Tonight I need to be free, but today I have some time. Crock Pot? I say yes.
Since going Paleo I have two favorite things to do in my Crock Pot and roasting a whole chicken is one of them. You might be surprised, but it comes out just as good as roasting in the oven! All the juices are locked in and the meat has absorbed all the flavors of the rub… delicious! Fifteen minutes of prep time and we’ve got a fantastic roasted chicken dinner waiting for us… It’s genius!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this.
- A whole fryer chicken
- Aluminum foil
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- An onion
- The spice rub below
- …and a Crock Pot. Hence the name.
It’s very easy to change the flavor profile on a roasted chicken. I’m going with earthy today, using oregano and ancho chili powder. You could just as easy swap the oregano for basil and the ancho chili for red chili pepper flakes—serve it with roasted spaghetti squash with some pesto! But back to today. Open your spice cupboard, and grab the following:
- 2 tsp kosher salt (use less for finer-grain salt)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp ancho chili powder
- ½ tsp white pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
Blend these together. We’re gonna rub it on the chicken in a minute.
Grab a small onion or half of a large one and the chicken, plus some cooking twine. Prep your chicken (e.g. pull out the guts, rinse and pat dry, tuck the wing tips back) and peel the onion and cut into two or three chunks. We need the onion to stay as large as possible if it’s gonna survive five hours in a Crock Pot. Stuff the onion in the center cavity of the bird and tie the drumsticks off with twine.
Before dropping the chicken in the pot, make a couple balls from the aluminum foil and put those in first. This creates a platform for the chicken to rest on, letting the juices drip below. Now, it won’t be a soggy mess.
Lay the chicken atop the foil balls and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, rub it over the skin. Now take your spice blend and cover the bird entirely. I like to do this after placing the chicken in the crock so the spices that go overboard end up in the juice and not on my counter.
Wash your hands, pop the lid on, set it to low for 4-5 hours and you’re done! I should warn you that Crock Pots tend to have minds of their own and cook at different rates. This is why most recipes have a range for cook times and generous ones at that. Mine runs hot and tends to cook things faster than recipes specify. You may need to cook yours on high for 4 or 5 hours or low for 6. Just depends…
Voila! It’s been 4.5 hours and my chicken is done!
We almost always clean our bird in one sitting, so I plan to make stock with this tomorrow. Stay tuned for Chicken Soup with Shirataki noodles and enoki mushrooms!