Yes, Virginia, You CAN Fit An Entire Chicken into Your Slow-Cooker

12 Nov

Note: This is a bird that has literally fallen off of its bones. As soon as I plucked it from the slow-cooker, this moist, delicate chicken threatened to collapse entirely. The slow cooking method ensures an incredibly tender chicken with flavor out the wazoo. Yes, wazoo. It’s a technical culinary term: the thing out of which flavor can apparently come?

Anyhoo; aside from my additions to the dictionary, this roast chicken is perhaps the easiest fancy-pancy Sunday dinner out there. If you’ve got a slow cooker and some time on your hands, this recipe is for you. And your friends. And your family. And that neighbor across the street who happens to like chicken. Because it makes a lot of chicken.

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken — serves 4, depending on the size of your bird. Recipe adapted from Fix It and Forget It, my slow-cooker bible.

“Buy me,” the recipe book said in a grandmotherly voice. “I was seriously only $6 at Building 19. You could find me at Wal-Mart, Target, that random bookstore in your hometown … I’m around. Ready for your slow-cooking dreams to become a reality.”

You’ll need:

  • 1 fryer chicken (a 2 to 4 pound bird is classified as a “fryer” or “broiler.” Larger chickens might be labeled “roaster.”)
  • 2 large carrots or 10 baby carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 3 ribs of celery, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3-4 potatoes (optional), cut into large chunks (about 6 per potato)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups liquid (water, broth, or even beer work — I used a bottle of Shiner Bock with amazing results)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

  • Layer the vegetables in your slow cooker: carrots, celery, onion & potatoes. Place the chicken, breast meat-side up, on top.

Veg veg veg veg veg.

  • Sprinkle the chicken with herbs, salt & pepper. Add liquid to the pot. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours, or on LOW for 5-7 hours. Bird will be absurdly moist and tender when finished.

Pre-roasted bird looks ready to go!

  • Allow the bird to sit on your serving platter for 10-20 minutes to rest and allow juices to settle. Slice and serve according to your preference.

Falling apart. Seriously. (P.S. This may or may not make the best chicken salad sandwich you’ve ever had. Day 2 chicken = just as tasty as Day 1 chicken.)

Yes. That’s it. The end. It’s THAT easy, and seriously, friends — it’s that delicious. I used the veggies and juices to make a quick pan gravy (juices + veggies + extra herbs, cooked in a sauce pot on medium for 5 minutes; then, use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients into a thick gravy, and quickly whisk in 1 tbsp of flour to thicken the mixture), and served it with a quick stove top stuffing (Giant brand, what up) and oven-roasted veggies. Can’t be beat.

Do you lovely chefs use your slow-cookers much? Do you enjoy them, or find them cumbersome and time-consuming? What are your favorite slow-cooker recipes? I have a few more up my sleeve for the blog, including an a-MAZE-ing turkey chili and a so-so loaf of bread (true story: bread in the slow cooker, details at 11). Stay tuned!

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4 Responses to “Yes, Virginia, You CAN Fit An Entire Chicken into Your Slow-Cooker”

  1. Amy November 12, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    Building 19!!! I love my slow cooker. Its great to thow 5 or 6 chicken breasts (can be frozen) into with a jar of salsa. Let it run all day and then tacos! Pot roasts are good too!

    • galleykitchengal November 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      Amen! (To both Building 19 and the slow cooker awesomeness.) Might use mine again this week … multiple times …

  2. Emilee November 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    I LOVE my slow-cooker, especially in the summer. I actually made a pot roast in the slow-cooker last night, and I’ve “baked” a chicken in the slow-cooker a few times. It’s so easy, and perfect for producing lots of leftover shredded chicken for casseroles or whatever.

    • galleykitchengal November 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      Right? Seriously wonderful. As much as I like picking up a rotisserie chicken, making your own by sticking the bird in the slow-cooker is fabulous. How was your pot roast?

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