kimchi chicken

A couple of months ago I published this story in Mosaic magazine called Hurry Up and Wait. It was about how millennials are bringing back the slow cooker because it fits their busier and more tech-savvy lifestyle. It was an idea I conjured in my head long ago but never really based it in anything real. When my editor greenlit the pitch I was kind of shocked. Now what? So I turned to my new friend, Reddit and found hundreds of millennials obsessed with their slow cookers who were happy to tell me why. Somehow it all came together

And what everyone wants--millennials, baby boomers, parents—is a slow cooker recipe that begins "Combine everything in the slow cooker...." They want to just throw it in, turn it on and not look back. This is the golden ticket to slow cooking and after much trial and error I have started to compile a list of super simple slow-cooker recipes. 

My all-time favorite of these type of recipes are these ribs but another one I also love is Kimchi Chicken. The bottled kimchi is added near the end of the cooking to prevent total mush while still imparting some complicated flavors--spicy, sweet, umami. Here's the recipe I use:


  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 scallions sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 tbsp Minute instant tapioca (optional)*
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced or grated fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp high-quality ground ginger
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 jar of cabbage kimchi

    * Instant tapioca found here or in stores like Walmart is a Cook's Illustrated favorite ingredient for the slow cooker but I'm not sure it's worth tracking down, unless you're kind of obsessive like me. 


  1. Combine all ingredients except for the scallion greens, chicken, and kimchi in the slow cooker.
  2. Nestle the chicken thighs in the sauce, spooning some over the top.
  3. Cover and cook for 4-5 hours on low 
  4. When ready to serve, turn heat to high, add the kimchi, and cook for about 20 more minutes. Serve sprinkled with the scallion greens.