Honey Soy Chicken is a family favorite you will make again and again!
This Honey Soy Chicken is seeping with flavor with hardly any effort – now that’s my kind of dinner! The chicken cooks in a sticky sauce made of honey, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, hoisin, rice vinegar, garlic and onions. It will have your taste buds skipping for joy and your family skipping the takeout! This Honey Soy Chicken also reheats well and freezes beatifically for meal prep or make ahead dinners!
About Honey Soy Chicken Recipe
I have been trying to pace myself and not overload you with slow cooker recipes lately, so sharing 4 in the last 2 weeks is me showing restraint, but with one taste of this Honey Soy Chicken, you’ll be begging for more – more honey soy chicken and more slow cooker recipes.
This Honey Soy Chicken recipe joins my Mongolian Chicken and my Sesame Chicken which both cook in the crockpot AKA no breading chicken (which means healthier Honey Soy Chicken!), no babysitting the chicken, simply throwing the ingredients into the slow cooker to simmer, soak and slurp up flavor while the house fills with the tempting aromas of tender, juicy, fakeout takeout chicken all while go about my my day.
So in other words, i think I could live of of this Honey Soy Chicken for the rest of my life. I’d never get tired of “cooking” and I’d never get tired of the Asian inspired multidimensional layered flavor heaven. So I suggest you make his Honey Soy Chicken recipe soon– so you too can taste layered flavor heaven. Its a delicious place to be and so easy to get there.
In fact, whenever someone tells me my recipes look great but they don’t cook, I tell them to check out my Slow Cooker recipes (click HERE), because, anyone can throw ingredients into a slow cooker and fool everyone into thinking you are a chef! And with one bite of this Honey Soy Chicken, you will fool them all.
Ingredients for Honey Soy Sauce
This Honey Soy Chicken is my go-to Asian Chicken. Its classic Chinese flavors – savory, slightly sweet with hints of Asian sweet chili sauce, garlic, ginger and my secret ingredient – blackberry preserves.
I first paired blackberry preserves with Asian cuisine in my Blackberry Hoisin Ginger Pork Tenderloin and loved it so much I continue to use preserves in many of my recipes because they add an absolutely delectable sweet yet full bodied flavor instead of just plain sugar. Hopefully soon you can taste exactly what I mean with this Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken.
In addition to blackberry preserves, here is what you need to make this Honey Soy Chicken:
- Honey. This adds a mild sweet flowery taste without having to use additional sugar. You can use any honey you have on hand.
- Soy sauce. The combination of honey and soy sauce is heavenly! The soy sauce balances out the sweetness of the honey. Please use only reduced sodium soy sauce or your honey soy chicken will be too salty.
- Blackberry preserves. As previously discussed, it adds a sweet, complex richness. Please don’t skip it. If you don’t have blackberry preserves, you can substitute with strawberry or apricot.
- Asian sweet chili sauce. I use this Asian condiment ALL the time. It is sweet and spicy and packed with flavor. I love using it instead of extra sugar because it is sweet but also packs a flavorful punch with a slight zing. It can be found in the Asian section of your grocery store.
- Hoisin sauce. Can be found in the Asian section of any grocery store. It tastes like a sweet, salty and tangy, thick Asian BBQ Sauce. Please use only quality hoisin sauce like Lee Kum Kee or Kikkoman as all hoisin sauces are not created equal.
- Rice vinegar. Use unseasoned rice wine vinegar. It adds a tangy acidic punch to balance the flavor profile.
- Onion: use yellow onion for its more pungent flavor. You can also substitute fresh onion with 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder.
- Garlic. use 4-6 minced garlic cloves depending on how pronounced you would like garlic flavor. You can also substitute fresh garlic with 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Ginger. adds a warm spicy, almost pepper taste that cuts through the sweetness. You can substitute fresh garlic with 2 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Chili Paste. You will probably want to add some chili paste to cut through the sweetness and round out the flavor profile. You can use sambal oelek or Sriracha to taste or add more to your individual serving to keep it family friendly.
- Cornstarch. Cornstarch is used at the end of cooking to thicken the sauce- you can’t have gorgeously thick, sticky Honey Soy Sauce without cornstarch!
What Chicken is best for Honey Soy Chicken?
You have two options when it comes to what chicken you would like to use for this Honey Soy Chicken recipe:
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs: are dark meat and therefore inherently juicier and more forgiving as far as cooking time. It is hard to dry out chicken thighs.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: are leaner but still emerge wonderfully juicy from cooking the bath of flavor all day. You will want to check your chicken breasts towards the earlier end of the cooking window to make sure they don’t become overcooked.
Can I use frozen chicken for crockpot chicken recipes?
