5 minutes prep for dinner? Yes please! Especially if it’s this juicy pile of shredded chicken coated with a sticky Asian sauce! Make it in your slow cooker, pressure cooker or on the stove – instructions provided for all three. And I bet you have all the ingredients to make this in your pantry!
This is a bit of a unique recipe in my books for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there are very few recipes where I’ll say it really does not matter if you brown the meat first before cooking it. This really is a “chuck it all in, set and forget” recipe.
And secondly, I don’t cook with chicken breast much. I know it’s healthier and I do know a foolproof way of poaching it so it’s guaranteed to come out juicy (I’ve got the direction in this Foolproof Poached Chicken Chinese Noodle Soup recipe).
But chicken breast is more expensive and has less flavour than every single other part of the chicken! (Eerm, well, I must say, I stick to the ordinary cuts – wings, thighs etc. I’m told that chicken feet, liver, heart etc is very tasty, but I don’t have any immediate plans to find out for myself!)
I find it very amusing when I go to Asian butchers and find that “western” cuts of meat are so cheap because Asians don’t value lean cuts of meat like chicken breast, lamb back strap and pork tenderloin. Asians love “dark meat” – chicken wings, and red meat cuts that need to be slow cooked. More flavour!
However, when it comes to shredded chicken, breast is best (try saying that after 5 wines). You can make this with any cut of chicken, but chicken breast shreds the easiest. Plus, because the sauce it’s tossed in is so jammy, you don’t need a fatty cut of chicken.
I make this in my slow cooker, on the stove and even the pressure cooker. Just depends on my schedule on the day. No marinating is required, no browning, nothing. This really is a super shortcut recipe that doesn’t compromise on flavor or quality at all. You know how there are some recipes which are turned into shortcut recipes? This is not one of those. This is how it is meant to be made.
It’s a handy “back pocket” recipe to have because you probably always have the ingredients to make this in your pantry. And the sauce flavour is quite neutral so it’s a great base for adding your own touch. I like to add ginger, sriracha or red pepper flakes, a dash of hoisin or oyster sauce, or sesame oil.
Typically I just serve it on rice, though I LOVE it in Chinese buns too. And I often make a double batch because the sauce and chicken are fantastic for making fried rice! I’ve provided directions in the notes to the recipe.
Oh, and it freezes well too! The sauce does thin slightly, but the flavour is all there. When I defrost it, I like to pan fry it as the caramelisation sort of revitalises it and the excess liquid evaporates.
Hope you’re having a wonderful week! – Nagi
- 1 lb / 500g chicken breast (skinless, boneless pieces)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp oil (vegetable, canola, olive oil or grapeseed oil)
- ⅓ cup soy sauce (ordinary soy sauce)
- ⅓ cup white vinegar (or substitute with other vinegar except balsamic)
- 3 tbsp jam (Note 1)
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns or ½ tbsp ground black pepper (Note 2)
- ¾ cups water
- 2 tsp cornstarch / cornflour
- 3 tsp water
- Slow Cooker: Place all the Shredded Chicken ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 5 hours (or 2½ hours on high).
- Pressure Cooker: Place all the Shredded Chicken ingredients in the pressure cooker. Cook for 35 minutes on high.
- Stove: Place all the Shredded Chicken ingredients in a saucepan large enough for the chicken to fit snugly in one layer. Add ½ cup extra water so the chicken is mostly, but not completely submerged. Cover and simmer for about 50 to 60 minutes, turning once or twice.
- The chicken is ready when it can be easily shredded with two forks. Remove the chicken from the liquid and shred it while it is warm. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
- Transfer the liquid to a saucepan and bring to simmer. (Note 3) Reduce to around1¼ cups - it should only take a few minutes.
- Mix together the Sauce Thickening ingredients and add to the saucepan. Simmer until it it thickens to a syrup consistency.
- Toss the chicken in the sauce and serve over rice. (Note 4)
2. I like pops of black pepper in this. It's not that spicy because it becomes mild once cooked. But if you're making this for kids, I recommend using ground pepper.
3. If your slow cooker has a saute setting, you can do this in your slow cooker. If you are using a stovetop pressure cooker, you can do this in the pressure cooker.
4. The sauce is great to use for fried rice, as is the chicken. Just stir fry onions and garlic, add diced vegetables, then day old cooked rice, the chicken and the sauce. Stir fry to heat through, then serve!
5. You can add extra flavourings if you want! I like to add ginger, sriracha or red pepper flakes, a dash of hoisin or oyster sauce, or sesame oil.
6. Freeze leftovers after cooking and tossing in sauce. To use, allow to defrost then I recommend pan frying with a bit of oil. This will revitalise it as the sauce tends to become a bit watery when it defrosts.
Nutrition per serving INCLUDING 3/4 cup of cooked white rice per person (which accounts for 137 calories of the total 446 calories). Serve with steamed greens to complete the meal.