Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Crock Pot Whole Chicken

Crock Pot Whole Chicken (from
Recipe #33671

3 to 4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large roasting chicken (about 5 pounds)

In a small bowl, combine all the herbs/spices. 
Remove any giblets from chicken and clean chicken (rinse inside and out with cold water).
Dry chicken with paper towels.
Rub spice mixture onto the chicken (I also gently lift the skin away from the breast meat and try to sprinkle some of the herb/spice mixture over the breast meat).
Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to cook, place shallow dish(es) in the bottom of the crock pot (ensure the dishes are oven safe).  This serves as a rack for the chicken.
Place chicken on top of dish(es).  No liquid is needed; the chicken will make it's own juices.
Cook on low for 4 to 8 hours (I find 6 hours is about perfect).
Chicken with a pop-up timer is recommended if you can find one.

Small crock pots won't work for this recipe.  You'll need a 6-quart slow cooker for this recipe.

There is nothing horribly glamorous about this recipe but it sure is easy, handy, and inexpensive.  The recipe calls for pre-seasoning a whole chicken and wrapping it in plastic and letting the herbs and spices "marinate" overnight in the refrigerator.  Whole chicken are so very inexpensive... less than $6.00 for a pretty big bird.  I have made this two weekends in a row and it's nice that this cooks in the crock pot (slow cooker) so your oven is free to make other dishes.  I find having pre-cooked chicken is handy for lots of meals which can prepared later in the week. Shredded chicken is good in so many ways... on salads, in soups, on tacos (mixed with salsa), and so on.

I tried this recipe because I was intrigued by the technique where you put oven-safe dishes in the bottom of the crock pot to elevate the chicken off of the bottom of the crock pot so the chicken is not soaking in the fat which gets rendered from the chicken as it cooks. It's AMAZING how much liquid comes out of a whole chicken.  I saw a few other similar recipes.  Some recommended different combinations of herbs and spices; some recommended using onions or carrots in the bottom of the crock put to elevate the chicken; and one recipe recommended using Fajita seasoning packets for the herb and spice mixture. So really, it's just a technique... there are many options.

We have one meal which is ridiculously easy. We heat a can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup in a medium-sized pot and add in chopped up cooked chicken (it's also great with leftover turkey).  We don't dilute the soup with water or milk. We call this meal "Cream of Chicken".  I like to eat this with Basmati rice or quinoa and frozen mixed vegetables or green beans.  The Cream of Chicken is also good over toast or mashed potatoes.  It's very good "comfort food" on a cold winter day.  It kind of reminds me of Chicken ala King but there is not puff pastry or biscuit... or whatever puts the "ala King" in Chicken ala King.


The chicken just falls off of the bones... two small tubs of white meat and one tub of dark meat.

These are the dishes in the bottom of the crock pot which serves as the cooking rack for the chicken.

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