My mother-in-law has a great story about chicken every Sunday. She grew up on a farm and loved having chicken every Sunday. One Sunday, her mother told her that if she wanted a chicken, she would have to kill it and clean it herself. She did. She was not yet in high school yet but I can’t remember how old she was. 11? 12? She went through all of that just to have her chicken on Sunday.
It’s important to note that my mother in law has the good story. I’m sloppily re-telling it…..
I can’t say I would ever kill my own chicken, but I do like having chicken on Sunday. I prefer to buy mine at the grocery store.
And it’s not limited to Sunday. Roast chicken in the slow cooker is one of my go-to meal when I know we have a busy night and I want the girls to get a good dinner. For some reason, both of them (but especially G2) will devour roast chicken. And it always gives us leftovers for the next day’s lunch or dinner.
I have tried taking pictures of this dish, but it just never looks that good. This is just not a sexy dish. Chicken in the slow cooker doesn’t get golden or crispy. It’s quite pale and falls apart when you touch it. I’ve wanted to feature this as a recipe but given my lack of visuals, I thought I would just give you some pointers and basics via a Roast Chicken Primer. Imagine me sitting down with you over coffee and telling you about this recipe…
Roast Chicken Primer
For this recipe, you will cook the chicken in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours. If it’s a really small bird, then you could do 3 hours, but I always error on the side of overdone as I never want to plan for 3 and then have it not be done. No one likes snappy chicken.
I am going to give you two “recipes”: regular and low FODMAP. The low FODMAP does not include onions or garlic.
Step 1: Place either halved lemons OR halved peeled onions in the bottom of the slow cooker to prop up the chicken. REGULAR: Place halved onions and peeled garlic cloves in bottom of slow cooker (2 onions, 3-4 garlic cloves). LOW FODMAP: Place 3 halved lemons in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Step 2: Prep your seasonings and rub. Two options for this: REGULAR: pour quarter cup of olive oil in a small dish and then pour seasonings of your choice (salt, pepper, paprika, garlic salt) in another dish. LOW FODMAP: Melt 2 TB ghee and combine with 2 TB garlic infused oil in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine salt, pepper, and paprika (smoked paprika if you want a BBQ-y taste).
Step 3: Remove the bag of giblets/innards/disgusting things out of the chicken. I may have forgotten once and it didn’t kill anyone, but it was pretty disgusting to find it when I was going to serve it.
Step 4: Stuff the cavity. REGULAR: Stuff the cavity with one halved lemon, 3-4 peeled garlic cloves, and fresh rosemary OR dried Italian seasoning. LOW FODMAP: Stuff the cavity with one halved lemon and a package of fresh poultry herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, and oregano).
Step 5: Get acquainted with your chicken. Roll up your sleeves and pull the skin away from the bird. Don’t take it off, but run your hands under the skin in the breast area and in the legs. Always flip it over, and separate the skin on the other side. You want to be able to get your oil and spices on the actual meat and not the skin.
Step 6: Rub in your seasonings and oil. Either use your hand or a basting brush to rub the meat (not the skin) with oil/oil mixture. Then use your hands to rub in the seasonings into the meat. This way you don’t have to eat the skin to get the flavor and it really gets into all of your meat.
Step 7: Set your slow cooker. High for 4 hours.
Step 8: Walk away and do something fun. Like take your daughters to dance class, go for a bike ride, go to a dance recital, etc.
Step 9: Come back and enjoy. Use a meat thermometer to make sure meat is at least 170 dg(F). Another way to test? Attempt to pick up the leg and watch it fall away from the bird.
And that is how you make one of my new favorite dishes….
How do you like to flavor your roast chicken? What do you like to do with leftovers?