Friday, February 10, 2012

Vietnamese slow cooker chicken with bok choy

Vietnamese slow cooker chicken with bok choy: this easy weeknight dinner is prepped in 5 minutes and has a sweet, ginger-soy flavor.

Gingery Vietnamese slow cooker chicken with bok choy

Even though I can see acres of grass and almost no snow, it's still winter here in Vermont. Which also means that it's still slow cooker season.

I won't wax poetic about the advantages of a slow cooker meal, as you've heard them all before. (Although I do pat myself on the back for making a convert out of reader Cristina who finally got her very own slow cooker for xmas this year based on my nagging and is now hooked!)

So what could possibly make this slow cooker recipe that much more wicked than all others I have tried? Three things:
  1. It has essentially three ingredients: chicken, bok choy and sauce.
  2. Because it has so few ingredients, it is moronically easy and fast.
  3. The flavor is HEAVENLY! (Not to mention the aroma that will fill the house -- ay yi yi!)
I also love how I found this recipe -- yep, Pinterest. It's been catching on like a house-a-fire within the past month or two, and so many more participants means so many more great recipes to check out (among other things, like decorating tips, new light fixtures, cool DIY projects ... it's endless).

While the recipe itself originally comes from an old blog standby for me -- Stephanie O'Dea's Year of Slow Cooking -- I found it via Pinner Literary Mom, who found it on the blog Mom's Kitchen Handbook. Roundabout, yes, but well worth it!

This chicken dish literally takes five minutes to prepare and about 4 hours to cook. And that's it. The flavor is ever-so-slightly sweet but not cloyingly so, really perfect. And the chicken is so tender you won't need a knife. Not to mention that there's a boatload of bok choy in this, so you've got the whole healthy, one-dish-dinner thing covered.

Gingery Vietnamese slow cooker chicken with bok choy
The secret's in the sauce...
Gingery Vietnamese slow cooker chicken with bok choy
All prepped ... in 5 minutes!

I served it over brown rice, but Mr. Ninj ate the leftovers without any rice and liked it just as much. I bet it would be good with Israeli couscous or egg noodles, as well.

Gingery Vietnamese slow cooker chicken with bok choy

So go plug in your dinner: it will leave you a whole bunch of free time to start pinning -- or at least to start following my pins.

Vietnamese Slow Cooker Chicken with Bok Choy

(adapted from Mom's Kitchen Handbook and A Year of Slow Cooking)

About 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (note: you can use bone-in thighs but will need to cook the chicken about 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar (divided)
About 1 1/2 pounds bok choy (usually 2 smallish or 1 largish head)
salt and pepper

Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and arrange them in the bottom of a slow cooker. Combine the next five ingredients (through the canola oil) in a small bowl and add 1 tablespoon on the brown sugar; whisk until well blended. Pour the sauce over the chicken, cover and cook on low for about 4 hours.

Meanwhile, wash and chop the bok choy (you will use all the green part and some of the sturdier white part -- discard the base as you would with celery). When the chicken is finished cooking, remove it from the slow cooker temporarily and add the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar to the cooker liquid, stirring to dissolve. Stir in the bok choy until it is a bit coated with the sauce, then place the chicken on top of the bok choy. Replace the lid and cook on HIGH for about another 8-10 minutes or until the bok choy is tender.

May be served over brown rice.
-- print recipe --


  1. Well, I know what I'm going to do with the big package of boneless thighs that I just bought!

  2. This turned out great. Thanks!

  3. This was really good. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Is the fish sauce pertinent to the recipe?? It looks yummy.

    1. Yes, Stephanie, it's pretty important, flavor-wise -- it gives it a little extra savory oomph. Don't skip it! :-)

  5. My husband was bragging on this recipe today to cooks he works with! From what I know, he doesn't do that often! Thanks, Jules! We followed the recipe as is. I'll probably add onions along with the chicken next time around, but just because I want more veggies in my life....... and onions are one of my best friends in the veggie world! -- Oh! One more thing, I just looked up the recipe again so I could share it with one of my best friends! (yes, this link is also pinned on my Tried & True Favs page....... Yum!) Thanks again!

  6. Is it possible to use chicken breasts instead of the thighs?

    1. Sure, Christy, but you'd need to cook them a bit longer -- closer to 6-8 hours, depending on your crockpot.

  7. Can this be made with FROZEN bone in thighs? Or does the chicken need to be thawed prior to cooking?

    (I'm so sorry if this posts several times, I'm having trouble with my computer)

    1. No, Hannah, you'll need to thaw the chicken first. Enjoy!