Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot

UntitledThe weekend before I cooked the Luscious Italian Chicken recipe was very, very busy. On the Saturday morning, I accompanied Ms Fussy Eater to Dublin to see 1 Direction live at Croke Park. We left home that morning at about 8:45am, and went on a bus with 45 other mums and young ladies, stopping off at Dundrum shopping centre for a couple of hours, before proceeding on to Croke Park. 1 Direction played to more than 80,000 fans that evening, while it lashed rain. Ms Fussy Eater enjoyed the event immensly, and I have to say that I had a good time too. We got to bed, after a long bus journey home, at 3:30am.

So, I was in no mood to cook the next day. We ate mostly rubbish, leftovers from a family event the previous week. By Monday, we needed some proper, wholesome nourishment. A whole cooked chicken was just perfect.

I've cooked a while chicken in the crock pot before, with good results. The Slow Cooked Chicken with Tarragon was excellent, as was the Fall off the Bone Chicken. Ever adventurous, I decided to try another version and found this recipe for The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot over on 100 days of real food. It's not unlike the Fall off the Bone version, but it was absolutely delicious.


The recipe calls to combine the spices in a bowl: 2tsp paprika, 1tsp salt, 1tsp thyme and 1/4tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp black pepper. It also calls for a few things I don't have, so I used 1tsp onion salt and a crushed clove garlic. I cut up 2 onions, quite small, and put them in the bottom of the pot. The chicken sat on top, and I just poured/rubbed the mixed spices over it. Then I left the chicken cooking on LOW for the whole day while I was at work - about 9 hours.

When I came home, I prepared a big pot of mashed potato.

The Outcome

As before, the chicken just falls apart when we tried to take it out of the pot. There is almost no carving involved. The chicken is tender, suculent, perfectly cooked and full of flavour. But the best part of this dish is the flavoursome and rich stock left behind in the pot. Each person got a mound of mashed potato, tasty chicken and some delicious sauce poured over. There could be nothing more wholesome.

The Verdict

I don't think you can go wrong with mashed spuds and chicken. We all loved it and everybody went back for second helpings.

The chicken was quite large, so we had quite a few leftovers, which went into sandwiches and salads during the week.

Hubby has declared this the best of the three whole chicken recipes.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Luscious Italian Chicken

Wow, it has been a busy couple of weeks. Mr Teenager finished his second year at secondary school and went off to Irish College. From the lack of communication, it appears he's getting on fine. His last week at school was a busy one in the house, and I used the crock pot twice. The first time was for a whole chicken, which I'll write up soon. The second time was midweek, while we had a guest staying, and I picked this reciped for Luscious Italian Chicken, from the Skinny Slow Cooker Recipe Book. I picked it because it seemed a little bit unusal for a slow cooker recipe, with a creamy sauce, but also because it looked very easy to prepare.

Our guest that evening is a reader of this blog, and she made me promise not to identify her, so I won't. But she did seem to enjoy this dish, which I'm really pleased about.


First thing that morning, I combined 1tsp each of dried oregano, rosemary and thyme. I put 4 quite large chicken breasts into a bowl and mixed the herbs in to coat the chicken. These then went into the crock pot with: 2 tins of condensed mushroom soup (I used Campbell's); about 150g mushrooms, sliced; 2 small onions, chopped; 1 garlic clove, crushed. The reciped called for 2 tbsp fat free cream cheese, but I didn't have any, so I mixed in 2 tbsp fat free fromage frais instead. All of this was mixed together. I put the lid on the pot and switched it to HIGH.

I left a note for our guest, who was due to arrive later that day, to turn the crock pot to KEEP WARM when she got in. I estimate that it cooked for about 6 hours. By the time I got home, the smell was delicious and our guest couldn't wait to get tucked in! We cooked up a big pot of mashed potato to accompany.

The Result

This was a really good dish. The chicken was good perfectly, not overcooked at all. Although there were five of us, there was plenty in the four chicken breasts. The sauce really was deliciously creamy with good mushrooms flavour. Unlike many slow cooked recipes, it was not at all watery. The mushrooms were still chunky enough that they could be picked out easily for Mr Teenager and Ms Fussy Eater.

The Verdict

Everybody really enjoyed their dinner that evening. Our guest was very impressed with the crock pot and the meal it had produced. Without the mushrooms, Mr Teenager was quite happy to eat all his chicken and potato with a good helping of sauce. Ms Fussy Eater had to have any excess sauce removed, but was quite happy with her chicken.

We all gave this a thumbs up and it is certainly included in recipes that must be cooked again.

Unfortunately, I didn't remember of get a photo before everybody ate, so you're just going to have to imagine how good it looked!