New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Friday, February 8, 2008

Whole Chicken in the CrockPot Recipe


Day 39.


My buddy Myron came up with a wonderful way to cook a whole entire chicken in the crockpot with very little effort. This is a great way to get tender, juicy chicken to eat all on it's own, and to get a stash of cooked chicken for future meals.


The Ingredients:













--1 whole chicken

--1/4 cup of favorite salad dressing

--salt and pepper




The Directions:

Q: hey, steph, did you peel all the skin off of that there bird?

A: why, yes I did.

Q: are you completely nuts?

A: yes.

I have problems with raw meat. I can't stand to touch it or poke it or cut it or look too hard at it. It completely grosses me out. I attribute it to working at a zoo for a while and having to cut up horse meat. seriously. meat from horses.

oh ick.

But even with my raw meat aversion, I have even more of an aversion to fat. Not all fat, mind you, just fat that I know about. I'll eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's no problem---but the thought of my chicken simmering all day long in it's own fat is enough to send me overboard.
I'm aware I have issues. Please don't mock.

--okay. so once you spend 45 minutes of your life stripping away all visible signs of skin--
--rub salad dressing all over bird, inside and out
--salt and pepper freely


if I had garlic in the house (how on earth could we be out of garlic?!) I would have shoved a bunch into the cavity

put bird in crockpot.
plug in.
turn on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5.


The Verdict:

This makes a very moist, tender chicken in which the meat falls from the bone. It didn't have quite enough flavor to eat all on it's own, so we dipped it into barbecue sauce. I froze the rest of it to use in future recipes.

67 comments:

Canadian Saver said...

Everyone who has tried various versions of whole chicken in the crockpot gives it rave reviews. I have yet to try it (I prefer my chicken pieces cut already) but I will soon!!!! It's definitely healthy & easy...

mjpuzzlemom said...

Myron is a wealth of information! This looks good. Thanks for sharing!

MJ

kelly said...

your issues crack me up-not in a mocking way ;) happy weekend!

~M said...

Unless I was using one of the tinfoil ball methods for roasting chicken in the crockpot (which supposedly results in a browned/crispy skin), I agree that the chicken skin should be removed. So don't let anyone give you a hard time! :)

thekooiet said...

This made me laugh so hard when I read it!

I always strip my chickens "neked" too. Their skin totally grosses me out and so do the fat pads under the wings and thighs. Ewww.

I roasting a whole chicken today in my crockpot with ketchup and Coke.

Marci Knecht said...

Oh Steph, raw meat freaks me out too. I hate peeling the skin off chicken, but if its for the greater good then I guess I can muster up the will.

ebony said...

I hate raw meat too, so I may pass that job off to the kids. I love your site. Real ingredients, real recipes, real issues. Love it!

lemontartlet said...

Chicken in the crock pot is one of my favourite ways to cook it. All that skin has to come off, I agree without question! A cut up apple in the bird with an onion works really well too.

Thank you so much for this blog! The crock pot is my best friend, and finding all these new things to do is great!

Crockpot Lady said...

Oh, you guys are so wonderful for not giving me a hard time with the skin thing!
mwah!
xox
steph

caroline said...

I love your blog! You write really well. These are great recipes, and I hope you're able to keep up your resolution all year!

Amy said...

yummy...sounds delicious..!!I think it's cool that you used to work at a zoo!!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Yay! I was hoping I would find a whole chicken recipe on here. I'm thinking I will try using a dry rub on it so it will retain more flavor. I love your honest feedback with each recipe.

(and as for "issues" I kept waking up ALL night long last night because of some wierd smell. Finally at 5am I woke up to find the smell. It was the fat smell from my crockpot simmering turkey stock. YUCK!)

Sarah said...

You can cook your whole chicken or any other meat on a cheep pie tin in the crock pot. Just buy a cheep pie tin and poke holes into it, turn it upside down in the crock pot and place your meat on it. The fat falls though the holes and away from your food.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I made this today and it saved my hiney. Hubby went out to dinner with a friend and I usually just let my kids eat cereal when he isn't home. Instead we had yummy chicken, corn, carrot sticks, and left over pasta. I feel so accomplished! =)

However I think that is the last time I will skin a raw chicken while pregnant. I almost lost my cookies on that one.

shinimitsukai said...

I know this is an old entry, but there's another reason to skin that chicken! My first crockpot chicken I made (a long time ago), I didn't skin it. The meat was moist, but only a little of the flavor soaked in. I hate putting things under the skin of chicken anyway, so I just removed the skin. So much better! Skinning the chicken also lets all the fragrant steam from the liquid permeate the meat as it cooks.

Just another SAHM said...

I fully agree with skinning the bird when using the crock pot. I've never had skin on a bird come out well from the crock pot - no matter the method (trivet, etc...) so I think the time is well spent!
I'm making one with rosemary, onions & apples...mmmmmm, smells divine!

