Monday, October 10, 2011

Slow Cookers and Oranges

First person: Knock knock.

Second person: Who's there?

First person: Orange.

Second person: Orange who?

First person: Orange you glad you used oranges to flavor your slow cooker dinner?

Second person: Hardy har har. (courtesy laugh)

The odd thing is that usually I don't like the flavor of orange in savory dishes. For the most part, I prefer my oranges in their sweet form. But these are two exceptions to that rule.

The first recipe is for a very simply barbecue pulled pork sandwich. The orange adds such depth of flavor. You really can't tell that there is orange in it at all. We usually pair this pulled pork with a coleslaw recipe that was a separate recipe apart from the pork recipe. You can serve the coleslaw on the side or pile it on top of the pork and eat it with your sandwich. Yum.

The second recipe is another easy one. It is an Asian chicken with an orange sauce over rice. You can leave the chicken whole or you can shred it. I usually like to shred it because it makes the chicken go farther.

So, mix it up and make some savory orange dishes...and make it easy by doing it with your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Orange BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches


1 boneless pork shoulder (3 lbs.)
1 bottle (18 oz) Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce--I usually use Tony Roma's Carolina Honey's BBQ Sauce)
Juice from 1 medium orange (I also usually add the pulp too)
1/2 cup Kraft Mayo Real Mayonnaise, optional
12 sandwich rolls or hamburger buns, split, toasted


Place meat in slow cooker; top with barbecue sauce and orange juice. Cover with lid.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours (or on high for 4-6 hours). Remove meat from slow cooker; cut into small pieces or shred with fork. Return meat to slow cooker; stir until meat is evenly coated with the barbecue sauce mixture.

Spread mayo onto cut sides of rolls, if desired. fill rolls evenly with meat mixture.

Kraft Kitchen Tips:

Serve with a crisp mixed green salad and fresh fruit to round out the meal.

For more orange flavor, add 1 tsp. grated orange peel in with the barbecue sauce and orange juice.

Add dill pickles to the sandwiches to jazz it up even further.

Nutrition information:

410 calories, 20 g fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 550 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 26 g protein.

Source: Kraft Kitchens recipe.

Notes: I pretty much included all of my notes in the ingredients list above. This is so easy to make. It tastes so good and I love that it has so few ingredients. I always skip the mayo. I just don't think it's necessary.

Above: Taken with my old camera, so it isn't the best picture...but it is still just as tasty!

Weight Watcher's Coleslaw


4 cups pre-shredded cabbage
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tbsp spicy hot mustard
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp bottled minced garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt


Combine first nine ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Source: This is from one of my Mom's Weight Watcher's cookbooks, though I don't know the title of the book.

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken


8 small boneless skinless chicken thighs (1 lb.) (you can also use 4 chicken breasts, or a combination of thighs and breasts)
3 tbsp flour
1 cup orange marmalade
1 cup Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce (I also like Tony Roma's Carolina Honey's Barbecue Sauce in this recipe)
6 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp grated fresh gingerroot


Toss chicken with flour in slow cooker.

Stir in all remaining ingredients; cover with lid.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours).

Makes 4 servings.

Serving suggestion: serve with hot cooked rice and steamed green beans.

Source: Kraft Kitchens recipe.

Serving size: 2 chicken thighs with sauce and rice, or 1 breast with sauce and rice. If you decide to shred the chicken, a serving is about 1 cup shredded chicken with sauce and rice.

Notes: This recipe as written only calls for boneless skinless chicken thighs...but I never feel like that is enough to keep me full. I know that it has a richer flavor, but chicken breasts for me just go farther. Besides, I think they still taste great.

We also increased the sauce from the original recipe. The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup orange marmalade, 1/3 cup barbecue sauce, 2 tbsp soy sauce, and 1 tbsp grated fresh gingerroot. But I always prefer to have too much sauce than not enough.

This dish is definitely prettier if you keep the chicken whole, but I think it's easier to serve and the meat stretches farther if you shred it. It's up to you.

The Kraft picture shows two lovely chicken thighs served with a beautifully rounded ball of white rice served on top of the orange sauce. My picture isn't quite so lovely, but it's a lot more practical.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't tried adding the pulp and orange zest to the barbecued pork recipe. Sounds good.

    The benefit that I've found of using thighs versus chicken breasts in slow cooker recipes is the higher fat content of the dark meat makes it less dry. Have you ever tried mixing the meat. Then you would get the added spread of the chicken breasts, but the flavor and moistness of the thighs. Thighs are somethings cheaper, although I'm not sure that the case with the boneless skinless.

    Oh, and I love any recipe that calls for orange marmalade.