Vietnamese Slow Cooker Chicken with Ginger and Bok Choy

In addition to working full time in real estate trying to keep her two girls in shoes (and hair accessories), my step sister, Meagan, volunteers for several charities, manages to get her kids to hither and yon for various activities, and always has on a fantastic pair of heels. She’s busy. And like most of us, finds getting dinner on the table a mighty task. She told me recently that she bought a slow cooker, but hasn’t cracked open the box; she needs a little guidance on the subject. Indeed, Meagan is one of many moms who’ve been asking for crock pot advice and recipes since I started this blog.

I didn’t have much in the way of either since I’ve been slow to the crock pot table. The few times I’ve played around with the thing, it was borrowed from a friend. Frankly, since my kitchen is effectively my office, I haven’t felt the need. It’s easy for me to let something bubble on the back of the stove in my giant cast iron pot (which I’ve always sort of considered my slow cooker anyway) while I work on some other project.

But knowing how many moms rely on slow cookers and are seeking good recipes, I thought I’d finally commit. I bought a basic Crock Pot brand version and have been putting it work ever since. I have to say, I get the appeal: throw all of your ingredients in, flip the switch, come home to a warm meal. Done. It’s feel a little bit like magic.

It’s no wonder crock pots are so popular. Whether you are the mom running after a toddler all day, or the one running out the door for the office, the slow cooker makes it (practically) effortless to get family dinner from fridge to table. And really nourishing food thrives in the crock pot, notably beans, legumes, and sturdy vegetables.

Since I’m forging new territory here, I asked a few moms whom I know are crock pot die hards for their favorite recipe resources. One friend handed me a copy of Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O’Dea, a gal who committed to cooking out of her crockpot for an entire year. I figured a year of slow cooking? She’s got to know her craft. Today’s recipe is hers, with a few tiny tweaks of my own. Vietnamese Slow Cooker Chicken may sound exotic for the preschool set, but the only prerequisite is a fondness for soy sauce. I served it to my own crew with a little side dish of sliced cucumbers doused with seasoned rice wine vinegar. It earned thumbs up all around and made a great leftover lunch  the next day.

5 from 2 votes
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Vietnamese Slow Cooker Chicken with Ginger and Bok Choy

I've tinkered this recipe a bit since first publishing it here, by simplifying the method and adding fresh ginger along with rice vinegar to the mix. Feel free to bump up the amount of bok choy, if you like, or use other favorite leafy greens or vegetables.
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 skinless , bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or gluten-free Tamari, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic , thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2- inch piece fresh ginger , peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ pounds baby bok choy
  • Cooked brown rice or other favorite grain for serving
  • Sriracha for serving , if desired

Instructions

  1. Lay the chicken thighs in the slow cooker with the fleshier side facing down. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, black pepper, garlic, ginger, canola oil, and brown sugar. Pour over the chicken, put on the lid, and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. The time may vary a little depending on the size of the chicken thighs.
  2. When the chicken is nearly done, cut the heads of baby bok choy in half down the center and remove the little wedge of core. Roughly chop the bok choy and wash thoroughly.
  3. About 10 minutes before the cooking time is up, remove the chicken from the pot and add the bok choy, nestling into the sauce a bit. Put the chicken on top of the bok choy, shut the lid, and cook until tender (about 8 minutes on high). Serve over rice with sriracha for those who want to add a little kick to the dish.

Adapted from Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O’Dea.

Comments

09.26.2011 at 9:06 AM #

Dale

With the wife headed abroad for 10 days, #1 daughter suggested dinner for us should be from a foreign cuisine each night. This is timely and will be tonight’s menu. Many, many thanks!

09.26.2011 at 9:06 AM #

katiemorford

Perfect!

09.26.2011 at 9:10 AM #

Emily

I love cooking a pork butt in the crock pot all day, then I shred the pork and combine it with BBQ sauce for Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

09.26.2011 at 9:10 AM #

katiemorford

Yum. Sounds like a good meal for football season.

