Chicken with Chinese Black Bean Sauce in the Slow Cooker

I've always loved Chinese food, but the restaurant version is loaded with sugar, fat, starches and tummy aches. So many tummy aches. I found this recipe years ago in one of my favorite cookbooks, The Everyday Low Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook. I've changed the recipe some to fit my family. I keep coming back to this cookbook over and over. Whether you are low carb or not, it's full of great recipes, and they're in the slow cooker! My favorite kind. *My slow cooker is my Instant Pot. If you don't have time to make this a slow cooker meal, then you can easily use the pressure cooker function.

We love this recipe because it tastes just like something from a Chinese restaurant. It will smell very strong while it's cooking, but it has a very nice, mellow, umami flavor. The brand of black bean sauce in the grocery store has wheat in it, but this one is gluten-free.

When my kids come home and smell this cooking, they literally yell because they are so excited. I could make this every week, and they would do a happy dance each time. It's also a great meal to take to someone.



Ingredients:
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tablespoons cooking sherry or chicken broth
1/4 c water
6 cloves garlic (I keep garlic paste on hand for quick use in sauces)
1 tbsp minced ginger (I keep ginger paste on hand for quick use in sauces)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese black bean sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1.5 pounds boneless skinless thighs (I never use breasts in the slow cooker. They get all dry and shreddy. Thighs stay moist and keep a good texture.)

*Shiritake mushrooms are optional, but I love them.

Optional to serve with it:
1 pound pasta (spaghetti or linguini noodles. Use rice or buckwheat noodles if you are gluten free or want to be more authentic)
24 oz. stirfry veggies
Green onions, sliced (I use kitchen scissors to cut them quickly)



Directions:
Add everything to the slow cooker except the chicken and stir. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours. Mine is always done in 3-4 hours. The Instant Pot has a warm function, so I can still turn this on at 8 am and not worry about it overcooking or sitting out.

When the chicken is about done, cook and drain the pasta. I buy frozen stir-fry veggies* and warm them in the microwave while the pasta is cooking. Use two forks to pull apart the chicken. Add the pasta, veggies and green onion slices to the cooked chicken and sauce and toss. Step out of the way while the mob attacks the dish. My kids literally inhale this. I have to contantly remind my 8-year-old to use his fork instead of his hands.

*If I don't have a bag of stir fry veggies I will just grab a bag of frozen carrots, green beans, pearl onions, whatever I have on hand and make my own stirfry combo.

To make this paleo or leave out the pasta. You could use spiralized zucchini noodles or caul-irice

Number Of Servings:4-6

Preparation Time: Super fast