Broccoli and slightly-spicy Asian chicken make a perfect combination in this Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Broccoli Bowl that's gluten-free and dairy-free.
One day I started thinking about how take-out Chinese food often comes with broccoli, and that's what inspired this recipe for Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Broccoli Bowls. It was a simple enough idea, slightly spicy Asian chicken cooked in the slow cooker and then served over steamed broccoli in a bowl, but it took Kara and I a few different tries to come up with a version we thought was a winner.
We first made this with trimmed and cut-up boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and if you don't mind the work of trimming them, they'll work great in the recipe. But we experimented with cut-up boneless, skinless chicken breasts and decided they were so much easier and worked well if you don't stir too enthusiastically (that will make the chicken shred apart). We also tried a version with sugar-free orange marmalade, which didn't appeal to either of us.
The final keeper version uses sugar-free apricot preserves. The sugar-free preserves do have artificial sweetener, so if you don't want to use that just look for no-sugar-added apricot preserves instead. That will make the carb count a bit higher, but this is still a pretty diet friendly dish. One ingredient we used that some people may not be familiar with is Tamarind Sauce. If you can't find that (or don't want to buy it), just replace with a little more apricot preserves.
Kara tested this out on her kids the day we made, and even though we thought it was slightly spicy, she reported back that the kids gobbled it up. You can use less Chili Garlic Sauce if you're making this for kids. (If you don't want to use a slow cooker you could use the recipe for Easy Spicy Asian Chicken which has very similar ingredients and just serve it over broccoli.)
Cut up chicken breasts into largish bite-sized pieces. Mix apricot preserves, soy sauce, sesame oil, Chili Garlic Sauce, garlic powder, ginger puree, Tamarind Sauce (or more preserves), granulated Stevia, and brown sugar (or more Stevia). Put chicken and sauce in slow cooker and cook on high about 2 1/2 hours, or until chicken is cooked through.
Be prepared for the mixture to look a little unappealing when it's done because there will be some bits of cooked protein from the chicken. Gently drain chicken in a colander placed in the sink, catching the sauce. (I strained it through a fine strainer.) Put chicken back in the slow cooker and turn to low; put the sauce in a small pan and reduce over low heat until it's as thick as you'd like it, about 20 minutes. Gently combine sauce and chicken in the slow cooker.
When the sauce is just about thickened, steam or microwave the broccoli to the level of crispness you prefer. (We microwaved it for just barely over a minute to keep the broccoli slightly crisp.) Divide broccoli between four or six bowls and spoon some chicken and sauce over each.
Serve hot, sprinkled with sesame seeds and with a sauce like Sriracha to add at the table for those who'd like more heat.
Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Broccoli Bowls
(Makes 4-6 servings, depending on what else you serve it with. Recipe created by Kalyn and Kara, after quite a few experiments that weren't quite the one!)
I would use a 3 to 4 Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe.
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-6 chicken breasts)
6-8 cups cut up broccoli florets
sesame seeds, for garnish
Sriracha Sauce for serving, optional
3/4 cup sugar-free apricot preserves (or use no-sugar-added apricot preserves if you don't want artificial sweetener)
3 T soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 T Chili Garlic Sauce (more or less to taste)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ginger puree (from a jar; sold near the produce in most stores and also called ground ginger)
3 T Tamarind Sauce (or use more apricot preserves if you don't want to buy Tamarind
1 T granulated Stevia
1 T brown sugar (or use another tablespoon of Stevia if you prefer)
Trim fat and any undesirable parts from the chicken breasts and cut into largish bite-sized pieces. Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray and put the chicken into the slow cooker.
Whisk together the apricot preserves, soy sauce, sesame oil, Chile Garlic Sauce, garlic powder, ginger puree, Tamarind sauce (or more apricot preserves), Stevia, and brown sugar (or more Stevia.) Pour the sauce over the chicken and stir so all the chicken pieces are coated with sauce. Cook on HIGH for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is done.
Don't be alarmed if the dish looks rather unappealing when it's first finished cooked, because there will be some bits of cooked protein floating in the sauce. Drain chicken in a colander, catching the sauce. (I strained the sauce again with a fine strainer.)
Put the chicken back into the slow cooker and turn to low to keep it warm. Simmer the sauce over low heat until it's as reduced and thickened as you'd like, about 20 minutes. Pour thickened sauce back into the slow cooker and VERY GENTLY stir so the chicken is coated with the sauce. (If you stir too vigorously the chicken will shred apart.)
When the sauce is nearly thickened, steam or microwave the broccoli until it's as crisp as you prefer. (We put the broccoli in an 8-cup glass measuring cup and microwaved on high for a little over a minute.)
Divide the broccoli among bowls and top each with some of the chicken and sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve Sriracha on the side for people who want to add a little more heat.
South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
This recipe does have carbs from the apricots, Tamarind sauce, (and the brown sugar if you use that) so it would be limited to phase 2 or 3 for the South Beach Diet and probably a bit high in carbs for most low-carb diet plans.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you're a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Chicken You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet or Low-Carb friendly; check ingredients.)
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Cabbage Bowl ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Soup ~ A Spicy Perspective
Low-Carb Slow Cooker Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Korean-Style Chicken ~ The Perfect Pantry
Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken with Lime and Melted Mozzarella ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)