One of the best ways to cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are moist, juicy and not overcooked is to cook them in a slow cooker.
Blasphemy, you say. Impossible! Chicken falls apart in the slow cooker.
Chicken does fall apart when it’s cooked for 8 hours, but this is not one of those set-it-and-forget-it recipes. Don’t get me wrong — this isn’t fancy cooking. Here’s what you do: assemble the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 1 to 2 hours, or until the chicken registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. You got that right — 1 to 2 hours. That’s it.
I was hesitant at first because nothing I’ve ever cooked in a slow cooker has taken only 1 hour, but this recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen, culinary purveyor of all things edible. Bottom line: they know how to cook. I checked the temperature of my chicken after 1 hour and, lo and behold, it was 162 degrees. It was done! I followed recipe directions and reduced the savory-sweet cranberry-orange sauce in a saucepan for about 5 minutes to thicken it.
Weight Watcher SmartPoints may seem high at 9 points per serving, but this is if you eat all of the cranberry sauce with the 4 servings. After spooning some sauce over each breast, we had leftover sauce. Note to collective Weight Watcher selves — just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat it all. Also, the recipe calls for 6 oz. breasts, which is a pretty hefty portion. Finally, I sliced the breasts diagonally before serving. I thought it made for a more “refined” presentation, cuz I am so refined.
Enjoy this spectacularly moist, delicious chicken breast dish as a pre-Thanksgiving treat. Trust me, you’ll want to cook your chicken in a slow cooker again.
1 (14-oz.) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 Tbsp.low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 (6-oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Combine cranberry sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, thyme, orange zest and juice, and cayenne in slow cooker. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until chicken registers 160 degrees, 1 to 2 hours.
Transfer chicken to a serving platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Transfer sauce to a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle with almonds.
WW SmartPoints per serving: 9