Evin said...

I am so glad to have found your post today. With two full halves of chicken breast (still on the bone with skin) and no idea how to cook them in the crockpot, your blog is an oasis of information and inspiration! So, I took the skin off and put both breasts into the pot on medium. Now we'll see what happens! Thanks again.

Babs said...

I have a beautiful 4 lbs Bell & Evans chicken in my fridge looking for a new way to be cooked. I have lamb, potatoes, and carrots/celery/onion in the crock pot today so tomorrow is chicken day! I will report back. THANKS!!!!

Skubaliscious said...

Um...which zoo animals eat horse??

Crockpot Lady said...

a lot of them. at least at the time I was there---late 80s, early 90s. All the big cats, for instance.

eek.
--steph

SarahMichelle said...

I wish I would have found this post sooner, I could have used the advice. A couple of weeks ago I cooked a whole 10lb turkey in my crock-pot. I have a major raw meat aversion and have never actually cooked a whole bird of any type before but over all it turned out pretty well - the bird fell apart because I cooked it way too long (I also have a major fear of salmonella poisoning) but since I was just cooking it up for enchiladas and sandwiches it didn't really matter.
Next time I'm going to get my husband to remove the skin first though. Since I now know how to make cheesecake in the crock-pot I have to power to make him do just about anything...

Christine said...

I have trouble touching chicken skin and hate meat fat too. We raised our own chickens, turkeys etc. when I was a kid but the skin always grossed me out even before that. My dad used to say I would take the fat out of the hamburger if I could LOL. Hubby hates chicken soup and gravy so the broth is wasted at my house. I love your recipes and Myron's too.

Anonymous said...

I would love to try this, but even handling boneless skinless chicken breasts makes me hurl. Spoogy, slimy....bleh....and the skin....no hope...but mayhap my husband would do the dirty deed and remove the skin and fat for me. I wonder how much he loves me?

Anonymous said...

I am making this chicken as I am typing. I definately skinned my chicken. I am planning to use my crock pot at least 5 says a week all winter. my son doesent like food touching or gravy but I am hoping to win him over!

Diablokitty said...

Don't ever apologize for your fat issues. I also trim all visible fat (some only visible to me, apparently) from everything, as I cannot bear to have the texture of fat in my mouth, and I once famously spit out a bite of steak onto a restaurant floor (expensive steak in a 'jacket and tie' restaurant) because I felt gristle and ughhegheh! Think I'll ever live that down? So cut away, I say!

BTW, I love your blog so much, if it ate ice cream I would share my Dreyer's Carmel with it! And I must say that I admire your fortitude. I've used my crockpot at least twice as many times this year than all the other years I owned it put together (so like 6!).

Anonymous said...

I keep a box of cheap latex gloves in my kitchen and use them for every raw meat project. Chicken skin is gross, but mixing raw hamburger or turkey into meatballs, etc. is even nastier, if you ask me. Gloves are the answer. Simple and disposable. Oh, I also spread newspaper on the counter before a raw meat fest, do all my work on that, then put the chicken in the pot, pull the gloves off, wad them up with the nasty newspaper and throw the whole mess in the trash. Almost no clean-up at all. Your hands are clean, the counter is clean, and dinner is cooking itself!

Crockpot Lady said...

what a great tip!
LOVE it.
--steph

RLR said...

I also use disposable gloves - I buy them 2 boxes at a time from Costco! I'm thrilled about this chicken recipe - but worried that my 4qt pot won't be large enough. Yet another reason the 6+ qt pot is on my Christmas list!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips on the skin removal and newspaper for easy clean-up. We eat very little meat, maybe once every two weeks and fish once a week. I have crocked many veggie (bean)meals, but never meat. We were veggies for 15 years but I have no qualms about cutting up or touching meat. I just worry about the salmonella. It cracks me up that all you carnivores are turned off by various aspects of the cleaning chicken. Strange how we are reversed on the issue. Can't wait to crock a chicken with everyone's tips. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I am doing thiis recipe tomorrow!
And I love how you are writing this blog. I am begining to fall in love with my crockpot too! Thanks!

Kiwi the Geek said...

I'm planning to buy a crock pot soon and am unsure what size. Anybody know how big a pot you need for a small to medium chicken?

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to read that I'm not the only freak that has a problem w/ raw chicken!! I have no real reason, other than it just freaks me out...

I just discovered your Blog, a little after the fact, but I already have at least 2 months of recipes noted to make in the near future!!

You rock!

-Sarah
flutterby_404@hotmail.com

Garry and Paula said...

Hi!Was it on A Year of CrockPotting that I saw the recipe for a whole chicken in the crock with a 1/4 cup of liquid smoke added?Can't remember but its awsome.I quarter an onion and chop a couple of cloves of garlic and put in the cavity.Just the smoke,no water or stock.Keep it up

rubysoho said...

