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Slow cooker Chinese chicken and pineapple

I’m being more experimental with my food recently. I’m trying to fit in lots of new recipes in my meal plans each week. I am LOVING this US website: The Kitchn. It’s got so many great recipes, and you can sign up to save your favourites, which is really useful when meal planning. It’s where I got the recipe here, but it’s very much tweaked from theirs – feel free to try theirs though! This is kid friendly, i.e. not spicy. Also I found theirs didn’t produce enough sauce, so I have added the juice from a tin of pineapple and also the fruit. The result is like a lovely sweet and sour chicken. It went down really, really well. Everyone (SHOCK!) liked it! The chicken is really tender done this way and it’s almost like it’s been battered but with way less faff (I believe it’s called velveting, using the cornflour coating before sealing).

Sorry for the slightly blurry photo – at the minute dinners on here really are quick snaps before we eat – my children are no longer patient enough to wait whilst I style the shot! The main thing is to share with you, as I know first hand how difficult it can be finding ideas for dinners that kids will actually eat.

We served this with white rice, a spicy spring onion and chilli topping for grown ups, and then a bowl of steamed greens. By the way, I am serving more veg like this – a few choices in a bowl so each child can have at least one thing that they like. In this instance, Bea would agree to broccoli and Artie the mange tout. As opposed to me serving just one veg, i.e. broccoli which Art would flat out refuse. It’s working quite well, and they are definitely getting more veg down them.

I did mine in the slow cooker on high for 45 mins. But you could also make this on Low for 1 1/2 hours.

Makes: enough for 4 people

Takes: 1 hour


  • 600g chicken thigh fillets, chopped into bitesize pieces
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (less if you’re worried about feeding kids)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (less if you’re worried about feeding kids)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • Heaped tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tin of pineapple rings in juice, chunks cut into small pieces (you may not use all the pineapple)

Spicy spring onion topping:

  • Bunch of spring onions, sliced thinly
  • Tablespoon veg oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Teaspoon chilli flakes
  • Pinch salt

To serve:

  • Rice
  • Steamed veg


  1. Heat the slow cooker to High.
  2. Coat the chicken in the mix of cornflour, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, then seal the meat – don’t brown it – on either sides for a few minutes. Then set aside in the slow cooker.
  4. Make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a jug, except the pineapple juice and chunks!
  5. Pour over the chicken and stir then put lid on.
  6. Cook on High for 45 minutes. For the last 15 minutes, pour in the juice and chunks and then give it a stir. Cook for 15 more minutes.
  7. Meanwhile make the rice, wash a mugful of rice well, then cover with twice the amount of cold water and bring to boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes – or until rice is done. Fluff.
  8. Fry off the spring onions, chilli and garlic in hot oil for about 10 minutes.
  9. Serve the chicken on top of the rice. with the spicy topping for grown ups.

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