09.26.2011 at 9:23 AM #

Chanda Slenk

Adding this one to my crock pot recipe pile 🙂
Here’s a new favorite of ours:

Balsamic Chicken:
4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 onion thinly sliced (Not chopped)
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tblsp olive oil
1 tsp each: dried oregano,basil, and rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
ground black pepper and salt to taste

Pour the olive oil on bottom of crock pot
place in chicken breasts, salt and pepper each breast
put sliced onion on top of chicken
then put in all the dried herbs and garlic cloves
pour in vinegar and top with tomatoes

Cook on high 4 hours, serve over angel hair pasta

09.26.2011 at 9:23 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks for sharing that. Sounds delicious.

09.26.2011 at 10:06 AM #

Mitra

will definitely try this! Here is my EASIEST stand-by crockpot recipe:

chicken with olives

A. 6 chicken thighs, bone in, skinless

B. 1 can tomato paste
1/2 a can of beer
1/2 a jar of green olives, including the brine

Directions: Put a in crockpot. Mix B together and pour over. turn on, cook 4 hrs, then serve over brown rice (and I like a dollop of yogurt on top, but that’s the persian in me).

09.26.2011 at 10:27 AM #

Pam

Thank you–can’t wait to try this! Two of my favorites in the world of cooking are asian cuisine and crock pots so this has to be a winner. I appreciate the “exoticness” of the recipe too. I am Korean and ever since my daughter was a toddler, I’ve fed her everything from Indian-style vegetables to Korean kimchee to tofu pad thai. She would choose these things over grilled cheese and fries any day! Please feel free to keep the exotic dishes coming… 😉

09.26.2011 at 10:32 AM #

Allea

My favorite thing to make in the crock pot (been doing this for over a year now) is Stephanie’s recipe for crockpot yogurt. Heat half a gallon of milk on low for 2 1/2 hours. Turn off the heat and let sit for another 3 hours. Stir in 1/2 cup of store bought plain yogurt with live cultures I’ve found Stonyfield organic makes the thickest yogurt. Wrap the crockpot in a towel, and let it sit overnight. Voila! Yogurt.

09.26.2011 at 10:32 AM #

katiemorford

Ooohh…that sounds like a wonderful idea. I will have to try it.

09.26.2011 at 10:39 AM #

Christi

We just pop a whole chicken in there along with veggies and red skinned potato’s, season it up and add a little chicken stock to the bottom of the crock. Recently tried lentils instead of potato’s and the lentils turned out really well in the crock pot!

09.26.2011 at 10:49 AM #

Dale

When do you add the second tablespoon of brown sugar?

09.26.2011 at 10:49 AM #

katiemorford

Thank you for noticing my omission. Will add it to the recipe asap!

09.26.2011 at 11:31 AM #

MaryBeth

My favorite food to cook in a slow cooker is pulled pork (or beef). It’s pretty simple but my family always requests it. Thanks for a chance to win.

09.26.2011 at 11:41 AM #

Meghan

I make big batches of oatmeal in my crockpot (for the whole family- a 2 year old and for my husband to tote to work etc.) I simply use old fashioned oats (about 2 cups) and water (about 4 cups) add flax seed meal, a bit of brown sugar a pinch of salt and let it cook for a few hours. Sometimes I put in vanilla and a bag of frozen berries (mixed berries, blueberries or strawberries- even apples & cinnamon at times) and allow that to cook into the mixture. Once it gets cooked and delightfully mushy, I put in individual containers for the week, then heat up and eat!) It is much easier than making a batch each morning, and healthier than the instant packages (less pacjaging waste too!) The fruit version often feels like a warm dessert cobbler!

09.26.2011 at 11:41 AM #

katiemorford

This is great. I love the idea of making a bigger batch and packing them up for the week

09.26.2011 at 1:13 PM #

Bliss

bone-in chicken thighs should be easy enough to find, right? Sadly, Trader Joe’s where I regularly shop does not sell them.

I am so happy to have not only Katie’s, but the other slow cooker recipes as well.
Thank you!

