Anyone have a great but simple chicken slow cooker recipe?
I have a whole chicken defrosted that is going to the way of all things unless I can get it cooked tonight. Unfortunately I have a business meeting so I have only enough time to get it set up to cook in the slow cooker. I was recently given a big Cuisinart slow cooker as a present but I don't have any tried and true recipes (or cookbooks for that matter!) for it. I have lots of staples in the house so I'd like a recipe to make with stuff at hand. I'd prefer to make a dish that has as much 'real food' as possible rather than cans of soup and chicken that seem to be the basics of most slow cooker recipes I've seen. Please be as specific as possible with me as cooking times, temp, quantities, etc. I'm really nervous about this whole slow cooker thing. Thanks!
Slice two onions and layer them in the bottom of the cooker. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite herbs and spices: kosher salt, paprika, onion and garlic powder, thyme, sage, black/white/cayenne pepper etc... Lay the chicken breast side up on the onions and add a whole head's worth of unpeeled garlic cloves around it. You will want to go for around 7 hours on the low setting. You can raise the temp to high towards the end of cooking to speed up the process. Make a jus or gravy with the drippings and spread the roasted garlic on bread to eat along with the chicken.
I was going to say just "roast" the whole chicken in the slow cooker over balled up aluminum foil, but your method with the garlic sounds much much better. I think the chicken takes on some browning from the long cooking, but it won't be crispy skin like if you had oven roasted it. I'd just do the simple test of making a cut and seeing if the juices run clear. It won't be dried out from the slow cooker.
The skin will definitely not be browned but the meat will be ridiculously juicy. You could try to place a layer of aluminum foil shiny-side-down under the lid in hopes that it might reflect some of the heat to the top of the chicken. Haven't tried that but who knows?
It would be tough to negotiate running it under the broiler after slow cooking as it is a wobbly, meat falling-off-the-bone sort of situation when it is done. You might be able to brown it up some by hitting it with a blowtorch for a bit when you take it out.
I only have 'browned' bits if I brown the chicken (parts for me rather than whole but I have a small slow cooker) first. I have an 11 hour chicken curry to go back to tonight (legs only). I do a number of curries in the slow cooker, but I've only had it since early January and I'm still experimenting. My basic currry is fried curry paste (homemade) extemelt roughly chopped onions, 1 can toms, heat through. Brown 2 chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs) stick it all in the slow cooker (on low). I add peppers or spinach or something for the last 20 minutes or so - that way there isn't another pot to wash! I've also done garlic/citrus/lemongrass based 'curries' also good, be prepared not to be able to take the chicken out of the slow cooker as it should be so tender it disintegrates!
We love this recipe...the chicken is moist and so flavorful. And excellent the next day shredded for chicken salad.
Crocked Rosemary-Garlic Chicken
10 garlic cloves, minced
2T chopped fresh rosemary
5-6 pound roasting chicken
5 garlic cloves
4 (3”) rosemary sprigs
1/4C orange juice
1T balsamic vinegar
Combine minced garlic and chopped rosemary. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub garlic mixture under loosened skin over breast and drumsticks. Place 5 garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs into body cavity. Place chicken, breast side down, in crock pot. Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 7 hours. Remove from pot, reserving drippings. Discard skin from chicken.
Place zip-loc bag inside a 2C measuring cup. Pour drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into small saucepan, stopping before fat layer reaches opening. Add orange juice and vinegar; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Wow. Who would have thought that slow cooker chicken could be this good. Sounds great to me. Out of curiousity, why do you discard the skin? Looks? Health reasons? I don't usually eat the chicken skin but I do serve it with it still on. Thanks for the recipe!
I discard the skin for health/calorie reasons, plus it doesn't crisp up or brown in the slow cooker, at least not in this recipe.
Thanks to all for the recipes and discussion. I tried the rosemary/garlic/oj/balsamic vinegar recipe that wyf4lyf put up on the board. It was a great success. So much so that I will definitely try CDoughlas' recipe soon.
A few interesting things to note. When I got home from work about an hour after the shut off time while the crockpot (which I have taken to call the crackpot) was still on warm, the liquids in the pot were bubbling away and had really crusted on the ceramic insert. It's soaking away now hours later. Also, the chicken was thoroughly browned! I am wondering if my Cuisinart crockpot might not run a bit hot even when it's on low. It seems I might need to add additional liquids while cooking. Lastly, I used a 3.5 lb. chicken. Do you think this might not work a bit better with the recommended 5 lb. chicken?
Thanks again for your help and sharing.