This chicken. YOU GUYS… how do you start a post about the chicken recipe that lives in your heart? Good golly, that’s ridiculous. But it’s true.
I have been wanting to share this recipe here with you since, well… since I started blogging. I’m not really sure why I haven’t yet. Sometimes things are so much a part of you that it feels a bit vulnerable to show them to the world. But, really? A recipe? I suppose it’s because this recipe is not just about the chicken. It’s about the familiarity and the nostalgia. It was A Thing in our family – it was our thing. Like a favorite pair of slippers – both comforting and gratifying.
It’s an old family recipe that I tweaked. My Dad’s late Aunt Beulah passed this recipe down, and having been from the mid-20th-century in the advent of “miraculous” canned food, it involved a can of tomato soup and a few other undesirable ingredients, like half a cup of sugar. (Eek!)
I’ve been making it on a regular basis since I was old enough to cook (and especially since being married 11 years ago), so when I began my real food conversion, I played around with it until it was just right, using healthier ingredients.
My family loved it when I was growing up, and now my own family (hubby + kids) love it too. It’s definitely a regular in our house, and I hope it might become one for your family, too.
I call it ‘saucy chicken’ because it makes lots of the sauce to pour over your rice (and veggies, too, if you want). Also, the word ‘saucy’ just makes me laugh. Such a cheeky and impertinent recipe, really. It’s like a smart-alecky teenager with such presumptuous sass because it knows exactly how good it really is.
I used to always make it on the stove top, but have recently done it in the crock pot and it turned out amazing. (I have a serious love affair going on with my crock pot lately.) It’s wonderfully low-maintenance either way – just dump all the ingredients in together and let them simmer cozily for a while.
I have to admit, I love it with boneless chicken breasts, but you can pretty well use any cut of chicken. Bone-in, boneless, thighs, breasts, etc. We’ve also done it with pork chops lots of times, which is also delicious. Definitely serve it over rice, and add a side of your favorite veggies, perhaps a salad.
Here’s the bottom line for the skimmers among us: make this for dinner, peeps. You won’t be sorry.
Aunt Beulah’s Saucy Chicken in the Crockpot
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 tablespoons flour I use rice flour, but you can use your favorite thickener (various flours and starches would all work fine, most likely)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 can tomato paste small
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 6-8 pieces chicken breasts or thighs are best, though any cut will do
- Add water and chicken to the crockpot and turn it on.
- In a covered container (like a mason jar with the lid on, shake the rice flour to combine with a bit of water - around ⅓ cup or so... but I never measure). This prevents lumps when you add it to the pot.
- Add rice flour/water mixture, and all other ingredients.
- Stir well to combine, ensuring chicken is coated in sauce.
- Leave to cook on low for 6-8 hours (or according to your crockpot's usual times.)
- Stir occasionally to coat the chicken in the sauce as it cooks.
- Serve over rice, with lots of saucy yumminess.
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We have a diabetic in the family – any suggestions for a honey substitute? I usually use Agave syrup but will that alter the taste of this?
I will definitely be trying this. I have a love affair with my crockpot too. Especially on days that we have music lessons or some other activity in the afternoon.
I use frozen chicken in my crockpot often! Takes a little longer, but sometimes I need it to take a little longer before it’s ready if we’re going to be gone all day.
I follow Paleo so I won’t make this with conventional rice…I need to find a substitute for the rice flour and I’ll be all set!! This reminds of Caribbean style stew chicken, can’t wait to try this.
Can the chicken breast start out frozen in the crockpot? Whole cloves or ground?
Thanks! This looks super yummy and I’m going to try it tonight.
Hi Seanan, so sorry for the late reply. Did you make this yesterday?
I’m not sure if the frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot is considered “safe” but I’d probably do it. I’m not sure how it would affect the flavour. I use ground cloves. 🙂
How spicy is it?
Oh gosh – not spicy at all. More sweet and tangy… sort of like BBQ sauce, but not really (that’s the closest thing I could compare it to). I am a wimp with spices (I get mild everything… don’t even like medium heat). Soooo if you were asking because you like spicy food, then maybe you could add cayenne? 😉 Otherwise – nope, not spicy. 🙂
I love this story! We should all have an Aunt Beulah (I did have a grandmother named Pearl!) 😉 I am definitely going to make this as we are out every night at sports practices or games and seem to always arrive home around 7. This would be perfect to have ready to go. Thank you for sharing such a personal recipe and story – those are always the best. Happy Thursday!
I love the name Pearl. So beautiful 🙂
Hope you enjoy the recipe!!
If using an instant pot, don’t add flour until pressure is released!