You know what slow cookers are great for? Making a meal while you are busy doing other things such as cleaning, hanging with friends, or shopping. What they aren’t good for is when you totally forgot to put your slow cooker on while you are out all day! Thankfully I didn’t actually have anything sitting out all day rotting away. I forgot to transfer everything over before I went to Ikea with my mother-in-law. We were back by 2PM so I was able to throw everything together by 3 (once I remembered!) and cooked the meal on high. We all had alternative meals that night and Dan took some of the chicken for lunch the following day. My mistake! I could have cooked it in the oven but at that point I was really wanting to use my slow cooker since it had been sitting in storage for ages.
The chicken turned out moist and tender, no dryness to be seen. I love my Hamilton Beach 6 Quart Set ‘N Forget(TM) Programmable Slow Cooker that I purchased at Canadian Tire for 50% off. I was not paid to advertise or review this product. These are my own thoughts and I greatly appreciate this product! The one feature I really love is the meat probe thermometer which I had never used until today. Actually, I did not use it until halfway through the cooking time but hey, I still used it! All you have to do is set your meat into the slow cooker, close the lid, and stick the probe through the little insert on the lid. You then set the button on your display to whatever temperature you are looking for internally (I did 165F) and leave it be. Your slow cooker will alert you when your meat is cooked! So easy and super handy!
- 1 (3.5 lb) whole chicken, washed and dried
- 2 medium carrots, halved into matchsticks
- 2 celery stalks, halved into matchsticks
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 small apple, diced
- 1 medium potato, cubed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 orange, halved (and one half halved again.)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- ¼-1/2 tsp. ground ginger (might use fresh ginger next time!)
- Place the carrots, celery, leek, onion, apple, potato, and garlic into the bottom of your slow cooker. Toss to combine.
- Stick the two smaller halves of oranges into the cavity of the chicken. Throw in some fresh herbs like thyme if you have any on hand. Close up the chicken and wrap it in twine (mind already came wrapped!) Place the chicken on top of the veggies and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and ground ginger. Squeeze the other half of the orange onto the chicken (more or less to your taste) and cover the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours or until meat probe registers 160-165F. You can also cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- To get a crispy skin, move the chicken when it is finished cooking to a baking sheet and place under your oven's broiler for about 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Place back into slow cooker to rest.
To gain more fullness to our meals and create a lot of leftovers, we will often make a side of rice to go with our main course. In this case, placing some pieces of chicken onto the rice rewards you with more, as the rest of the chicken can be used to make salads, soups, sandwiches, etc. Of course, if you are looking for a healthy alternative, I say skip the rice and make a fantastic chicken salad. And don’t waste that carcass! You can make homemade soup or broth with it.
Slow cookers are great when you don’t have the time to cook or happen to feel lazy that day. Cooking a whole chicken is enough to feed a family without worrying about tons of dishes. Also, with the hot summer months rolling in, I try to use my oven less, so the slow cooker is a perfect alternative (besides the BBQ.)