Eats: Slow-Cooker Roast Chicken

5 Jun

Or, reason 7,539 to hug your crock-pot.

I love roast chicken.  It tastes great, with juicy meat and crispy, salty skin, it provides a lot of leftovers, and you can turn the carcass into tasty chicken stock for future meals. Normally, we use a simple roasted chicken recipe (chicken+salt) or we pull out the Ronco rotisserie oven. Today, though, I didn’t want to deal with cleaning a pan full of chicken grease and cleaning (and watching) a stock pot.  Having heard rave reviews about slow-cooking whole chickens, I decided to forgo my beloved crispy skin and give it a try; I wasn’t disappointed.

Slow-Cooker Roast Chicken

1 large roasting chicken
1 cup chopped onion

Spice Rub
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust according to spice preferences)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Place chopped onions in bottom of slow cooker
  2. Remove any giblets from the chicken, rinse and pat dry.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the spices.  Rub the spice mixture on the chicken.
  4. Put chicken in slow cooker.  No liquid needed; the chicken will release its own juices.
  5. Cook on high ~4 hours (or low 6-8).  How long it cooks will vary based on your crock pot and temperature.

After 4 hours, I had a chicken that was falling apart, tender, and slightly spicy.  You could use the liquid on the bottom as a nice dipping sauce or thicken up to create a gravy of sorts.

BONUS: Slow-Cooker Chicken Stock
With the liquids released from the chicken as it cooks you have the beginnings of a fabulous chicken stock, with minimal waste!  Put the bones back in and add some carrot, celery, a clove or two of garlic and 6 cups of water.  Cook on low for 8-12 hours.  If you want to skim off the fat, pour into containers and let cool, then remove the layer of fat from the top.

Try this if you want a go-to recipe for tender roast a chicken while minimizing mess, mindfulness, and heat from the oven/stove.


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