Adapted from Slow Cooker Comfort Food, this recipe serves 3-4 (with rice); can, and should, be multiplied.
2/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock (I use Swanson 99% fat-free)
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp shao hsing wine
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp minced ginger root
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1 star anise (Use a broken one. It's fine.)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or 1 small dried red chile pepper
1-1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
1 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch, dissolved in 2 Tbsp water
3 cups cooked rice, white or brown, for serving
Sliced scallions, for garnish
In a glass measuring cup, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, shao hsing wine, garlic, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger root, orange zest, black pepper, star anise and cayenne. Mix well.
In a 3-quart slow cooker, place the chicken, and pour the sauce over. Cook on HIGH for 2-1/2 hours, or on low for 5 hours, until the chicken is falling-apart tender.
Remove the chicken from the cooker and strain the liquid into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil. Whisk in the arrowroot mixture, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the sauce thickens to a deep brown lacquer. Pour it over the chicken, and serve over rice, garnished with scallions.