Roasting a Chicken

I can’t help it. I have another slow cooker recipe to share. In my defense, this was SUPER fast and SUPER good so it is a pretty good share.

Have you ever picked up one of those whole chickens at the grocery store? They are delicious and so handy to pick at during the week (if you don’t finish it right away). I used to work at a place that would make a grocery run once a week and they always grabbed one or two of those chickens. Those suckers were always gone within a few hours. Some people grabbed some meat for sandwiches, some grabbed some for their salad, and others just nommed on chicken.

If I want to look like a real cook or if I just know I’m going to have a busy week and want something to feed off of, I like to make one of these chickens.

I grabbed a couple whole chickens at Costco last weekend (they have antibiotic-free ones if you are allergic to antibiotics like some members of my family) because I’ve been craving this chicken. I’ve been fighting colds and allergies and having something light and healthy just sounded GOOD.

I got the original recipe here and I highly recommend it. Today though, I didn’t have lemons so I thought I would just do a variation of the recipe. It is simple enough that I thought I could probably get a little creative and not screw it up.

When I say this is quick preparation, I’m not kidding. I realized that I had frittered away the morning and I had about 10 minutes to whip this up and clean up before I had to rush off to work. No problem. I even had time for the pictures.

You’ll need:

  • Your chicken
  • Herbs such as Rosemary and Thyme or even just the basic Poultry Seasoning you might have on hand
  • Some fruitish type item. Lemons are wonderful, I used apples today but I think oranges would be amazing too! 3-5 of them.
  • Garlic (which I completely forgot this morning), minced
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper

My first big tip is get everything out of the cupboards before you touch the chicken. I made the mistake of touching the chicken and then realizing I still needed to open the olive oil and spices and yuck! I had to wipe everything down afterwards. Be smarter than me!

First, I drizzle some olive oil into my slow cooker. Mainly I do this to keep stuff from sticking too bad and help clean up later. I use a paper towel to wipe the olive oil all around the pot.

Then I clean off the chicken. I know some schools of thought say not to clean poultry but I like to get all the grody juice off. Plus, in these whole chickens, you have the gizzards and neck to pull out of the cavity. I like to wash that out too.

Gizzards and neck were tossed in a pot to boil for a kitty treat. This is my other tip. Have the little pot with water and the stove turned on before you touch the chicken.

After the chicken is clean, rub it down with a little olive oil. I just make sure it gets in the nooks and crannies and areas that might crisp up a little. I did not put any in the cavities.

If you remember your garlic (I didn’t), this is when you rub the minced garlic all over the chicken too.

Now rub your herbs all over the chicken too. I’m pretty liberal with the herbs because they are mild and you are only going to get a hint of their flavor. I didn’t have any fresh ones on hand so I just used what I had in my cupboard. The fresh ones are best and offer the most aromatic flavor but the dried stuff works too so if you need it to be easy, go for what you have.

I started out with three apples and then decided I wanted two more for tons of apple goodness.

I would also salt and pepper your chicken at this point. I totally forgot. I’ll salt and pepper it when I get home and it will still be good but it probably would be even better if I had done this before all the slow cookin’.

I have mixed olive oil, garlic, and herbs in a bowl before and rubbed it on the chicken in one go. I just didn’t take the time to do that this morning. Whatever is easiest for you works here.

Line the bottom of your slow cooker with your apples (or lemons or oranges). I didn’t take the time to slice the apples because I was in a hurry. I just used my apple cutter to get out the core and then I threw the wedges in the bottom of the slow cooker. I like to make sure the chicken is resting more on the fruit than the slow cooker.

This was how it looked with three apples. It just didn’t seem like quite enough so I cut up two more apples and added them.

Put the chicken in the pot. I put some apple wedges in the cavities but don’t pack it full. You want the heat to get in there and cook the chicken properly. I just put as many in as go in easily and leave it at that.

Apples tucked into the chicken too.

Then I toss in all the rest of the apples around and on top of the chicken covering as much as possible. When I am using lemons, I like to slice the lemon thinish so they drape over the surface of the chicken. I cover the chicken well with them making a little lemon coat.

More apples added to completely cover the chicken.

Cover the pot, set it to cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. I check it at 8 because I kind of skeeve when it is falling off the bone too much. I like it to come off the bone easily but when there are random bones sitting around…gross.

This was amazing! It is a very delicate flavor so I like to accompany it with a more flavorful side dish like a seasoned rice pilaf or garlicky mashed potatoes. I made a some creamy parmesan polenta which was pretty strong-flavored so it was a good partner with this very mild chicken. While the apples were wonderful and the chicken delicious, so far, the lemon is still my favorite. The lemons infuse the chicken more than the apples did.

I do really like the delicate flavor if I’m picking at it all week too. The taste isn’t too strong to be thrown in a salad with dressing or going on a sandwich. You have the flexibility to gussy it up any way you want later on.

The drumstick just came off the chicken when I grabbed it with tongs. So tender!

There is nothing better than getting home and a warm, healthy meal is waiting for you! The poor dogs had to be home with the nummy smells all day. I felt a little guilty about that so they got the gizzards I tried to leave for the kitty but she wouldn’t touch. The dogs LOVED it!

Mmmmm…gizzards.

 

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2 Responses to Roasting a Chicken

  1. I’ve done the roast chicken with lemon thing, but I hadn’t thought of using other fruits! I will definitely try either apples or oranges next time. I wonder what lime would be like. Maybe tasty for Mexican food?

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