Monday, April 11, 2016

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

 Ok, let me just start by saying that this is one of the easiest recipes I've ever made. I mean, I know I say ever recipe is easy, but seriously, this one is just stupid easy. I honestly don't know how anyone could possibly get this one wrong. And you get so much bang for your buck, you won't even believe it. It's perfect for a warm day when you don't feel like turning on the oven, or on a weekday when you want dinner to be ready by the time you get home from work. It's as moist and juicy as any roasted or rotisserie chicken and it's completely fall-off-the-bone tender! It's perfect for a novice cook and only takes a few minutes of prep. Actually, come to think of it, I bet this would be pretty perfect for a college student. (Do they even allow crock pots in dorm rooms???)
 Anyway, next time you're doing your grocery shopping, pick up a roaster, and give this recipe a try. Prep it the night before, turn it on in the morning, and it'll be ready when you get home! You can serve it for dinner, and use the leftovers for salads, casseroles, sandwiches, you name it!
 I PROMISE you, once you give this one a try, it just might be your new favorite way to cook a chicken!

1 large onion
1 whole head of garlic
1 whole roaster chicken
Olive oil
Fresh or dried herbs, (thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, etc)
Seasonings (paprika, lemon pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, etc)
Salt and pepper

 Peel the onion and cut into halves or quarters. Place in the bottom of the crock pot. Slice horizontally through the entire head of garlic. Place both halves face down in the bottom of the crock pot with the onions. (No need to peel the garlic). Remove the packaging from the outside of the chicken as well as the giblet bundle from inside the cavity and discard. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat dry with a paper towel. Place chicken on top of the onions and garlic. Drizzle with a couple glugs of olive oil (or your choice of oil). Season with your choice of herbs and spices. I used a bundle of fresh rosemary, a bundle of fresh thyme, lemon pepper, paprika, salt and pepper, but use whatever you like! Place the lid on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. That's it!

If you'd like to use the drippings to make gravy:
 First strain through a fine sieve into a small sauce pot. Discard the onions and garlic. Skim off most of the fat. Make a slurry of a little cold water and a couple tbs flour, add it to the pot, and stir over medium heat until it thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.

 I have a large oval-shaped crock pot, so I was able to do a pretty big roaster, about 9 lbs. Do whatever size chicken fits in your crock pot! If you only have a small crock pot, then just do a small chicken! Just be sure to check for doneness closer to the 6 hour mark instead of the 8 hour mark.
 To be honest, I left mine in the crock for longer than 8 hours, and it still came out perfect. Slow cookers are very forgiving! So if you find yourself running a half hour late, don't sweat it!
 If you don't want to put onions and garlic in the bottom of the crock, you can roll up a couple balls of aluminum foil and place the chicken on top of them.

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