless breasts tend to dry out more easily.
- I like to serve this dish with some steamed rice and this Hawaiian Slaw.