Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves 4-6

For those who love the slow cooker, this is an easy and tasty way to cook a whole chicken.  The meat will be fork tender, perfect for eating as is with a sauce or to use for soups, salads or casseroles. 

2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon garlic powder (I used 1 whole garlic clove, minced.)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 onion
1 large chicken (2 ½ to 4 pounds)
2 Tablespoons flour (for sauce)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
This is all you'll need to make a tender, flavorful chicken.

Combine the dried spices in a small bowl.  
Make an extra batch of spices for another time.
Loosely chop the onion and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker. Remove any giblets from the chicken and then rub the spice mixture all over. You can even put some of the spices inside the cavity and under the skin covering the breasts. Put prepared chicken on top of the onions in the slow cooker and cover it.  

Turn the slow cooker on high. There is no need to add any liquid. Cook on high for 4 – 5 hours (for a 3 or 4 pound chicken) or until the chicken is falling off the bone.   

Carefully put the chicken on a platter and then make the sauce. To make a sauce, remove the onions from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon.  Set aside to eat or discard.  Pour the liquid into a gravy separator.  Let the fat rise to the top.  

Carefully spoon out 2 Tablespoons of the fat and put in a saucepan over medium heat.  Sprinkle the fat with 2 Tablespoons flour. Whisk to blend.  Cook, whisking, for about 1 minute.  Slowly pour the drippings (not the fat) into the saucepan, whisking all the while.  Cook until the sauce thickens a bit.  Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.  Serve with the chicken.  
Note:  If you don’t have a gravy separator, pour the liquid in a large glass jar and use a turkey baster to suck out the drippings from the bottom of the jar until the fat is all that’s left in the jar.
Here is the chicken and sauce served with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, lima beans and a simple salad.  Yum!!

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