Thursday, April 10, 2008

Slow Cooking Thursday & Crockpot Challenge - Crocked Chicken

My recipe is based upon the one by Cathy Thomas in the Houston Chronicle on May 19, 1999. "The easiest way to cook the humble bird to use in anything that calls for cooked chicken." What is different from other recipes is that you do not add any liquid. Just plop the bird in there, breast side up.

Her recipe called for a 2.5 to 3.5 pound chicken, a wedge of 1/4 medium lemon, bay leaf, salt and pepper, 2-4 sprigs of fresh thyme. Remove giblets from interior of chicken and fat pads on either side of interior opening. Wash chicken in cold water, shake off excess. Place lemon wedge and bay leaf inside cavity. Place chicken in a 3 1/2 to 4 quart crockpot, breast side up. Season with salt and pepper, add thyme. Cook on Low 7-8 1/2 hours.

Through the years, I have modified it. I place halved onions on the bottom and then put the chicken on top, season it with poultry seasoning or my new favorite - Penzeys Ozark Style Seasoning. I also like to use Penzeys Old World Seasoning - the wonderful smell has you practically clawing the crockpot. This is one of the few times I leave the skin on chicken as it cooks. It transports the flavor to the chicken and helps keep it from drying out. I also hurry it along by cooking it on High for 1-2 hours and then Low for 2 hours or until the thermometer reads 180. It fits perfectly in my 4 quart crockpot.

(Finally I crocked on a Thursday so I could participate in Slow Cooking Thursday!)

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