Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Crockpot Whole Chicken

I made this chicken yesterday and was absolutely thrilled with the results!  Basically, I had a whole, thawed chicken in the refrigerator and wasn't sure what to do with it.  Rem makes some awesome beer can chicken and rotisserie chicken on the grill, but since I do not possess his grilling skills, I had to decide on some kind of indoor cooking method.  I had never tried a whole chicken in the crockpot so I gave it a stab and it was SO easy and SO good!  The only caveat is that the chicken skin does not get as crispy as when it is grilled or roasted in the oven.  But, slow cooked in the crockpot, the chicken gets so tender that it falls off the bone.  It literally does melt in your mouth!  I don't think I've had more tender chicken in my life!  I highly recommend this recipe for it's simplicity and superb taste.  

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Crockpot Whole Chicken

Originally from Paleo Slow Cooking by Chrissy Gower

1 fresh Bell and Evans Whole Chicken (3-5 pound chicken)
1 T coarse kosher salt
1 T freshly ground black pepper
1 T seasoning of choice (I used an Italian seasoning mix with garlic, basil, marjoram, thyme, and pepper)

1. Rinse chicken and remove giblets from the inside cavity if there are any.  
2. Dry chicken thoroughly and place in crockpot breast side up.  
3. Rub chicken (the whole outside as well as the inside cavity) with salt, pepper, and other seasonings.
4. Turn the crockpot to HIGH and set the timer for 5 hours (anywhere from 4-6 hours should work as well).
5.  No need to stir or do anything while the chicken cooks!  After 5 hours, your chicken will be ready to go. You'll know it's done because the chicken will be falling off the bone.
6.  Remove chicken from crockpot and place on cutting board or large plate  Separate into pieces for serving.  You probably won't even need a knife because the chicken is so tender that you can separate it into pieces with your hands!  

This chicken is delicious on it's own, served with some veggies on the side, but here are some other ideas for what to do with it:
1. Shred chicken with your hands and use as the base for your favorite chicken salad.
2.  After removing the chicken from the crockpot, strain the liquid that remains in the crockpot, getting rid of any solid pieces.  Pour the strained liquid back into the crockpot.  Shred the chicken and add it back to the crockpot.  Make your own chicken soup by adding some more water or chicken stock, vegetables, and cooked rice/quinoa/brown rice noodles.  Heat on low until the veggies are cooked through.

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