Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cook Like A Baller: Crock Pot Chicken

If you don't own a crock pot (technically a slow cooker), your life is basically meaningless. I know that sounds harsh, but the crock pot is one of the best tools to have in your kitchen. It requires very little maintenance, is easy to clean, is extremely versatile, and consistently produces great food at a minimal energy cost. It also happens to be one of my favorite ways to cook chicken, so I thought I would share my recipe for chicken in the crock pot.

You'll need:
  • A crock pot
  • Chicken- I used a whole chicken for this recipe, but you can cook breasts, drumsticks, thighs, or pretty much any combination of whole or cut chicken parts. 
  • Seasonings
  • Potatoes & onions- optional but come on, who doesn't like potatoes and onions? Commies, that's who.
Start by laying your chicken out and patting it down with a paper towel to remove excess water and moisture. This helps the spices stick to it.
You can also cut the wings off, as everyone knows those are the bullshit parts of the chicken anyway.

Cover your chicken in whatever spices you've chosen. For this particular meal, I chose a mixture of sage, rosemary, and thyme, along with some chicken seasoning and a little cayenne pepper. Again, you can use whatever spices or herbs you want, or pretty much any kind of sauce you want. BBQ sauce also works great, as does a Hawaiian marinade. It's your call.
This is what culinary genius looks like.
Feel free to season the shit out of it, since some of it will inevitably come off in the crock pot as the juices emerge from the chicken. This is normal.
Cooking your chicken thoroughly is recommended if you enjoy living.
Next, if you've chosen to use some potatoes and onions, put them in the bottom of your crock pot after you spray it with non-stick spray. I like to use potatoes because it helps keep the chicken off the bottom of the crock pot, so it's not sitting in the juices when it's done cooking. Though there's nothing inherently wrong with it sitting in the juices, this makes it a little easier to remove when it's done.
I used baby red potatoes but you can pretty much use any kind. 
Put your chicken in the crock pot on top of the potatoes and onions, cover with the rest of your spices & herbs or sauce, cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3.5-4 hours, or until it's cooked all the way through. Don't eat undercooked chicken. Trust me on this.

When it's done, use a pair of kitchen tongs to remove it from the crock pot. The longer you cook it, the more meat is going to fall off the bone, so you might end up with a plate of shredded chicken. Delicious, tender, juicy shredded chicken.

When it's done, it will look like this. I didn't get any other pictures of it completed
because I tore into it like a ravenous wolf. Don't judge me. 

That's all it takes. This is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken because it's extremely easy to do and pretty difficult to screw up, and the crock pot ensures that very little moisture is lost, so your chicken ends up very juicy. I hope you enjoy your crock pot chicken as much as I do. If you don't, you probably screwed it up and should just stick to eating McNuggets.


Mark Bennett said...

Roast chicken:

Pat chicken dry.
Fill cavity with quartered onion, lemon, herbs, whatever.
Salt skin thoroughly.
Put chicken in a pan breast-up (anything ovensafe—your frying pan will do).
20min at 400deg.
60min at 350deg.
Take it out, flip it over (breast-down) and give it a 30min rest at room temp.
(Once you've picked the carcass clean, make stock.)

Justin T. said...

That sounds pretty delicious, and I never know how long or at what temperature to cook chicken in the oven (one of the reasons I use the crock pot so frequently). I do like roasting things in a cast iron skillet though.

Josh said...

Thomas Keller says 450 for 18 min/lb works ... I've made it probably 20 times amd it's perfect every time.

Mark Bennett said...

Josh, is that for chickens that are stuffed, or hollow?

Justin T. said...

As of last night I am able to confirm that Mark's recipe for roast chicken is indeed excellent. I stuffed it with cut onion, lemon, garlic and apple, and roasted it in a cast iron skillet on a bed of potatoes and onions, which in turn were flavored by the juices from the chicken. It was sublime. Thanks for the recipe!

Dan said...

One should be labeled a commie (McCarthyism be damned!) if one does not own a crock pot. I was able to survive Bethel, Alaska due to my near daily use of my crock pot.

Side note: Mark Bennett is one of the best legal blogger out there. Always the 4th or 5th website I check each morning (after NY Times, Anchorage Daily News, Ars Technica). And your roast chicken recipe is CLASSIC.