What a Crock! – The Whole Bird

7:49 pm by

So far, I’ve made about 10,000 versions of Sunday Roast Chicken, including the Barefoot Contessa’s version (a family favorite). Each time, Mr Lici says I’ve outdone myself. Until the next time, when I apparently outdo¬† myself again. Last night’s whole crockpot chicken was another feast of “mmm… yummm… holy cow, just one more piece… this is really good!” Even the boys devoured their drumsticks.

Crockpot Skinny Chicken

An Angelicious creation, with a little help from Stephanie O’Dea and Ina Garten

Ingredients

  • Two whole chickens, rinsed and patted dry
  • 10-12 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 whole heads of garlic
  • 2-3 T kosher salt
  • 2 T fresh ground pepper
  • 2 T poultry seasoning (I used the rest of a box of Williams Sonoma Turkey seasoning)

Let’s get busy…

I’ve said once, and I’ll say it again: prep is everything. Before you even touch that raw chicken, get your ingredients together! In a bowl, mix the salt, pepper & seasonings. Cut the lemon in half and set aside. Cut each whole garlic head in half (no need to peel, just use the whole split head). Take 5 rosemary sprigs & shred the rosemary off of them into a bowl. If you’re an onion fan (I absolutely am not), you can also cut a whole small onion in half and set it aside.

Prep your crockpot by plugging it in, setting it for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 on low. Your choice! For this recipe, because I didn’t get started until about noon, I set it for 5 hours on high. Spray the inside of the crock with cooking spray (not necessary but it helps keep stuff from sticking.) Oh, and don’t waste your crockpot liners on this one – cleanup is super-fast and very easy.

OK, now you’re ready for the dirty work.

Note: I do all of my cooking & cleaning wearing rubber exam gloves – the kind nurses wear. They’re $10 for a box of a gazillion at Costco, and I usually get 3-4 uses out of each pair. It saves my hands from the dirty work and I swear is the reason I have nice nails – they used to split all the time!

After your birds are washed & patted dry, pull off all the skin. It’s neither as gross nor as challenging as it sounds. Once you separate the skin from the breasts, it just pulls right off. Use kitchen shears to trim off any remaining skin/fat/whatever. I also like to remove that fatty neck thing the butcher leaves on for some reason. (And I’m sure there’s a reason.) Now you have some naked birds – pat them dry again.

Once your birdies are ready, it’s time for some more dirty work. Scoop about a tablespoon of the salt/pepper/spice mixture into your fingers and rub inside each bird’s cavity., then stuff each bird with one half lemon, one split garlic head (both halves), 3 whole rosemary sprigs and the onion if you’re so inclined.

Now rub the outside of the birds generously with remaining salt/pepper/spice mixture, especially on the breasts and legs. No need to worry about the underside. (This recipe sounds terribly naughty…)

Place your chickens in opposite directions in the crockpot – i.e., one chicken’s legs points in the opposite direction. The fit will be tight, and that’s just fine.

Sprinkle with rosemary spears and any rosemary sprigs you have left. Cover and cook (4-6 hours HIGH or 6-8 hours LOW). No need to add any juices!

What’s Angelicious

I neglected to take “after” pictures because Mr Lici was so busy digging in. OK, I was, too. :) This isn’t a “pretty” chicken, one you’d make a presentation of, but it IS a delicious chicken. As it cooked, the chickens made their own juices, which I strained to make a broth gravy for rice. No one missed the fatty skin and everyone raved. Tonight, I’m using the leftover chicken for Chicken & Spinach Calzones (recipe to come).

Don’t forget to save the bones for your homemade chicken broth!

A few notes:

*Taking a page from Crockpot 365, I skinned my chicken. I agree with Stephanie, keeping the skin on in a crock just grosses me out. (But that’s me!) I left the skin on the drumsticks, however – too much of a pain to pull them off.

*I copied different elements from different recipes to make this chicken, so if something sounds familiar, it probably is. :)

*The onion is totally optional. I despise onions (and yet love garlic, go figure), and it does lend an onion-y taste that Mr Lici loves, so I sometimes put an onion in one bird but not the other.

*It occurs to me that we eat a lot of chicken. Oh, well.

Enjoy!

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