Who Needs Panda Express Chicken Anyway? Sticky Chicken

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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 😉

Ingredients

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

Instructions:

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.

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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.

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My Top 10 Reasons Why I Haven’t Updated My Blog

Just in case you are wondering where the heck I’ve been… because I just know you’ve been losing sleep each night and we just can’t have that can we?

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10.  Sticky Chicken.  The very last recipe I was making before my world became turned upside down.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is one sticky but delicious mess.  Being the procrastinator that I can be at times, I am still trying to rework the instructions to ensure success before posting the recipe on my blog.  This recipe is actually prepared mostly in the crock-pot but there is definitely a science to it.  When the Test Panel tried it, they declared it an immediate winner!

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My Test Panel, consisted of Thing 1 (soon to be age 16) and Thing 2 (soon to be 30… I mean 13.  For further clarification on this matter, you can read all about Thing 2 right over here. Thing 1 (my pickiest eater) instantly proclaimed, “with chicken like this, who needs Panda Express?”  As of this writing, I’m still not sure if I should be flattered or insulted by this declaration but I’m sure through the lense of a teenage boy, this is the most highest form of flattery.

9.   A call from the Emergency Room.  Literally, the day after I made the sticky chicken, I received a call at one o’clock in the morning from the hospital.  My 82 year-old dad had a heart attack.

8.  Non-stop trips to the Cardiac ICU.  Unfortunately, the heart attack led his admission to two hospitals, a triple bypass surgery and countless trips to ICU.

7.  A week’s long staycation with my family. Sadly, this event all coincided with my family’s first cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines.  We, of course, cancelled our trip so we could support each other and white knuckle our way through the endless tests, surgery and recovery of my Dad.  On a brighter and more personal note, my husband and I consider ourselves to be 100% optimist most of the time.  And the one positive thing we took out of this horrid experience (besides the given – my Dad fully recovered) is this…

We are a “blended” family of 6 and oh by the way, a newlywed couple of one year this month.  During this past week, a lot of tears were shed by everybody but as a family every single member came together as one.  During this emotionally charged week, our family pulled together like it never did before.  There were unsolicited hugs, random acts of kindness, somber moments of support and incredible moments of bravery, self sacrifice and selflessness.  While we never would wish this circumstance to ever happen in a million years, the outcome and aftermath is truly a blessing beyond even words I can express.

6. Movies.  On a much lighter note, we did manage to squeeze in some fun family moments during the week.  Seeing Despicable Me 2 being one of the more noteworthy.  How can anyone NOT smile at the beloved minions?

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5.   Summer Waves, Jekkyl Island.  We managed to do what Floridians do best… have fun in the sun.. and hit a local Water Park.

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4. Adventure Landing, Jacksonville Beach.

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We played mini golf, air hockey, road on go-karts, and played mini-golf!

3. Jacksonville Beach.  We walked on the beach at sunset.

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2. After a whirlwind week full of both ups and down, tears and hugs, laughter … complete exhaustion.

1. And the number reason I didn’t update my blog over the past 13 days… (besides of my Dad, of course 😉  I didn’t cook!  Not once.

With that I leave you today, with the promise of posting the infamous “Who Needs Panda Express Anyway?  Sticky Chicken” tomorrow.