I'm a crockpot virgin, looking to lose my...well, you get it. Gonna try your whole chicken recipe tomorrow. And so glad to see so much support for my instinct to remove the skin from the chicken beforehand. My boyfriend is Japanese and it always horrifies him; but they eat chicken skin on its own in Japan. Seriously. You have to look REALLY carefully at the chicken skewers they serve at the food stands. Didn't make that mistake twice.

The Wiegel family said...

I thought NO WAY this would turn out juicy. But it turned out GREAT! Saved me so much time. I make a Rot. chicken every other week in the oven but will do this crock recipe too. Love, love your site. Can't seem to catch you on a tv show though...!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such a fun website!
Just my .02 -- I leave the skin on (open the package and dump it in without touching if possible!) when I cook mine. It falls off when the chicken is done cooking -- much easier than peeling it off before cooking. IMHO it keeps the meat juicier with a little more flavor. Maybe not quite as healthy... but I don't mind touching cooked meat!

Anonymous said...

Here is a great tip for all with meat handling issues. My thing is ground beef. We didn't eat meatloaf for almost 1 1/2years, until I got a second hand food processor with a kneading attachment;) Take the whole chicken to the meat counter at your grocery store, and ask the butcher to skin it for you. Most places will do this for you, without charge, and voila, it comes out of the package at home, ready to go. It won't work for frozen bird, but if you're buying fresh, it will save a lot of trauma.

Holly said...

I hate touching raw meat, too. I use latex gloves. Got that solution from Alton Brown on the Food Network, and I've been forever grateful ever since.

Dillon said...

Question from a young cook: When you're cooking an entire chicken in the crock pot, do you have to remove the insides (like when my aunt makes thanksgiving turkey) - can you leave them in? Does it come without insides? What is the status of fowl/foul guts?
Thanks! (I'm soaking up your website like a sponge.)

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Dillon,

Yup! Inside the chicken there is usually a neck and sometimes a bag of giblets. I always discard those, but some people save them to make broth or stuffing. I'm not quite that adventurous. yet. ;-)

xxo steph

Trish said...

This was very good I used Itlain dressing and tasted Yummy.I could have never cut up a horse I have one im my yard and she is part of the family.

Jennifer said...

Unbelieveable how long these conversations have been going on! We all love our food! Just got s crockpot set with the three popular sizes all in one. It's fabulous! Will try this recipe Thursday! Thanks so much for continuing this blog!

Lisa said...

Finally trying this today. I wasn't planning on "peeling" my checken, but this one was unusually fatty, so I skinned it. Sprinkled it with a poultry seasoning mix and filled the cavity with chopped onion (I always have a bag of that in my freezer!) and a couple smashed garlic cloves. It's in the pot now. I need some cooked chicken for a soup recipe, so I thought I would give this a whirl!

Anonymous said...

I've been laughing a lot about all of you non chicken handlers. I've never really thought about it myself, just got my sharpest shears and went to work cutting away the chicken fat. Wonder if this aversion is aquired from other family members? Anyway sought your advice out on the crockpot cooking idea and I'm trying it tomorrow with the skin off and the apple and onions inside. Sounds yummy.

6 Quart Slow Cooker said...

I found it interesting to read about your issue with meat fat. Most of the time you hear food stars raving about how great it makes everything taste. Thanks for you angle on the matter.

ollie said...

Here's a trick I use to skin my chicken quickly:

I insert a rubber spatula under the skin from the back and push it around. That totally loosens the skin from the meat to make skinning it easier. It never takes me more than 5-10 minutes to skin my chicken. Hopefully I explained that right!

wimbittworld said...

Making a variation on this tonight! Using frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts. Balsamic Vinigrette poured over and frozen artichoke quarters added to the pot.

Thanks for this fabulous website! Wish I had found it sooner.

CLT said...

If you did want to leave the skin on, but can't bear the pale look of a whole roaster after cooking in the crockpot, you can sprinkle it with paprika before cooking and it will come out looking fairly "browned" and very delicious.

Anonymous said...

When I want to skin a chicken or a turkey, I cut the skin around the wings and then slice the skin down the back. I imagine I am taking it off like unzipping a dress. Have to use fingers a bit to loosen at a few points. I don't worry about the little bit left on the wings--but I do cut off and discard the first joint (pointy part).

Suzy R said...

Can't believe I haven't seen this blog before! I love my crockpotsss. When I do a whole chicken. I just rinse and pat it dry. Salt and pepper both inside and out. Put a cut up lemon and onion in the cavity and cook for 6-8 hours on low. I never put in liquid and always wind up with about 2 cups of the best broth.

