Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies | Direct Energy Blog

Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies

Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.

Looking to up your slow cooker game? This week’s low-energy-use recipe features a combination of orange and ginger to enhance your classic chicken and vegetables.

Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies | Direct Energy Blog
A classic Southern dish, but with some fresh flavors.

Working with a slow cooker is always one of my top choices for a low energy use approach to preparing meals. Sure, you could bake this dish in the oven for an hour, but it makes the kitchen so hot, and since it’s summer, I really like to avoid using the oven for too long.

Along with the orange and fresh ginger mentioned in the title of the recipe, I’ve added some maple syrup for sweetness, while the Dijon mustard provides a much-needed kick of tang and acid. The fresh lemon juice and shallots in this recipe also deliver a real brightness to the recipe and chicken.

Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies | Direct Energy Blog
The addition of orange and ginger transforms this dish.

I like complementing the chicken with green beans and yellow summer squash. Not only are they in season right now, but these two vegetables really absorb the flavors of the marinade, water content of the vegetables, and rendered chicken fat from the cooking chicken. You can substitute or swap either of these for carrots, potatoes, zucchini, or even butternut squash as all of these vegetables taste quite delicious with the sauce and won’t overcook.

I tend to use bone-in, skin-on leg quarters for the chicken in this recipe because they are very cost-efficient, moist, tender, and delicious! While you can use boneless options like chicken breasts, I suggest sticking with the bone-in, skin-on variety because the bone and skin create very tasty flavors for the vegetables to absorb.

Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients:

Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies | Direct Energy Blog
A simple dish with familiar ingredients doesn’t have to be boring.
  • 4 Bone-in, skin-on chicken leg quarters
  • ¼ c. Orange juice
  • ¼ c. Orange marmalade
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh ginger paste or grated ginger
  • ¼ c. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. Maple syrup
  • ¼ c. Shallots, finely diced
  • 4 c. Fresh green beans
  • 4 c. Fresh summer squash (about 4 squashes)
  • 1 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1 tsp. Coarse ground black peppercorns
  • ½ Fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies | Direct Energy Blog
Veggies!

1) Wash the green beans and squash. Slice the squash into large pieces.

Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies | Direct Energy Blog
A little lemon goes a long way.

2) Place the vegetables on the bottom of the slow cooker and top with half of the the finely diced shallots. Sprinkle ¼ tsp. of the sea salt and black peppercorns over the vegetables and squeeze the lemon juice over the vegetables.

Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies | Direct Energy Blog
Make sure you evenly coat the chicken with the salt and pepper.

3) Season the chicken leg quarters with the remaining ¾ teaspoons of the sea salt and the black peppercorns.

Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies | Direct Energy Blog
Using orange juice instead of orange zest packs a punch in this marinade.

4) Add the orange marmalade, ginger, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and shallots in a mixing bowl. Pour in the orange juice and stir to combine.

Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies | Direct Energy Blog
You want the chicken and veggies to be completely coated with the marinade to ensure equal flavors throughout the dish.

5) Place the chicken in the slow cooker on top of the vegetables. Pour the marinade over everything.

6) Set the slow cooker to low heat for six hours.

Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies | Direct Energy Blog
Five minutes in the broiler definitely won’t heat up your kitchen like one hour in the over.

7) After six hours, remove the chicken. Broil it on high in the oven for five minutes to crisp the skin before serving.

Direct Your Dining: Orange and Ginger Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies | Direct Energy Blog
Time to eat!

This would also be a great recipe to make on Father’s Day. It takes only minutes to prepare and the slow cooker does all the hard work, giving you plenty of time to spend with your family as you celebrate the dads and father figures in your life.

Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

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About 

Stacie is a Texas A&M animal science graduate using her education and passion for food to get creative in the kitchen. She previously worked in business before becoming a mom to a special little boy. She's excited to share recipes her family enjoys at home - and they may even help you save energy in the kitchen.

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