SKINNY SLOW COOKER KUNG PAO CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS:

  • ⅔ cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1¼ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pieces), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • **4 – 6 dried red chili peppers (to taste) found in Asian supermarkets or the International section of a large chain grocery store – see NOTE
  • ⅔ cup roasted cashews (or roasted peanuts)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped into halves
Sauce
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon dried red pepper chili flakes
Cornstarch slurry
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 3 Tablespoons water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large zip-top bag, toss in chicken, cornstarch and black pepper. Shake until well-coated.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Transfer chicken into slow cooker.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, honey, hoisin sauce, galic, ginger and red pepper chili flakes and pour over chicken.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 2.5 – 4 hours or HIGH for 1.5 – 3 hours. (SEE NOTE)
  5. About 30 minutes before serving, whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir into the slow cooker. Add the dried red chili peppers, red bell peppers, zucchini and cashews.
  6. Cover and cook on HIGH for another 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened up. (Add more water to thin out sauce to your preferred consistency).
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over rice, quinoa or zoodles, if desired.
Notes
**If you can’t find dried red chili peppers, leave out and add an additional ½ – 1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes**If your slow cooker runs hot, be sure to check on chicken earlier as it may cook faster than the suggested cooking times.

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