I bought a small crock pot years ago when I lived in L.A. and then never used it because a) it was difficult to find recipes for mini crock pots and b) I was apprehensive about scaling down recipes for regularly sized crock pots, thinking the ratios would be all wrong and the results would be terrible. I came across this recipe for Chicken Adobo in February’s Real Simple magazine and thought it would be a great chance to finally cook something in a crock pot (albeit a large one, so I still haven’t overcome the issue of the mini crock pot).


  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • black pepper
  • 8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (about 1¾ pounds)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 large head bok choy, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onions, garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, bay leaf and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle with the paprika.
  2. Cook, covered, until the chicken and onions are tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours .
  3. Twenty minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.
  4. Ten minutes before serving, if the cooker is on the low setting, turn it to high. Gently (very gently – the chicken will be super tender and falling off the bone) fold the bok choy into the chicken and cook, covered, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with the rice and sprinkle with the scallions.

Buying bok choy

When choosing bok choy, look for crisp leaves that are bright white and green. The stems should not be spreckled with black spots or turning yellow. If the stems are particularly thick they will take longer to cook. When preparing this recipe, I had to cook the bok choy longer than 5 minutes in order to achieve the right amount of tenderness.