Who Needs Panda Express Chicken Anyway? Sticky Chicken


So once again, here I am already apologizing in the wee hours of the morning.


As promised, here is the Thing 1’s beloved favorite new recipe, “Who Needs Panda Express Chicken Anyway? Sticky Chicken” (Do you think Thing 1 has a future in marketing? *grin*)

The original recipe comes courtesy to us from Farm Girl Gourmet.  The Farm Girl Gourmet, btw, is a very talent food blogger and comes highly recommended.  Check out her site if you get a chance, you won’t be disappointed. As previously mentioned, I am a rule breaker and cook much like MacGyver at times.  For those old enough to understand that TV reference, I apologize profusely and for those too young.. he was the coolest guy evah.

Moving right along 😉


1/2 cup local honey (My honey came from the great state of North Carolina! Go Tar Heels!  But I’m sure any honey would do just fine.  I would strongly recommend, however, to use a golden thicker, honey versus the kind you find in a plastic honey bear found in your “local grocery store”

1/2 cup light brown sugar (we tend to have a “sweet tooth” in our house, so we added between another 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup)

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce (Because we are a gluten free home, we used tamari sauce.  I cannot stress how much better tamari tastes so much better than soy sauce.)

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

2 teaspoons sriracha (or other hot pepper sauce)  (sriracha all the way, baby!)

black pepper

10 chicken drumsticks, skin removed and discarded (Unfortunately, my local grocery store did not sell drumsticks unskinned so I had to rely on kitchen shears to do the job. Yuck! Do yourself a favor and pay the extra $ and buy them skinned if available)

cilantro (These last two ingredients I did not use only because Thing 1 and Thing 2 were home and can be picky eaters at times.  This would be a great addition to the meal I am sure)

toasted sesame seeds


In a sauce pan add the honey, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sriracha and season to taste with black pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sugars have dissolved and the sauce is beginning to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
In the bowl of a slow cooker, add the skinned chicken drumsticks and pour the sauce over. Move the chicken around a bit with tongs to coat completely. Put the lid on and cook on high for 4 hours, flipping chicken a couple of times during the cooking process. Just before serving, sprinkle with torn cilantro leaves and sesame seeds.
Serve with steamed white rice and your favorite veggie and devour!

Source Link:  Farm Girl Gourmet

My Notes:  The biggest “trick” to this recipe is to remember two things.   (1) When preparing the Sticky Sauce, you will need to boil it down to the “candy apple stage”. (2)   Slow cookers do not cook down liquids.

So what the heck does this exactly mean?  Stay with me and hopefully this will make sense.  *Fingers crossed*.   It is very important to boil the sauce down the “candy stage” and to let it cool for at least a couple of minutes before dipping the chicken into the sauce.  If you do not get the consistency of the sauce thick enough, it won’t adhere to the chicken.  It’s just that simple folks.  You can’t rush it.

Regarding the  slow cookers do not cook down liquids comment.  A word of warning:  you will be very disappointed when you take the chicken out of the slow cooker because it will not look the chicken in these pictures.


As the chicken is cooking in the original sauce, moisture is added into the slow cooker and the original glaze remains in the bottom of the pot.  To achieve the “sticky” back in the “sticky chicken”, about 15 minutes before the chicken was about to finished cooking, I threw together another batch of the sauce on the stove.  Once the chicken had completely cooked, I removed the chicken with kitchen tongs, gave it a couple of swirls in the new sauce and voila beautiful sticky chicken.  I know what you are thinking… that sounds like a awful lot of work.  But pinkie swear, that whole platter took me less than 5 minutes and achieved me Rock Star status for at least 24 hours in Thing 1’s world even over his beloved Mindcraft.  Enough said.


Easy Peasy Oven Roasted Ribs


A common misconception that I’ve run across being a gluten free  girl is that I feast nearly on a diet that consists of  a very fussy, high maintenance almost “chick-like” fare consisting mainly of bunny food like organic lettuce, edamame, tofu and spring fed water.  Hrmpf, if only they knew.  Not only did I never seem to ditch my inner adolescent tomboy *smile*, this girl … right here…  is not afraid to eat seriously, messy, comfort food in any shape or form.

Take last night’s dinner, for example.  Easy Peasy Oven Roasted Ribs.  Roasted in the oven in 15 minutes on each side, throw them in your crockpot for the day and ladies and gentlemen, you will have the most delicious, tender,  meat-falling-off-the-bone ribs you have ever made without the fuss.  It’s that simple.

But for those who like to look at pictures and follow recipes along (like me) … I’ll start by introducing:

The cast of characters:


Nothing out of the unusual and totally customizable to your taste.   In our home, we are big garlic and onion powder fans, so in this picture, you see Smithfield ribs (on sale for $7.99!), garlic salt, onion powder, salt, pepper and granulated garlic.   You should also add to this list your favorite barbecue sauce.  If you are gluten free or are serving this dish to a person you love that is gluten free, please be sure to check the ingredients to make sure it does not include modified food starch.  And on that same note, as silly as this seems, check and recheck the ingredients listed on the packaging of your ribs.  Food manufacturers are actually sneaking in wheat and modified food starch in places where they definitely DON’T belong like MEAT for example.  Trust me on this one.  I know.  Nothing ruins a great meal for person with Celiacs or Crohns Disease  than being surprised with a unexpected gluten reaction.

While the oven is preheating, remove the packaging of your ribs and generously sprinkle the ribs with the spices on one side and place them on a foil lined pan for easy clean up.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Flip the ribs over and repeat the process.

ribs partially cooked

After both sides have been browned in the oven,  remove the ribs and let them cool just a little bit to make them easier to carve.  Cut ribs in slabs of 2 to 3 (depending on the size of your ribs) and place them in your crockpot standing up on their side.

ribs in crockpot

Standing the ribs on the side is important as it allows the grease to drain off the ribs and helps the ribs brown.  Using a pastry brush, very lightly sauce each all sides of each riblet.  I’ll warn you, this part is messy but oh-so-worth-it!  I also sprinkle on just a smidge more spices on at this point if I’m feeling naughty.

And that’s it; that’s all she wrote!  Cook on low for 8 hours you will get ribs that will make grown men cry and teenagers hug you:

finised ribs

The bad news:  They won’t want to go out for ribs ever again.  Oh the sacrifices we endure for our families 🙂

Easy Peasy Oven Roasted Ribs 

• Any type and amount of beef or pork ribs that will fit in your slow cooker
• Salt and pepper
• Garlic powder, Onion powder, creole seasoning, seasoning salt or whatever tickles your fancy


1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

2. Remove packaging, rinse meat, and place in deep baking pan in single layer

3. Sprinkle both sides of meat with salt and pepper to season. (I prefer to season mine individually so the spices don’t cook off during the cooking process)

4. Bake meat in oven for 15 minutes, flip meat over and bake on other side for 15 minutes

5.Remove meat from oven cover all sides of meat completely with bbq sauce and place in slow cooker on side if possible

6. Cook on high in crock-pot for 6 hours or on low for 8 – 10 hours

7. Serve and enjoy!