But, I did not realize how hard the ceramic would be on my bad ankles. Oh man, I start to hurt as soon as I walk into the kitchen! Then, I remembered that back when I worked in my husband's shop, he had ordered some comfort mats to help with leg fatigue. So, I decided to find a chef mat that would match the kitchen and give me some relief. Most are pretty pricey, but I found one by Better Homes and Garden that was just $20 so I took a shot. It looks great and feels wonderful! I put it near the sink when I'm working there and just move it to the stove when I'm cooking. I highly recommend it!
What was the first thing I cooked when I regained control of my kitchen? Well, I have been on Pinterest a lot lately and found a recipe for Sweet Garlic Chicken that looked so good I couldn't stop thinking about it. Bonus, it's made in the slow cooker! That left me plenty of time to get my kitchen back in order. I didn't realize how many cookbooks I owned until I had to dust them all and reorganize them (I think I have a problem. I see a cookbook intervention in my future). Anyway, back to the Sweet Garlic Chicken. Here's how I did it:
SLOW COOKER SWEET GARLIC CHICKEN
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dr. Pepper (the recipe called for 7up but I had Dr. Pepper so that's what I used)
2 TBS minced garlic*
2 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp black pepper
2 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS water
red pepper flakes, optional
*Tip about minced garlic: You can buy garlic already minced or place the peeled cloves in your food processor and zip until minced. It takes no time at all and you can do a whole bunch and keep it in a jar with a little canola oil in the fridge. Then you have it ready when you need it.
Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place the chicken inside the slow cooker. In a bowl (or large measuring cup) mix brown sugar, vinegar, Dr. Pepper, garlic, soy sauce and pepper. Pour this mixture over the chicken.
Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Remove the chicken to a large bowl and shred (I use 2 forks).
Meanwhile, pour the sauce into a saucepan. Heat over high heat.
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water well. Pour into sauce and bring to a boil. Let simmer until thickened.
Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes, if desired. I like the hit of heat that cuts through the sweetness. Mix the sauce with the shredded chicken.
I served this with pasta, but my husband thought it tasted like something you'd get in a Chinese restaurant and suggested I serve it with rice next time (Next time! That means he liked it!). The combination of the sweetness from the brown sugar, the heat from the pepper flakes and the tang from the vinegar (not to mention the soy sauce) does have that Chinese food feel. So, for lunch the next day I tried it with rice. Don't tell him I said this but he was right. It was delicious! It would be equally as good on bread or in a tortilla or pita. Anyway you slice it (or shred it in this case), this chicken works. Give it a try.