Today is one of those days where I just don’t feel like cooking. What do I do when I don’t feel like cooking? Break out that slow cooker, of course! I am a slow cooking queen, particularly during these hot summer months. This recipe is taken from my One Month of Slow Cooking article.
Today I am “roasting” a chicken in my slow cooker. Now, I am the first to admit that this roast chicken does not have that crispy skin or the beautiful browned top that an oven roasted chicken has, but this is quick and easy for our family. My son loves the drumstick and my husband and I feast on the rest of the chicken. What is left is then shredded and sent into a baggie. I keep adding to this bag of shredded meat until I have enough for a casserole or soup. We purchase our whole chickens from the frozen section of Aldi Supermarket. The chicken that I bought was over five pounds and cost $3.40. This is a great deal for us to all have a dinner and also to sock away a little bit for the next meal. I serve this with mashed potatoes and sweet baby peas (purchased from the frozen section of Aldi for $.78). While this is not gourmet, by any sense of the word, it is a great summer supper that is both affordable and loved by all. Best of all, it doesn’t require me to stand in front of a hot stove all day long.
Making Stock in the Slow Cooker
If you are feeling particularly motivated after your roast chicken dinner and want to get even more out of your chicken, you can make your own chicken broth in the slow cooker. Simply throw the chicken carcass back into the slow cooker. Add six cups of water, 2 stalks of chopped celery, 2 carrots that have been chopped, 1 onion that has been quartered (I leave this out- just a personal preference), and 1 tablespoon of dried thyme. Put all of this into the slow cooker and cook on low for eight to ten hours. Just throw these ingredients in right before you hit the sack and you will wake to a fresh batch of chicken stock. Strain the broth before using (you can do this in a colander lined with paper towel) and discard the vegetables. Put the broth into the fridge and skim the fat off of the top when it has cooled. You can freeze into ice cube trays or one cup portions.
1 whole chicken – approximately three pounds
Wash chicken inside & out (removing anything inside). Sprinkle seasoning of your choice on the chicken (Lawry’s, Mrs. Dash, poultry seasoning, salt, or pepper). Next put three balls of aluminum foil in the bottom of the slow cooker (this creates a rack so the chicken doesn’t soak in its own juices). Place the chicken in, breast side down, and cook on low for six to eight hours.