Fall doesn’t officially start until September 22, but all it takes is one quick glimpse at Pinterest to realize that equinoxes be damned, it’s pumpkin season, people. And if pumpkin recipes are already making the rounds, then it’s high time we dust off the ol’ slow cooker for what’s sure to be a crockpot classic in your home: Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken.
We all have those days when we’re craving something so rich and satisfying that we turn to the takeout menus (orange chicken or Mongolian beef, anyone?). We want something, anything that’s warm, comforting and, while it may come with excessive amounts of sauce, doesn’t come with any judgment.
But now you can skip the takeout menus and slow cook your way to tender shredded chicken breasts tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce made with honey, garlic and soy sauce. It’s just like getting takeout from the local Chinese restaurant, except rather than waiting on the delivery guy, your dinner is waiting on you. I believe Ina said it best, “How easy is that?”
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- 3 large bone-in, skinless chicken breasts (2 ½ to 3 lbs total)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup blackberry jam
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- Sliced scallions, for garnish
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- slow cooker
- Arrange the chicken breasts in the slow cooker so that they are not overlapping.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, blackberry jam, hoisin, olive oil, garlic, onion and crushed red pepper flakes, and then pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover the slow cooker and cook the chicken on LOW for 4 to 5 hours until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Using tongs, remove the chicken from the slow cooker (reserving the liquids) and place it on a cutting board. Remove the bones then use two forks to shred the chicken into smaller pieces. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry.
- Transfer the liquids from the slow cooker into a small saucepan set over medium-high heat and whisk in the slurry. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook it until it reduces and has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken, tossing to combine. Serve the chicken topped with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
- To make this dish kid-friendly, simply leave out the crushed red pepper flakes.
- Using bone-in chicken breasts, rather than boneless chicken breasts, is key to guaranteeing moist, tender shredded chicken.
- Depending on your preferences, you may want to pour only a portion of the sauce over the shredded chicken. Any leftover sauce can be served with other proteins or veggies.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.
Could I use plum jam
That works! It won’t drastically change the outcome, just the flavor a bit. :)
Can skinless chicken thighs be subbed
Hi Maureen – I’ve never tried this recipe with chicken thighs, but I know others have and had total success. :)
Made this last night and to say it was a hit would be an understatement! Every one of the picky eaters in our family loved it. Will be making it over and over! Thanks so much.
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled to read this, Jody!
Been making this for years, great recipe! It’s often my go to.
So glad you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Emma!
Can the jam be omitted? We don’t have blackberry jam in the UK?
Hi Melissa – Grape jam or orange marmalade would be great alternatives! :)
Any ideas how to make this in an instant pot ? Thanks :)
Hi Amelie – I’ve never made this recipe using an Instant Pot so unfortunately, I can’t weigh in on this.
Looks delicious! Could I make this in a dutch oven on the stove?
Hi Alaina – I’ve never tried this recipe in a dutch oven so unfortunately, I can’t weigh in on this!
Sounds delicious! I’m super excited to try it! I was wondering if there might be a substitute for the blackberry jam? My husband is allergic to blackberry and raspberries… any ideas?
Hi Laurel – Grape jam or orange marmalade would be great alternatives!
A question for you, Kelly! Could you also make this recipe with thighs instead of breasts?
Hi Alexa! I’ve never tried this recipe with chicken thighs, but I know others have and had total success :)
I made this two weeks ago. It was easy and all I had to do at dinner was make rice. We all liked it, so well that I made it again today. Some days, between football and soccer, not to mention all the other activities, there is no time to cook between 4 and 7:30. This worked perfect, as I assembled it before work, allowed chicken to marinate, ran in about 1 and started the slow cooker on. Made it to next appt with room to spare and dinner cooking! When we arrived home, boys were drooling just smelling the aroma! Thanks for sharing (btw, in our area, it is impossible to get skinless bone in chicken- I just pulled the skin off and it worked great, just added a few more min to prep time)
Love this, Judi! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I made this for my diversly picky family and everyone liked it! I will definitely be making it again. My only question is, what would you recommend as side dishes?
Thank you for this great recipe!
I’m thrilled your family enjoyed the recipe, Angela! And rice would be great, as would noodles or veggies!
I have made this recipe a few times in my slow cooker and it was excellent. I just purchased the 8 quart Instant Pot Ultra and wanted to give it a go on the pressure cook setting. It was just as good and took an hour from start to finish ( that includes all prep) !! I doubled the recipe and used 6 large boneless skinless chicken breasts and it was very moist. Plenty of liquid to submerge the chicken and used the same thickening method! Worth a try for those who are short on time!
**Set the Instant Pot to 10 minutes on high pressure and do the manual pressure release at the end.**
Thanks so much for your note, Katie! I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe!
The directions specifiy not to let the chicken overlap in the slow cooker. I want to double the recipe but not sure I can without overlapping some. Would that be a problem?
Hi Jesse – As long as you have a single layer, it’s okay if they overlap slightly. Enjoy!
What if you do not own a slow cooker?
Hi Renee! I’ve never tried this recipe in the oven so unfortunately, I can’t tell you a specific oven temp or cooking time. Sorry I can’t be of more help!
Hi there! I don’t have blackberry jam but do have fresh blackberries. Would they work?
Hi Stacie! I’ve never tried that, but grape jam or orange marmalade would be great alternatives. Hope that helps! :)
Ok, i have a pork tenderloin, no chicken… wish me luck! I tried this chicken at work yesterday when a friend brought leftovers for lunch, ” i HAVE to make this myself” i thought, but alas, i only have pork tenderloin at the moment… so here goes! Also, i have strawberry & grape Jam, I’ll go easy on those instead of BlackBerry. I’ll be sure to check temperature & cook time; i don’t expect it will shred but the sauce is to die for! I’ll let you know how it goes!
Any idea if this recipe could be made in a pressure cooker? I’m not sure if it has enough liquids to work.
Hi Sandra! I haven’t tried it in a pressure cooker so I’m not sure.
Wow. This was delicious. My picky boys wanted seconds. I was hesitant to go with bone-in breast, but the chicken fell off the bone as I was pulling it out of the crock pot. It really makes a difference. I cooked this at 7,000 feet and 4 hours was just right for 2 lbs. of bone-in and I even could have gone 15 minutes less. Five hours would have been too much. I found gluten-free hoisin (“Premiere Japan Organic Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce” brand) and it works great with this recipe.
So thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Kim!
I’ve made this twice now and I love it. I added some sirracha and cilantro when serving it up the second time and it really brightened up the dish. I have some leftovers right now and tomorrow I plan on filling some buns and steaming them for snacks and maybe freezing. So happy I found this recipe.
Thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Kerry!
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