Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

As the weather heats up in Australia, I am using the Slow Cooker more often. This allows me to cook anything without adding more heat to the kitchen.

A small whole chicken can be easily cooked in a bed of root vegetables without a great deal of fuss. The chicken is cooked through so well and remains very moist, so much so, that the bones literally just fall away. The flavours of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley in the herbed bread stuffing permeate the chicken adding a lovely flavour.

There is only a little preparation required. Just make a quick herb and bread stuffing and partially cook the potatoes and carrots. Finally mix Olive Oil and Chicken Seasoning  to make a rub that gives the cooked chicken a lovely colour and flavours the skin as well.  I just love McCormick’s Chicken Seasoning which is a mix of Paprika, Onion, Thyme, Sage, Marjoram, Rosemary and Nutmeg. It adds flavour to all kinds of meat.

I have used a 5.5L capacity slow cooker which takes approx 5 hours on HIGH to complete cooking. The chicken is so good and is well worth the time put into preparation.

Slow Cooker Whole ChickenIMG_20210121_195115-Vegetables for Slow Cooker

Ingredients:

Bread and Herb Stuffing:

  • 2 slices of fresh Wholemeal bread, torn into pieces
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 1 small Spanish onion, quartered
  • 25g of butter chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small stem of celery with leaves
  • 4medium size sage leaves
  • 4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary, stem removed
  • McCormick’s Chicken Seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chicken:

  • 1 small whole chicken, (I have used a 1.2kg fresh chicken to fit into my 5L Slow Cooker) dried inside and out with kitchen paper
  • Butter
  • 4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary with stem
  • 5 slices of prosciutto
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • McCormick’s Chicken Seasoning

Chicken Seasoning and Olive Oil Rub:

  • McCormick’s Chicken Seasoning (or other similar)
  • 3Tblsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Vegetables:

  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled, halved and cut into thick pieces
  • 3 small red potatoes, skin scrubbed and cut into quarters
  • 2 carrots cut into pieces
  • 1 medium Spanish onion cut into quarters
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
  • 2 celery stalks cut into pieces
  • 3 small stems of fresh Thyme
  • sprigs of fresh Rosemary, stem removed
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock

Method:

Bread and Herb Stuffing:

IMG_20190304_135134-Herbs and onion

  1. Using a food processor with the chopping blade, add the bread, butter, sage, rosemary, celery leaves and stalks, and the parsleyIMG_20190327_171748-Herbs in processor
  2. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle over Chicken Seasoning. Pulse until all the ingredients are well combinedIMG_20190304_105100-Herb stuffing processed
  3. Set aside while you prepare the vegetablesIMG_20190304_110054-Fresh herb stuffing

Preparing Vegetables:

  1. Scrub potatoes and cut into pieces
  2. Scrub carrots and cut into pieces
  3. Steam the carrot an potato pieces for 10 minutes, setting aside to cool IMG_20210121_195944-Carrots and Potatoes
  4. Peel and cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise then chop into pieces
  5. Cut the Spanish onion into quarters
  6. Cut the celery stalks into pieces
  7. When the potatoes and carrots are cooled place them into the Slow cooker along with the sweet potato, celery pieces and garlic and turn over to combine and spread over the base evenlyIMG_20210121_203959-Vegetables in Slow Cooker
  8. Add the Thyme and rosemary sprigs and pour over the chicken stock
  9. Turn the Slower Cooker on HIGH setting and allow the cooker to heat up before adding the prepared chicken to it This could take up to 1/2 an hour or more.IMG_20210121_204009-Veg in slow cooker

Chicken Seasoning and Olive Oil Rub;

  1. Place the olive oil into a small bowl
  2. Add a good amount of the McCormack’s Chicken seasoning till it colours well
  3. Set aside and continue to prepare the chicken

Preparing the Chicken:

  1. Remove the fresh whole chicken from its wrapping and dry it off well both inside and out using kitchen paper
  2. Season the dried cavity with salt and pepper and stuff loosely with the bread and herb stuffing that was set aside
  3. Add a couple of small knobs of butter to the cavity
  4. Tie the legs with kitchen twine
  5. Loosen the skin over the breast and push some knobs of butter into the pouch formed
  6. Rub the Chicken Seasoning and Olive Oil all over the chicken on both sides
  7. Sprinkle the upper surface of the chicken liberally with more Chicken seasoning, salt and pepper covering the legs and wings as well
  8. Place a small knob of butter where the wings and thighs meet the breast and place a sprig of fresh Rosemary on top of the butterIMG_20210121_224821-Prepared Chicken
  9. The Slow Cooker should be hot BEFORE placing the prepared chicken into it
  10. Arrange the bed of vegetables to form a well and place the prepared chicken into it over the vegetables breast side up. Make sure that the lid clears it well
  11. Drape thin slice of prosciutto over the chicken to cover and protect the skin from heat burn
  12. Cover and cook for 5 hours on HIGH
  13. You can also cook it 1 1/2 hours on HIGH then 6-7 hours on LOW  (It is important to have the initial period of time on HIGH to ensure  food safety and stop backteria from multiplying if the temperature is not hot enough
  14. When cookign time is completed use a meat thermometer to test if fully cooked by inserting it into the inner thigh near the breast but not touching the bone. It should read 165º F or more. The juices should run clear. If not, continue cookingIMG_20210122_100221-Slow cooked chicken 2
  15. When fully cooked, carefully remove the chicken to a large dish and cover with foil. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before carving
  16. Serve with some of the herb stuffing and the vegetables. The delicious liquid that has formed in the bottom of the cooker can be made into a gravy to serve with the chicken or just poured over it.
  17. Enjoy your moist and tender chicken and keep any left over meat for a tasty addition to a summer salad

IMG_20210122_120337-Slow Cooker Chicken

 

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