Slow cookers (AKA crock pots) are not what they used to be. They used to actually cook slowly! Today’s slow cookers cook hotter than they used to for food safety reasons. I guess I should be glad about that, but I only find it frustrating when my old recipes turn out over done and dry.
The first “hot” slow cooker I bought was a 4 quart model and it has things boiling in no time. Recently I bought a 7 quart model hoping the larger pot would not heat quite as quickly. It doesn’t, but it is still hotter than my old ones were.
The problem with the 7 quart model is that I have to put a lot of food in it. A crock pot should ideally be 1/2 to 3/4 full. Even with three teenage boys in my family, that makes more than we eat in one meal, often more than we eat in two meals (depending on if it is only meat or meat and vegetables).
In this case, I used 6 pounds of chicken thighs (with bone) that I bought at BJ’s. I like their chicken thighs, but it is a lot to use. It was nice to cook it all at once, have meat for a couple of dinners, and some to put in the freezer.
The first night I served the chicken pieces whole with the sauce. For the leftovers, I pulled out the chicken pieces, removed the bones, and shredded the meat, then added it back to the sauce. It was great both ways.
This recipe is a modified version of a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes. In case you are wondering, both the orange and cinnamon flavors are subtle in this, but my family likes subtle. I hope you do too.
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup instant tapioca
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 6 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed
- In a bowl, combine the ketchup, tapioca, and orange juice. Put about half in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the cinnamon stick on top of the sauce.
- Put a single layer of chicken in the pot, spoon some sauce over each piece, add another layer of chicken and sauce. Repeat if necessary.
- Cook on low 6 – 8 hours, or high 3 - 4 hours or until chicken is done.