I’m embarrassed to say that I forgot to take a photo of our roast chicken. The photo above is from the day after – chicken stock is quietly bubbling away. Thought I’d add a little current ‘still life’ to the picture.
I’ve always slow roasted in the oven. I have a great ceramic coated cast iron pot that can go on the stove top and in the oven. There are several downsides, however to having the oven on all day: I worry that the little fella will get burned, it’s way too hot most of the year to have the oven on and it uses a lot of electricity.
So I finally bit the bullet and bought a slow cooker last month. I can tell you that I have a new love in my life! I use it nearly every day and it has made life (especially the evenings) so much easier.
Roast chicken in a slow cooker is not like a roast chicken done in the oven. The skin doesn’t get brown and crispy and the chicken pretty much completely falls apart when you try and lift it out. But it is oh so moist and tender. That and the fact that it is so easy to throw it in the slow cooker and forget about it makes it so worth cooking a chook this way.
I found that there was a lot of chicken juice in the bottom of the bowl. You can elevate your chook by placing it on the vegetables you’re going to serve with the chook or some balls of foil. Use the chicken juice to make gravy by pouring some into a saucepan and make your gravy as usual.
1 whole chicken
1 onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, bruised
salt and pepper
- Rinse the inside of your chook and pat dry. Stuff the cavity with the onion, garlic and lemon. Sprinkle the chicken skin with the paprika, salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken in the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours and then on low for five hours or until cooked (the time will depend on the size of your chook, so test it after a few hours by skewering the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear. Alternatively, use a meat thermometer).
- Lift the chicken out carefully (it will probably break up so an egg flip or similar is useful here) and serve.
- Save the chicken bones, onion and garlic in the fridge to make stock.
- The next day, place the bones from your chicken carcass back into your slow cooker along with 1 onion, quartered (don’t worry about peeling) a carrot, chopped, a bay leaf, some pepper corns, some parsley stalks, (and a leek top if you have it), or left over vegetable peelings from the freezer. Throw in the onion, garlic and lemon from the roast chicken if you didn’t eat it. Add 2 1/2 – 3 litres of cold water.
- Cook on high for a couple of hours or low for about eight hours. Taste and add salt if desired.
- Strain stock and refrigerate overnight. Skim fat off top and divide into portions and freeze.
I bought a fairly large chook (it cost $10 – I miss the cheap chickens I used to be able to buy) so there was enough for a roast meal for two adults and a hungry toddler, 2 litres of stock, plus two days worth of lunches (avocado, tomato, chicken and cheese melts – yum) plus a ‘chilli’ chicken and bean dinner that also had leftovers for a lunch and an extra toddler dinner. I also cooked this in the slow cooker, and I will be sharing the recipe next week.
P.S. I researched slow cooker roast chicken and was ‘inspired by’ eHow. After cooking my chicken, I can across this website about how to get the skin crispy by finishing the chook off in the oven. Will try this next time.