Ingredients

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
8 small chicken thighs, about 1 kg (2 lb) in total, skinned, boned and cubed
4 spring onions, thickly sliced, white and green parts kept separate
2 carrots, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
430 g (144 oz) can pineapple chunks in natural juice
300 ml (2 pint) chicken stock
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
225 g (72 oz) can bamboo shoots, drained
125 g (4 oz) bean sprouts
100 g (3½ oz) mangetout. thinly sliced
rice, to serve

Instructions

1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the chicken thighs and fry, stirring, until browned on all sides.
2. Mix in the white spring onion slices, carrots and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the pineapple chunks and their juice and the stock.
3. Put the cornflour, tomato purée and sugar into a small bowl, then gradually mix in the soy sauce and vinegar to make a smooth paste.
4.Stir into the frying pan and bring to the boil, stirring. Tip the chicken and sauce into the slow cooker pot, add the bamboo shoots and press the chicken beneath the surface of the sauce.
5. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. When almost ready to serve, add the green spring onion slices, the bean sprouts and mangetout to the slow cooker pot and mix well,
6.Replace the lid and cook, still on low, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Spoon into rice-filled bowls.
7.FOR LEMON CHICKEN, follow the recipe as above up until the addition of the chicken stock.
8.Gradually mix the juice of 1 lemon into the cornflour to make a smooth paste, then stir into the stock with 2 tablespoons dry sherry and 4 teaspoons caster sugar.
9.Bring to the boil, stirring, then add to the slow cooker pot and cook as above, adding the green spring onion slices, bean sprouts and mangetout at the end.

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