"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

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)
You Need:
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)
olive oil

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.
- why?
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.
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Jen said...

Perhaps a dumb question but I'm a bit of a cooking rookie...if I were to add veggies, what kind would you suggest and should I put them in with the potatoes or somewhere else? Thanks!!

Unknown said...

not dumb at all!
veggies: onions, carrots, celery, peppers- stuff like that.
you could either todd them in with the potatoes or just toss them in the bottom (under the chicken)...i'd probably foil them up like the potatoes though :)

beth said...

I've got a round crockpot - do you think this will still be successful if chicken is cooked upright?

Unknown said...

I made a variation of this tonight for a couple of friends with a brined whole chicken. It turned out awesome and so moist. Thank you for the idea

Anonymous said...

my potatoes turned black! Eek!
When 7 hrs was up, I opened up the foil to find very gray (some black) potato chunks. Is that food poisoning? Potatoes are unsafe perhaps? These were fresh potatoes I just bought at the store. If those potatoes are poisonous, then is the chicken poisonous? eeeeeek! Thank you. Thank you. Take care!

Rachel R. said...

Potatoes turn black from oxidizing (exposure to air, basically), just like apples get dark. It's highly unlikely there's something wrong with them. :)

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