09.26.2011 at 1:13 PM #

katiemorford

Any butcher will have them. You may need to ask them to separate thigh from leg and to remove the skin. Regular supermarkets should have them as well. If sold with skin on, it is not hard to pull off.

09.26.2011 at 2:59 PM #

Natalie

Love all these ideas!!! Thank you all. I’ve been making batches of butternut squash soup in my crock for weeks. Looking forward to trying some of these.

09.26.2011 at 3:55 PM #

Angel

My fave is pulled chicken barbeque sandwiches. Tomorrow, I am trying a recipe for chicken fajitas. As long as I don’t have to brown the meat first, I will try it! Looking forward to trying this recipe as my husband just asked for more Asian foods for dinner! Thanks!

09.26.2011 at 4:30 PM #

Leslie

Thanks for this, Katie. By the way, I just learned that the vegetarian companion to the original slow-cooker book I recommended is out: The Vegetarian Gourmet Slow Cooker. I have ordered it from the library. I’ll let you know how it is!

09.26.2011 at 4:30 PM #

katiemorford

Great. Let me know how you like it.

09.26.2011 at 9:13 PM #

Alison

I am so happy to see the post about the vegetarian companion book. We are trying to eat less meat and it is hard to find good Vegetarian slow-cooker recipes. Thank you.

09.26.2011 at 10:18 PM #

Pam

This sounds great! Please post more slow cooker recipes. I’m looking for dishes for weekdays that ideally have an 8-10 hour cooktime so I can start it before I leave for work and not have it overcooked when I get back 9ish hours later. Or do you know if you really can leave a dish on the “keep warm” cycle for extra hours post cooking without ruining it?

I bought The Best Recipe slow cooker book at Costco and have enjoyed reading through it. My mother-in-law bought the book too and my girls cooked the rice pudding from it. So, I was begged to do a reprise and make it as well. It wasn’t that healthy (lots of half and half and milk), but it was delicious. They test their recipes a lot so they’re pretty reliable. With winter coming, I’m looking forward to trying more.

09.26.2011 at 10:18 PM #

katiemorford

Interesting challenge. If something will be spending a couple of hours on “warm,” you would likely want to scale back the cooking time. As to how to adjust timing, I suspect it’s a matter of trial and error. Here is some good info regarding cooking times and temperatures that may be helpful http://www.crock-pot.com/CustomerService.aspx?id=faq&fgid=44. As i said, I’m new to the crock pot myself. Maybe other readers can weigh in on this one.

09.27.2011 at 7:13 AM #

Christine

I like a super easy roast cooked until super soft, shredded and then mixed with a bottle of BBQ sauce for quick and easy BBQ beef sandwiches.

09.27.2011 at 7:47 AM #

Suzanne

I was the lucky recipient of the Vietnamese Chicken leftovers – YUMMY!!!! I have never had much luck with chicken in the crock pot, this recipe gave me hope 🙂

09.29.2011 at 2:42 PM #

Kristen M.

I’ve checked out Stephanie’s book from my library but would love a personal copy. My most recent crock-pot recipe was pear/apple sauce which couldn’t be more easy peasy. Simply dice/cut up a bunch of pears and apples, add a tiny bit of water, lemon juice to keep the fruit from browning, a small amount of sugar (if desired), and a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon. Cook until soft. Keep chunky, mash with potato masher or use stick blender to puree.

09.29.2011 at 2:42 PM #

katiemorford

Thanks for the recipe.

09.30.2011 at 7:24 PM #

Belinda

This book sounds great! I love my slow cooker! We use it a lot for pot roast and chili 🙂

mikebelindaconnor at hotmail dot com

10.02.2011 at 2:23 AM #

Summer D

We love stew at our house, so I make a lot of it. Pot roasts are the easiest for me on the days I work though.

10.02.2011 at 5:32 AM #

kathleen

I love using my crockpot to “bake” potatoes because it keeps me from having to turn on the oven which seems to make my whole house hot! I also love cooking collard greens in the slow cooker

10.02.2011 at 5:44 AM #

Natalie

We love any fall soups ! Thank you

10.02.2011 at 5:52 AM #

Amy W.

