Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Crock Pot Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

After reading Liz's post about making chicken in the crock pot, I decided that I ought to try making a whole chicken for once in the crock pot. I absolutely love the crock pot because it allows me to make dinner when I am at work. I come home and my house smells just like home is supposed to smell. The best part is that you can make pretty much the whole dinner in there and just round it out with a little fruit or salad or a steamed vegetable or maybe some bread or pasta.

I scoured the web for a roasted chicken recipe for the crock pot and came up short. Everything I found was for just unflavored chicken. I was concerned because a lot of times I make a recipe for the crock pot it comes out lacking flavor. So, I decided to make it up instead.

Last night, I cut up some parsnips, carrots, and onions into bite sized pieces. I put them in a gallon size ziploc bag with some Lawry's seasoning salt, Thyme and garlic as well as a sprig of rosemary and set them in the refrigerator overnight.

I also dressed the chicken (just like Amelia Bedelia) with some salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and garlic. I put the garlic in the cavity and removed the other stuff that was in there. However, I was pretty grossed out dealing with the whole chicken. It was a little close to real life animal for me. I had this same problem once when I needed boneless pork shoulder but was distracted by the low price of boned pork shoulder (called Pork Arm Picnic--which should have stopped me immediately)--the thing that was worse about that was that you could feel the joints. Disgusting. So, I had a lot of trouble with the chicken, but I manged to dress it and then put it on a plate in the fridge overnight covered with foil.

I have to leave for work before 7 in order to get there with the shortest possible commute in minutes. I leave myself 30 minutes to get ready and leave in the morning. Because I did most of the preperation last night, I was able to prepare the pot in just 7 minutes, set it to cook, and still leave before 7. Impressive, I know.

I used the probe feature on my crock pot for the first time and I was a little worried about it. I read the Betty Crocker cookbook basics about cooking a whole chicken in the oven. I learned that it has to be 180 degrees to be fully cooked in the thickest part of the thigh. This is where they lost me. I know what a chicken thigh is, but when I looked at the bird sitting there, I couldn't really determine where the thigh was. I guessed, and apparently I got it right. Phew. The probe switches the crock to Warm after it reaches the tempurtare inputed in the morning.

The chicken turned out to be flavorful and delicious except the breast part was a tad dry (but I don't usually like the breast part in general, it was pretty much as dry as any chicken breast is usually). The vegetables, while fully cooked were tasteless, I don't know how to fix that though, so we just salted them.

Crock Pot Roasted Chicken and Vegetables - Served 3 with 1/2 chicken leftover
1 Whole 5+ pound chicken
1 bag parsnips
4 red potatoes
3 large carrots
1 brown or yellow onion (I made a recipe with a red onion and it didn't hold up at all in the crock)
6 cloves of garlic, papery skins removed
3 sprigs rosemary
salt or lawrys seasoning salt
dried Thyme

1. The night before, remove giblets from chicken and replace with garlic and 2 rosemary sprigs. 2. Sprinkle salt, pepper and thyme on both sides of the chicken, rub in
3. Cut up carrots, onion and parsnips into bite sized chunks--don't cut them too small or they will turn to mush
4. Sprinkle vegetables with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary and store in a ziploc bag overnight
5. In the morning, spread vegetables on the bottom of the crockpot
6. Place the chicken backside up on top of the vegetables. Shift veggies to be sure that chicken fits in.
7. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the thigh avoiding the bone
8. Set the crockpot to stop cooking once it hits 180 degrees (I can't tell you in hours, but I know I left at 7 and it was at 32 degrees and I arrived home at 6:30 and it was on warm)
9. Serve chicken with vegetables straight from the pot


Liz said...

Gotta love the crockpot!

Kathy said...

It looks delicious! I like the probe feature on the crock pot - my chicken without that feature is frequently overcooked. I "lol" when I was reading about the pork arm and you feeling the joints.
Keep cookin'!

Nadine said...

I also find that my crockpot dishes are overcooked - your dish did look delicious. Although perhaps if I traded my avocado green version for something cool with a probe I might do better.

I am surprised that the dish wasn't flavorful -- you did add a lot of seasoning. I guess you almost need to overseason if you are cooking that long.

I have a probe on my microwave -- does anyone use that feature on their microwave?