What has your slow cooker done for you lately?
If your answer was nothing….it’s time to put it to work. You’ve got free labor under your nose that you have to exploit.
If you don’t own a slow cooker then maybe this recipe will make you want to buy one. It is the best investment in kitchen gadgets that I’ve made. I got mine at a tag sale for under $20.
It’s a monster with a ceramic croc that hails from the 1980s. But it works tireless at cooking me delicious meals unsupervised. I can work or relax and know that dinner will be ready when I am.
I’ve been my slow cooker mostly to make bone broth. But today I decided to slow cook a whole pastured chicken.
I’ve only roasted a chicken once in my oven. It came out ok but was a tiny bit on the dry side, as poultry tends to be unless you know how to keep it moist. I didn’t until now.
My pastured chicken was a tiny thing, only 2.5 pounds. So it fit perfectly into my slow cooker. I washed and dried my chicken, took out the bag of innards it came with and sprinkled the bird with salt and my favorite spices (garlic powder, paprika and cumin).
I melted a tablespoon of butter at the bottom of the crock to the chicken wouldn’t stick or burn. Lastly I stuffed half an apple and half a persimmon in the inner cavity where the innards used to be. This makes it juicer and imparts a nice flavor.
I turned the heat on low and put the lid on and left it alone for 10 hours. I was supposed to let it cook for 8 hours but I forgot about it. It didn’t overcook. The low heat just kept it warm and juicy. The chicken came out tender and perfect.
I was only supposed to leave it for 6 to 8 hours but I forgot about it and left it for close to 10. It didn’t matter. The chicken was no overcooked. In fact it was so tender I barely had to cut it. It just fell off the bone.
My dream of moist, chicken had finally come true. Sigh.
My dog is somewhat of a foodie, rejecting milk bone treats from strangers in the park. But he went crazy for this chicken. I made the mistake of giving him a small piece and he almost bit my fingers off in the process.
After cleaning the meat off the bird, and draining the slow cooker I put the bones back in, filled it with water and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to get all the good minerals out of the bone. In 24 hours I would have some amazing pastured chicken broth to use for soups and stews.
Even the skin of this chicken came out perfectly crispy. And the bits of meat that were roasting close to the apple were the best, with a hint of apple flavor.
From now on I’m slow cooking my chicken. I’ve been converted! It’s way too easy and good.