Thanks for the chance. We use our crock pot a lot. I even use it to brown hamburger to freeze.

10.02.2011 at 6:58 AM #

Alicia C.

I recently asked for crock pot recipes on my blog. I received a ton of ideas from readers! The one we tried last night was the best and easiest so far:
I put 2 lb. frozen chicken breasts, 1 jar of mild salsa, and a couple of spoonfuls (maybe2-3tsp?) of taco seasoning mix into the crock pot. Turned it on low for about 5 hours. I shredded the chicken with two forks, then layered it onto flour tortillas with cheese, sour cream, and lettuce. WONDERFUL!

10.02.2011 at 7:50 AM #

Marci J

Thanks – I love to make quick stews in my crockpot. Beef, carrots, potatoes, corn, spices, and broth – can’t really go wrong! I just use what I have on hand. I make it in the morning and it’s ready by supper time (plus makes the house smell wonderful!)

10.02.2011 at 8:22 AM #

cw

I like to do crockpot steel cut oats so it is all ready in the morning

10.02.2011 at 10:40 AM #

Brenda Witherspoon-Bedard

Our favorite crock pot item is bbq ribs – yummy

10.02.2011 at 10:51 AM #

Jennifer Clay

I love to cook beef stew in my crock pot! I am trying to learn how to cook more recipes and I would love to win this cookbook! Thanks for the great giveaway!
[email protected]

10.02.2011 at 2:02 PM #

Ashley H.

My favorite is beef stew.

10.02.2011 at 3:15 PM #

Rebecca Williams

My newest receipe for my slower cooker is cheesy chicken spaghetti…so good!

10.02.2011 at 6:08 PM #

katklaw777

My go to crockpot recipe is my
Salsa Chicken…
4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar any kind of salsa
peppers, any color, sliced
onion, sliced
Put onion and peppers in bottom of crock, place chicken breasts on top, pour jar of salsa over all. Add a little water to jar, cover, shake and add to crock.
Cook 5 to 7 on high…8 to 10 on low.
I serve over brown rice in a bowl…yum!

10.02.2011 at 8:24 PM #

Stephanie

I made a Cheesy Artichoke Spinach Dip in my crock pot tonight for a small group get together. Everyone loved it, and it is so quick, easy and delicious!
mrshud at cox dot net

10.03.2011 at 10:41 AM #

Tara Haidinger

I love my crock pot! i recently started making whole chickens in it. You can season it any way you like, and it is so economical.

10.29.2012 at 9:46 AM #

daniel

Many times fish sauce is only sold in very large quantities, especially since you usually only use a couple Tbsp of it at a time. A lot of people have Worcestershire sauce in their pantry already. If you don’t want to jump and buy a large thing of fish sauce, Worc. sauce will suffice 1 to 1. You will lose some of that ‘Asian’ taste, but its a pretty good approximation and is made from fish and soy.

08.13.2017 at 7:29 PM #

John Clem

I made this today, while watching pre season football. My wife just got home from work, made a bowl over some white rice and said “this is the best thing that has ever come out of our crock pot”.

I followed the recipe as posted, except I used frozen boneless chicken thighs from Costco and did 5 hrs on low followed by 1 hr on high.

08.13.2017 at 7:29 PM #

katiemorford

Awesome. I actually haven’t made this one in a while and your comment is making me want to get it on the menu again!

09.20.2017 at 8:57 PM #

Susannah Wallenstrom

Katie-I made this recipe for a friend last week and she loved it. Then I made it for my family tonight and they loved it! I made it in my slow cooker but have just gotten an Instant Pot (what took me so long??), and I made my rice in there. Thank you for this delicious recipe!

09.20.2017 at 8:57 PM #

katiemorford

That’s awesome. I sort of forgot about that recipe, so now I’m going to have to make it. And yes to the Instant Pot. I just posted a recipe for Instant Pot Italian White Bean Stew. Try it. Delicious.
Thanks for the comment 🙂

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