Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken - dig out the crock pot and make this delicious and tender Teriyaki Chicken with a perfect ratio of sauce.
Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken
My slow cooker has been getting so much use lately. With the kids back at school, I am finding I need meals I can get prepped earlier in the day so that my time is freed up when they get home from school to help with homework etc.
So this week with some chicken breast to use up, I figured a simple teriyaki sauce would be a perfect meal to put in the slow cooker and forget about it until dinner time. It was a huge hit with the kids.
How long to cook chicken breast in the Slow Cooker?
Years ago, I rarely used my slow cooker, I found many recipe out there had far too long a cooking time and the meat especially chicken ended up dry and stringy. Unless it's pulled pork I really don't like shredded meat much.
So how long is the perfect timing to cook chicken breasts in a slow cooker? I really don't recommend cooking for any longer than 4 hours on low otherwise it will be overcooked. I don't cook chicken breast on high because for me it just ends up overcooked. In this recipe the chicken stays nice and tender, and can be sliced into pieces without it falling apart.
It will keep okay on the keep warm setting for a couple of hours, but obviously take into account this will continue to cook the chicken too, so you really want to avoid that if you can.
Can I use Chicken Thighs for this recipe?
If you want to use boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe instead, feel free to make the swap, both will work fine. I find the cooking time is fine, the only time you may want to increase it slightly is if you decide to use bone in thigs.
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
There are various recipes out there for Teriyaki Sauce but this is the ratio and combination that we like as a family. I like to use a mix of dark and light soy sauce, it just yields a deeper richer sauce that we prefer.
Traditional recipes usually have sake, mirin, sesame oil and brown sugar. But for ease of ingredients I skip the mirin and sake and instead just use maple syrup or honey. If you can get mirin, then you can swap 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup for this instead.
How to thicken sauces in the Slow Cooker
To thicken the Teriyaki Sauce, you can use various starches such as corn flour (or cornstarch), arrowroot or tapioca flour. Some people use xanthan gum, but I really don't like the final result of sauces uses this as an ingredient.
So my preferred choice is usually some cornstarch, it's readily available pretty much everywhere too so is a great option.
For thickening a sauce in the slow cooker, I prefer to not add the starch until the very last hour. I have tried adding it at the start, but really don't like the final result of the sauce doing it this way. Instead, on the last hour of cooking, I just mix the starch with a little water to make a slurry, quickly remove the lid from the slow cooker, stir in the slurry until all combined (try not to move the meat around), add back the lid and then let it do it's thing for the last hour.
Can this be made Gluten Free?
If you want to make this gluten free, you just need to ensure you use gluten free soy sauce and a gluten free starch.
Typically gluten free soy sauce tends to be lighter in colour, so you may not get the same deep colour of sauce, but the taste will be fine.
Sides for Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
For us it always has to be some white rice and Kokuho Rose is my favourite brand to use to serve with Teriyaki Chicken.
As well as rice I also do a side of some stir fried vegetables, usually broccoli, red pepper and courgette (zucchini). You can pair this with any stir fried vegetables you like.
Here are a few other suggestions:
- Bean sprouts
- Bok Choy/Pak Choi
- Baby Corn
- Bamboo Shoots
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Mange Tout
If you are trying to lower the carbs in your meal, you could opt for some of this Roasted Cauliflower Rice
More Japanese Inspired Recipes
Love Japanese Dishes and looking for some other Japanese inspired recipes? Check out these:
- Chicken Katsu Curry
- Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
- Teriyaki Chicken and Rice
- Chicken Yakitori
- Yakitori Chicken and Noodles
or if you would like more recipe ideas - head on over to the FULL RECIPE INDEX where you will find over 900 delicious recipes and can search by ingredients, course, diet and more.
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- 2 large uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx 600g/21oz)
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) maple syrup (or honey)
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) water
- 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb piece of ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (cornflour)
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- pinch of toasted sesame seeds
- Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker
- In a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, water, maple syrup, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger.
- Pour this over the chicken and set the slow cooker to cook on low for 4 hours.
- When the chicken has been cooking for 3 hours. Whisk the cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water to make a slurry. Stir this into the sauce (I also carefully flip the chicken breasts over at this point).
- Once finished cooking, carefully remove Chicken from slow cooker, and slice with a sharp knife,
- Sprinkle the chopped springs onions and a pinch of sesame seeds in the sauce and serve the sauce spooned over the chicken. (or alternatively you can add the sliced chicken back in to the sauce)
- Serve with your choice of sides and enjoy!!
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- Calories - scroll down to nutritional info box
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1 SERVING
Amount Per Serving Calories 267Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 87mgSodium 1008mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 0gSugar 16gProtein 47g