Roasting a chicken in the slow cooker is not only one of the easiest things you can do, it’s one of the best. Do it right, and if you have kids or company, they’ll think you’re a star (not a mediocre chef). Better than that, the roast chicken will actually yield more than your initial investment if you just give it a little more time.
First of all, get yourself a whole chicken. Ten pounds or so should do it. I usually put in onion, carrots, celery and potatoes. If there’s something else veggie-wise you think would be good try it — and let me know.
Spicing this thing just right is really important. These are just some of the spices I use when I’m roasting:
See that one in the middle? That’s lemon pepper. If you don’t have a case of lemon pepper in your pantry, it is my belief you’re doing cooking wrong. Just go get some and try it out. I cannot describe it, exactly, can’t describe what it does to the flavor of things. But I love it. It is my go-to spice.
I am also a liberal user of garlic powder and onion powder. When I cook tacos, liberal amounts of both of those, and lemon pepper, go into the beans.
For the chicken, you want a little rosemary and some paprika. Throw a bay leaf into the slow cooker, too. Now, I’m going to give you the recipe below, but you’ll want to adjust all of this for your own taste.
First thing I always do is cut up a few potatoes –how many? I don’t know. There’s never enough potatoes — some carrots, some celery and at least one onion, probably two. I usually do about four or five cloves of garlic as well.
Mix cleaned and chopped veggies in with some olive oil. Get them nice and mixed up and coated. Then rinse your chicken and dry it off. Set it in the slow cooker, give it a little rub with olive oil and more of your spices (this process involves washing your hands a lot).
Set your slow cooker on “low,” then wait. I usually give it at least six hours, but some recipes out there say you can wait as little as four. Raw chicken is not your friend, so since most of them also say you can go as long as eight hours, I like to split the difference. The chicken should be cooked all the way through, the liquids coming out running clear.
The vegetables should be nice and soft, maybe a little crunchy edge around the taters.
Dish some of that out and enjoy it.
Now, that’s all well and good, but if you throw the chicken carcass away when you’re done, you’ve screwed it up.
Scrape out most of those vegetable out of the slow cooker and save them (if you don’t eat them all). Then pick every good piece of chicken off the carcass that you can. If you’ve eaten it all, fine. Save the bones and throw them back in the slow cooker. Chop a little more garlic — three cloves or so — and another onion, a handful (maybe a cup?) of carrots and some celery.
Use those spices again, but go easier this time. Don’t overdo it with the spices, okay? Put in four to six cups of water and set it on low. For what it’s worth, this is a good overnight exercise. Cook it about twelve hours.
When you’re done, you are going to have homemade chicken broth, and it’s worth it. That, a little bit of water, your leftover chicken, even more carrots and celery and yes, your spices once more (maybe some parsley, too) make an awesome chicken soup.
4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
Other spices that may work for you
1 whole whole chicken1 cup of carrots, chopped up1 cup of celery, chopped up5-7 potatoes, quartered (red potatoes are good)
This is a good one. Good luck with it.