Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot

I purposely didn't take a close up because chicken (cooked or raw) is not very photogenic. But here's the aftermath of my dinner...and I am about to lapse into a food coma right now:

Super simple and followed Stephanie O’Dea's version of a whole chicken in the Crock Pot. I used 1/3 cup of Italian dressing, didn't cut off the skin (lots of flavor there) and added in a chopped onion, roughly (rustic) chopped garlic cloves (a few of which I put in the bird), a bit of salt and a lot of fresh ground pepper.

I have never cooked a whole chicken before, just seemed like a lot of trouble for 4-5 pounds of meat. Now, a turkey on the other hand, I made my first turkey (successfully) at the age of 20 so that makes sense if you have to tend to it when you are talking a 14+ pound bird. I've even made them just for me to freeze and use in other dishes.

In fact, I rarely eat meat or poultry at home because of the time factor. The Crock Pot on the other hand I will cook meat and chicken parts more often because prep time is short and there's no tending. Lately though, I haven't purchased any chicken because of the cost factor. I thought I would try a whole chicken just for the grins and at 99¢ a pound, I can deal.

When I pulled it out of the Crock with the tongs, the wings and the legs fell off. The breast meat was protected by the breast bones but it was juicy as can be. I put the bird with the breast side down so that helped a lot. But so much of it just fell off I had to fish it out of the juices.

Speaking of juices, the juices will go into the fridge so I can skim off the fat and based on the container I put it in, I should net 2 cups.

It was so good I had two portions along with a whole baked potato that I had cooked in the 1 quart Crock at the same time. It too was perfect. I never eat that much in a sitting!

In the morning I will pick apart the rest of it so it's nice and cold, save the rest of the bones for chicken broth and put some in the freezer for later.

While my 4 quart Crock Pot is ugly, it's about 17 years old and given what I have experienced (from my other Crock Pot) and from other people's experiences, the older the better as the older Crock Pots seem to have more consistant heat, don't have hot spots and the times given for most recipes are straight on.

Okay, had some instant coffee drink (Kroger's version of GF's International Coffee) so it was just enough kick without the serious kick of brewed coffee and since I can't fathom eating anymore, I got my sweet tooth satisfied too.

Oh yeah, I will make this again and vary it as I normally do with most recipes.

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