There is nothing better than a one pot meal. It makes clean up super easy allows you to "set-and-forget" your meal while it cooks. Although preparing an entire chicken can be intimidating, its quite simple with a crock pot. Even though we haven't gotten all the snow they predicted, I wanted to make sure I had plenty of food on hand!
Preparing an entire chicken in the crock pot is one of the easiest things to do. You can toss in any root vegetables that you have on hand, season your chicken, and come home to the aromatic smell of moist, flavorful chicken in just 8 hours! Note: You will need a large (at least 5 quart) Crock Pot in order to fit the chicken and vegetables. I served this with a side of rice and gravy, made from the juices drained from the chicken, and cabbage.
1 whole chicken 4-4.5 pounds - giblets and innards removed
1.5 cups of baby carrots
3 large baking potatoes
1 large onion, thickly sliced
2 tbsp butter, softened
2.5 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Approximately 1/2 cup low fat chicken broth
1/4 cup all purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
Roughly chop the potatoes into large cubes and slice the onion into thick strips. Scatter potatoes, carrots, and onions in the bottom of the crock pot, leaving a few pieces of each vegetable to the side.
Rinse and pat the chicken with paper towels until dry. Rub the softened butter liberally over the entire chicken, coating both sides, wings, legs, and empty cavity thoroughly.
In a small bowl add all the dry seasoning and mix until well combined. Using your hands rub the minced garlic in the cavity of the chicken, then stuff with the leftover carrots, onion, and potatoes.
Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the entire chicken, breast and backside, coating well. You can pat the seasoning into the meat to help it stick. Place the chicken on the bed of vegetables in the crock pot, breast side down. There is no need to add any water or chicken broth because the chicken will create its own juice.
Cover the chicken and cook over low heat for 7-8 hours on low, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reads 165 degrees.
Tilt the crock pot to drain all the juices from the pot. Strain the juices into a large bowl and add the chicken broth until the mixture equals 2 cups. (You should only need approximately 1/2 cup of broth)
Pour 1 cup of the mixture into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in 1/4 cup of flour, cooking for about 1 minute.
Slowly pour in the rest of the broth mixture, continuing to whisk to ensure no lumps develop. Bring the gravy to a slow boil, cooking and stirring for 2 minutes or until the gravy has thickened. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.