Ok, let's talk raw meat. For some of us, it makes us downright squeamish. I'll admit that used to be me, but over time, I faced my fears and now I don't think anything of it. (Though I still wash my hands like crazy when I'm done.)
However, I have a few friends who have been cooking for their families for almost a decade and still don't like touching raw meat. For those of you who fall into that camp, a roast chicken or turkey is incredibly intimidating!
I want to start out by saying that I totally get you! But I also want to encourage you to face your fears. This is a perfect starter recipe for cooking a whole chicken.
Pull out the rubber gloves if you must, and give this super-simple roast chicken a try. And if you're really freaked out and want to handle the chicken as little as possible, you could definitely skip patting the skin dry.
Shh! Don't tell anyone I told you, but you can probably leave those giblets in there too. I am NOT advocating this move, but I know from experience that forgetting to take out the giblets does not too adversely affect the final product. In my defense, I looked for the giblets when I made a turkey for the first time, just not in the right cavity! :-) It still turned out just fine and I simply blamed it on being a turkey novice.
Anywho, about a year ago, I was planning to roast a chicken in the oven for dinner when Hubby suggested using the crock pot instead. (I love him!)
I did a few searches and loosely followed directions for a "fauxtisserie chicken." Some recipes suggested placing balls of foil underneath the chicken to help circulate the air, but that seemed like a waste of good foil, so I decided to use veggies instead. The result was a delicious moist chicken without having to turn on the oven and heat up the whole house.
Simple Roast Chicken in the Crock Pot
- One whole chicken
- 3 medium potatoes cut into 1-2" pieces
- a handful of baby carrots
- 1 small onion, quartered
- Season All (Or Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Salt)
- Place the potatoes, carrots, and onion on the bottom of the crock pot.
(Optional: Brown the veggies in a skillet with a little olive oil first to add flavor and color. Yum!)
- Remove giblets from the chicken (I usually boil them to make broth) and pat the skin dry with a paper towel.
- Cover the chicken liberally with Season All (or salt, pepper, and garlic powder) and place it in
the crock pot breast size down - that's upside-down, so the white meat doesn't dry out.
There is no need to add any liquid to the crock before cooking. The juices from the chicken should rise well above the veggies.
- Cook on High 4-5 hours (mine was done in about 3.5, so I turned it to warm until dinner) or on Low for 7-8 hours. If you're not not sure if it's done, according to the the USDA guidelines, the temperature of the breast meat should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
*If you let it cook too long, though, the chicken will literally disintegrate when you try to take it out. Just FYI. :)
The only real downside was that the skin wasn't really crispy like you get in the oven. I read that you could put the chicken in a roasting pan and broil it until the skin got crisp, but that seemed like a lot of work (and extra dishes to wash). Besides, we probably shouldn't eat the skin anyway.
As for seasonings, the possibilities are endless. Covering the chicken with fresh herbs, slices of lemon, or minced garlic would all produce amazing results.
So, my raw-chicken-phobes, face your fears and give this recipe a try! I would love to hear how it turns out for you!