GF Recipes

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

15 Comments 25 June 2011

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

We have moved!  After two years of trying to sell our house and move closer to church and my job, we found buyers who fell in love with the house that we loved, and now a new chapter begins.  A transitionary chapter. We’ve moved from a large house to an apartment just under half the size while we look for a more permanent home close by.

It has been a LONG week.  This long week has included packing my beautiful kitchen into two categories:  1) kitchen supplies that I can not live without for the next few months, and 2) kitchen supplies that I will mourn over, yet try to survive if I know they are in a box in storage that I can get to if absolutely necessary.

So after a few days of takeout, and a whole lot of help from my amazing mom, we have finally unboxed three essential kitchen items:

1) The Vitamix

2) The Slow Cooker

3) The Rice Cooker

And after a few days of green smoothies for dinner, I felt comfortable enough in my temporary kitchen to make the first homemade meal in our new home.  These three kitchen essentials were all I needed to make this delicious, sweet and spicy meal.

And I knew I had to share it with you even before I took the first bite.  The smell that wafted through the rooms of our new place as it cooked all afternoon was all it took to make it feel like home.  Smells are powerful things.

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
by Heather


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tangelo or orange – fruit and zest
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 T. tapioca starch
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 4 c. baby carrots
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 dried aji panca peppers, split with seeds removed (I like these because they are fruity and mild, but you can use your favorite dried pepper.)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. brown rice, cooked separately


1.  Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker.

2.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

3.  Add onions and carrots.

4.  Zest the tangelo or orange, and set it aside.

5.  Place the fruit of the tangelo or orange, 4 garlic cloves, tapioca starch, and chicken broth in the Vitamix.  Blend until liquified and pour over the chicken and veggies.

6.  Remove the seeds from the peppers, toss them into the slow cooker, and sprinkle with zest and cinnamon.

7.  Cook chicken and veggies on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

8.  Cook brown rice according to package directions.

9.  Remove peppers (or chop them up and leave them in for a spicier dish), and serve the chicken and veggies over brown rice.

So the next time you’re craving an easy no-mess, no-fuss, home-cooked meal, give this tender chicken dish a try!

This recipe is linked to:

Your Comments

15 Comments so far

  1. Debi says:

    This looks amazing and something like Chaz would LOVE if I made it. 😀 I hope you find a new home soon so you can unpack the rest of your kitchen appliances.

    • Heather says:

      Thanks, Debi. We’re really not “roughing it”. Our apartment is beautiful, and we’ve done a good job replicating our house feel here. But we totally made our decision of which apartment complex to live in based on the kitchen alone! We loved another apartment until I realized that there was ONE kitchen drawer. ONE! That would NOT have worked. THAT would have been roughing it! Ha!

  2. I am definitely going to have to make this! I love using my slow cooker on days I’m away from home.

    • Heather says:

      I’m glad you like the sound of it, Alison! One quick look at your website, and I’m wishing we lived in Columbus! What a wonderful personal chef business you have! Are you gluten-intolerant? Or do you cater to gluten-free clients?

  3. Linda Scherrer says:

    Congratulations on your new home! Thanks for sharing the recipe – we love sweet and spicy, and I especially love the slow-cooker aspect!

  4. Lana Myers says:

    Thanks for sharing–can’t wait to try this!

    • Heather says:

      Lana, how wonderful to hear from you!! I think you’ll really love the taste of this dish. I hope you and the girls are enjoying your summer!

  5. Alie says:

    Am I missing where you add the tapioca starch?? Help!! It’s cooking and I just realized the starch is still sitting on the counter!!

    • Heather says:

      Shoot! Sorry! I’d just sprinkle it in and mix it into the liquid until it dissolves. It will be fine. The starch just gives a slightly thicker sauce. So sorry! I’ll fix the recipe later. Let me know how it turns out!

      • Alie says:

        Hi! We had it last night. I added 1/4 c white wine and 1 tbsp agave. It was great! Everyone loved it – the chicken I shredded after cooking for several hours so it really ended up infusing the flavor. Next time I think I will add an extra orange for stronger flavor but thus was definitely an excellent dish! Thanks so much.

  6. Raechel says:

    Heather, thanks so much for this! I love that there are tons of carrots in there. Definitely putting this on my list to try – maybe next week! Yay!


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A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

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