There's a reason why slow cooker recipes are wildly popular. We want convenience, and we want—and need—it now. The slow cooker delivers just that, working hard for us while we're hard at work, welcoming us home to a fragrant dinner that's just waiting to be enjoyed. This simple appliance works miracles with tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, coaxing out incredible flavor and turning out meltingly tender results. Through its low, slow cooking, it melds and marries flavors; it brings ingredients together in delicious harmony. And it offers up a few surprises: appetizers, sides, and drinks that simmer to perfection—hands-free.
You're probably most familiar with this dish from Chinese takeout: greasy, overcooked, and sticky sweet. We've updated this classic for the slow cooker with a glaze that’s a perfect balance of savory, sweet, and fragrant (from a combination of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and orange juice) and chicken that’s tender and succulent. The key is to infuse the chicken with those flavors while it cooks slowly, then strain and boil the liquid into a syrupy glaze. Serve over steamed brown or white rice with a simple side of steamed or sautéed snow peas.