RECIPE: Crock Pot Whole Chicken
So I heard this myth about cooking a whole chicken in a slow cooker as you would in the oven. Evidently you just throw it in with seasonings and VOILA. 8 hours later you have dinner!
My foodie skepticism gave me pause. Nah, it's too good to be true. Too easy. Probably too dry.
Then I kept getting taunted by pictures of slow-cooker whole chickens in my Facebook feed and Pinterest feed.
Then last week, hubby went on a fishing trip leaving me to pretty much play single-mom. I needed quick and easy weeknight dinner solutions while he was gone, so I decided to try this whole slow-cooker roast chicken thing. It was ridiculously easy (exactly what mamma needed) and if it worked, I would have left over chicken to make a casserole for the weekend.
Well, it worked! It was really moist. It was so tender the meat fell apart off the bone. The gravy was savory and delicious with a little hint of heat. I served it with some smashed potatoes and Portabello fries from Trader Joe's. I prepped that chicken in 10 minutes in the morning while wearing a nice outfit for a client meeting-and I didn't get anything on my outfit at all. That's how easy it was to prep.
I recommend cooking the chicken upside down, so juice and oils baste the breasts while it cooks all day. You can play with the spice blend but I loved the smoked paprika here. It gave things a rich flavor.
A roast chicken on a weeknight, peeps!?!
Yup, go get 'em tiger.
Crock Pot Whole Chicken
4-5 pound whole chicken giblets removed and rinsed, patted dry
1 leek, white part only, chopped
½ red onion, roughly chopped
3 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of cayenne
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of reserved, strained hot gravy juice
Place the leek and onion at the bottom of the slow cooker. Turn it on low.
Mix the spices together in a small bowl and rub all over the chicken. Tie the legs with kitchen twine. Place chicken, breast side down, in the slow cooker and cover.
Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Chicken is done when the thickest part of the thigh reads 180˚. The chicken will be very tender and may fall apart easily. Gently take the chicken out of the slow cooker with two spatulas, pulling it out from the bottom and placing it on a plate. Pull off the meat from the bones and place on a serving platter. Strain off the juice and pour in a small saucepan.
Bring juices to a boil and skim off the fat as it reduces down. Simmer for 10 minutes until the juice has been reduced down by a third. Take some of the hot juice and pour it into a small dish or bowl and dissolve the cornstarch in the hot juice until no clumps remain. Add this to the gravy and simmer until thickened. Serve the gravy with the chicken pieces. Save the rest of the chicken for later use with pasta, tortillas, or casseroles.