- Although it is tempting to add frozen chicken directly to your crockpot, this is a big no-no. The chicken spends to long in the “danger zone” at room temperature as it thaws and can grow bacteria.
- Chicken – no matter what cut – needs to be thawed before it is added to the slow cooker.
- It is best to thaw your chicken overnight in the refrigerator so it thaws evenly and completely.
- If you are in a big hurry, and needed your thawed chicken yesterday, you can use the microwave. Place chicken in a microwave safe dish and use the defrost setting, rotating the chicken occasionally. Take care not to thaw to the point the chicken starts to cook.
How to Make Honey Soy Chicken
- Rub chicken with oil. This protects the chicken from drying out in the slow cooker.
- Whisk Honey Soy Sauce together. You will whisk the sauce together hen pour only HALF over the chicken. The rest of the sauce will be used later to create the sticky sauce.
- Cook. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours or until chicken is tender enough to shred. The key to tender chicken is to cook it long enough. If it’s not easily shredding, it simply needs more time to tenderize.
- Shred Chicken. Remove chicken to a cutting board to shred. For many recipes, I shred my chicken directly in the crockpot, but for this Honey Soy Chicken, we want to remove it so we can easily add the slow cooker liquid to a saucepan.
- Thicken Sauce. Strain any excess liquid from the slow cooker into a small saucepan. Whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch with reserved refrigerated Honey Soy Sauce and add to saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Get Saucy! Return shredded chicken to slow cooker and toss with thickened sauce. Let the Honey Soy Chicken cook an additional 30 minutes on low. You will be amazed at what this one step does for your chicken! It allows the shredded chicken to absorb the sauce in every nook and cranny, and to become flavorful through and through.
How to make Sticky Honey Soy Chicken
The only way to may truly gorgeously thick sticky Honey Soy Chicken in the crockpot – is to NOT thicken the sauce in the crockpot. Adding a cornstarch slurry to the crockpot will not simmer and reduce to create a sticky sauce. It can work for thickening soups, but not for Asian Sauces.
Instead, for Sticky Honey Soy Chicken, thickening the sauce on the stove is essential the only way to go. By thickening on the stove, you can also control the consistency. For a thicker sauce, simmer longer, for a thinner sauce, simmer for less time.
How to Serve Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken
To make this Honey Soy Chicken recipe a full meal, I like to serve it with rice and veggies!
- Stir Fry Veggies. You can stir fry any veggies your heart desires from broccoli, to bell peppers, to mushrooms, to carrots, etc. You can add them directly to the chicken or serve them on the side.
- Shortcut Veggies. You an can purchase pre-chopped veggies perfect for stir fries or use a frozen stir-fry blend or steam-in-the-bag microwavable frozen veggies.
- Crockpot Veggies: You can add vegetables directly to the crockpot to cook with your chicken. Just be aware some veggies take longer to cook than others, for example broccoli takes longer to cook than bell peppers, so you would want to add bell peppers towards the end of cooking.
- Rice: You can pile your Honey Soy Chicken on white rice (jasmine is m fav for this), brown rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa.
- Appetizers. For an Asian feast, Honey Soy Chicken is delicious with Wontons, Asian Salad, Potstickers, Wonton Soup and Chinese Chicken Egg Rolls.
Can I freeze Honey Soy Chicken?
This Honey Soy Chicken recipe freezes very well! To freeze:
- Let chicken cool completely.
- Transfer chicken to either a large freezer size bag or divide into smaller size bags. Alternatively, transfer to airtight container(s).
- Press air out of the freezer bag, seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months.
- When ready to eat, defrost Honey Soy Chicken in the refrigerator.
- Heat on the stove until warmed through.
Looking for More Asian Recipes?
- Beef and Broccoli
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Beef Bulgogi
- Cashew Chicken
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Mongolian Beef
- Kung Pao Shrimp
- Pineapple Ginger Chicken
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Tools Used in This Recipe
Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken
Honey Soy Sauce
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup seedless blackberry preserves
- 3 tablespoons Asian sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons quality hoisin sauce (like Lee Kum Kee or Kikkkoman)*
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 onion, chopped or ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger or ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- chili sauce to taste
- Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and place in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Whisk Honey Soy Sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and pour HALF of the sauce over the chicken. Refrigerate the other half until later. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours or until chicken is tender enough to shred.
- Remove chicken to a cutting board to shred. Meanwhile, strain any excess liquid from the slow cooker into a small saucepan. Whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch with reserved refrigerated Honey Soy Sauce and add to saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Return shredded chicken to slow cooker and toss with thickened sauce. Cook an additional 20-30 minutes on LOW to allow the chicken to absorb even more flavor. When ready to serve, taste and add chili sauce to taste.
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