Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot with Potatoes
rarely do i cook an entire chicken. mainly because i abhore taking it apart once the breast is gone. buuut- a whole cooked chicken is awesome. it smells so good & looks all fancy.
plus- they're pretty cheap. so every now & again i can't pass up buying one.
then i remember it's in my freezer & i'm all like, "crap. i should cook that. but it takes too long. & i'm lazy. waaa waaa waaa."
but then Pinterest was all like, "looky here. cook that whole chicken in your crock pot. TADA!"
and i was all like, "omg. duh."
i still have to take it apart- but at least the cooking part is a snap.
Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot (with Potatoes)
1 whole chicken (3-5 lbs)
2 large potatoes
salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary (to taste)
1 bay leaf
1 lemon (or a heafty splash of lemon juice)
Directions: Peel & cut your potatoes into large chunks. You're going to be putting them in a foil package in the bottom of the crockpot- so spread out a large piece of foil. Sprinkle with seasonings (use whatever you want- but i used salt, pepper & rosemary) & pile on the potatoes. Then toss in some chunks of butter (probably about 3 tblsp worth).
Wrap them up in the foil & place at the bottom of the crock pot. Push the foil pack down so it spreads out a bit & covers the bottom. More so flat than not.
Onto the chicken. Remove the inards, rinse your chicken & pat dry. Rub it down liberally with olive oil.
Note: this next step is optional. I like to do it because i think more flavor gets into the meat. if you don't want to- skip it & move on to the seasonings.
Then make pockets under the skin & smear 2-3 tblspn worth of butter under the skin & all over the chicken.
Mix up your seasonings (to taste) in a small bowl. Again, use whatever you want but i used salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika & rosemary. I mixed up enough to get around 2-3 tbspns worth- give or take.
Now get to work smearing those seasonings under the skin & all over your chicken.
Again, i put them under the skin & also on the skin. I rub them under the chicken, between the thighs & under the wings. I even toss a little inside for good measure.
Then halve the lemon & toss it inside the chicken along with the bay leaf (i didn't have a lemon- so i used a generous splash of lemon juice. You could also throw in onions or other veggies. Or even apples- your choice!)
Place the chicken on top of the foil packet, cover with your crock pot lid.
then cook on low for 7 hours (give or take).
When you take the lid off you'll have a perfect cooked, perfectly seasoned & perfectly moist chicken dinner.
Also the potatoes will be nice & soft & totally seasoned with the chicken juices.
Seriously- you'll be hard pressed not to start stuffing your mouth full of chicken right fromt he crock pot.
Now- if you're anything like me you only like chicken skin if it's crispy. So- if you want to crisp up that skin you can do what i did:
Pre-heat your oven to 425.
Line a baking dish with foil. Transfer the chicken to the baking dish (i used 2 spatulas) & empty the potatoes around the chicken.
Then pour the chicken juices over the chicken & potatoes. Bake it for 15-20 minutes & when you pull it out the skin will be crispy & kick ass.
Eat it all- don't share. Only suckers share crispy chicken skin.
For those that are wondering:
- do i have to cook potatoes?
no. but potatoes ar epretty awesome so you should.
- if i don't cook potatoes, what should i put in the bottom of the crockpot?
ah ha! well your chicken should lie on a bed of something. vegetables work too. if you don't want to use veggies then ball up a couple pieces of foil & set your chicken on top of those.
mainly becaues when the chicken cooks it juices. a lot. so your chicken will be sitting in juice- now this is NOT a bad thing. hello moist & yummy. but i prefer to have some separation because i think the chicken is less likely to fall apart when you're trying to take it out.
- all that chicken juice- what to do with it?
whatever you do don't throw it away! keep it in the crock pot, add some veggies & the chicken bones & cook on low for a few hours- ta da! chicken stock. or pop it ina container inthe freezer & save it for later.
and there you go- i hope i've just made you life a little easier.