Clodagh a.k.a. Isra said...

ok I am really new to the whole slow cooker thing and until tonight I always thought I had to cover the entire contents in liquid!!! No wonder my meals have tasted blah! thanks

Rebecca said...

I have a huge aversion to getting my hands dirty, but surprisingly if I'm getting dirty cooking (like skinning chicken), it doesn't bother me.

I'm going to try this soon as I've always known there had to be a way to cook a chicken in a crock!

Anonymous said...

Tonight we are having whole chicken stuffed with garlic and onion. I poured Italian dressing over the top of the chicken and into the crock pot it goes. It should make a delicious meal.

Rebecca said...

"I have problems with raw meat. I can't stand to touch it or poke it or cut it or look too hard at it. It completely grosses me out. I attribute it to working at a zoo for a while and having to cut up horse meat. seriously. meat from horses."

Heh, I don't have a problem with raw meat (can't, since I feed my dogs a raw diet), but I totally understand the zoo thing. I volunteered for a long while at a zoo and much of my job involved feeding the large predators. Since I'm a horseperson I struggled some with handling horse meat, but eventually decided that if I didn't do it someone else would and then I wouldn't get the fun of feeding the big boys. The worst part was definitely coming across tiny bits of grain or hay in the meat. Bleeeccch.

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Rebecca! YAY, a fellow zoo volunteer who knows what I mean. :-)
I wasn't too thrilled that I cut up rabbits either. and that I know baby chicks still have a yolk in them.

~~shudder~~

xoxo

daveM said...

This looks to be excellent....! Thanks for the tip re skinning the chicken...

CeltChick said...

Just to be clear: the FDA is now recommending that chicken & other fowl should NOT be rinsed between coming home from the grocer & cooking. The thinking is that if there is contamination in/on any part of the bird, when it's rinsed that contamination spreads whereever the rinse water goes! So just dry off your chicken, and cook thoroughly.

The Nystroms said...

So I guess it would totally gross you out that the other day I fried chicken SKIN in chicken FAT and ate it as a snack??? :) It's called gribenes in schmaltz. We've believers in the eat fat to lose fat theory!

Beauty4u2nvy said...

I don't know about newspaper for easy clean-up. The thought of the meat I'm going to eat touching wet newspaper isn't inviting! But I'm all for easy clean-up. I use a cookie sheet covered with a layer of foil, parchment or wax paper. That way your food will touch food-safe items. I'm trying this chicken now. I never took the skin off of a whole chicken, and I got a little watery-eyed when I had to touch the neck lol. But I persevered. Can't wait to taste it!

slessman said...

I bought a chicken last night and am going to try this tomorrow or on Sunday! It sounds like a quick and easy way to make something yummy for my husband!

Unknown said...

I am doing this right now and I LOVE YOU! I have it on high for 5 hours but will check it at 4. I did the skinning too but I have to say the first ten min I was laughing then at the 15 min mark I was... on the verge of being sick, lol. Oh and since I didn't have a marinade handy I just made one. And I took advice of others shoved some onion and lemon in the cavity. I also added a bit of chicken base (better then bullion stuff) so we will see! I will let you know how it turned out. -JG

~Briony said...

So I know this is an old recipe but, just in case, I wanted to let you know that your meat department of your grocery store might skin the chicken for you for free. We have Publix here in FL and they are happy to oblige. I grab a chicken when I first get to the store, take it to the meat department, and ask them to skin it for me. Then I pick it up right before I check out. I still have to remove a tiny bit of fat but it takes all of 2 minutes vs. the 45 it would take me to skin it. Thanks for the recipe!!!!!

Brittany said...

I have a frozen chicken in my deep freeze that I have been thinking about cooking. If i were to do this would i need to thaw it out first? or would it cook by 5 or 6 if I put it in around 8?

Rachel said...

I never eat chicken skin, although it seems to be very sought after over here in the UK, but after cooking I give it to my dog, who is very grateful. It does add a better flavor in my opinion. I am also laughing at the amount of people who eat flesh and yet are grossed out by the skin, and also the bone aspect (as in cooking a whole chicken) apparently. I know some people will only eat chicken breast and will never touch the thighs or legs, which to me are the tastiest. I am one of the squeamish people I know, and go through stages of not eating any meat at all.

Unknown said...

We just got 6 organic whole chickens without skins. The friends who butchered them used an airhose to blow the skin up (and off) like a balloon. Genius.

Shira Kestenbaum said...

Thanks for this great blog, I'm having a great time reading through. One question though, why does it take you so long to remove the skin? I use latex gloves and paper towels ( holds the chicken part with paper towel in one hand and pull with the other. Other than the wing Area , the skin comes right off

Amy Davis-O'Malley said...

love this method! (although I do leave the skin on)

My choice of dressing is Annie's Goddress Dressing - OMG was it good! In fact, there is one cooking at home right now...

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