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Say Aloha to Your New Favorite Dinner: Slow-Cooker Hula Chicken

A little bit savory and a little bit sweet, the best thing about this juicy chicken dinner is that it practically cooks itself.
By Tieghan Gerard
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It’s that time of year when the tropical bug hits me hard. The weather where I live is still cold and I feel surrounded by slushy mud. I guess that’s springtime in the mountains...it sounds idyllic, but it drives me insane. Can you relate? If you are lucky, maybe you are actually getting spring flowers already? If so, I want to live where you live! Better yet, I want to pack my bags and head to Hawaii where the weather is hot, the sun is shining and the ocean lies beckoning.

The sad reality is that my jet-set dreams of heading to Hawaii are just that, dreams, and the closest I can get to a tropical getaway is this scrumptious slow-cooker chicken dinner. Lucky for me (and you!) this dish is beyond tasty and leaves you feeling all warm and toasty inside. Better yet, it’s an easy meal to prepare ahead of time and freeze.

To start, round up your ingredients. (You’ll find an exact list of what you’ll need in the recipe below.)

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In your slow cooker, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, gingerroot and sriracha sauce. Then add chicken and crushed pineapple. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 6 hours. Once the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickened, remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Return the chicken to the sauce and turn the heat to high. Cook uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until the sauce starts to thickens up. (If the sauce gets too thick, add a bit of the reserved pineapple juice from the can.)

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Serve warm, over a bed of rice with a side of pineapple salsa, if desired, and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.

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You can also prepare this ahead of time! To make and freeze, in a large glass measuring cup or bowl, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and sriracha. Then place the chicken and crushed pineapple in a gallon-sized freezer bag and add in the liquid ingredients. Carefully squeeze out excess air from the bag, seal it up and freeze.

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When ready to cook, thaw bag overnight in refrigerator. Place contents in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, cover and cook on low for about 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender and serve as indicated above. Either way you make it, this recipe is a winner!

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