I am a major fan of the ‘one pot meal’ concept.  That said, I’ve never really dabbled in Crock Pot (slow cooker for the UK folks…) cooking.

Why?  Possibly because I can never get my head passed the late, great Robin Williams in the masterpiece Good Morning Vietnam:

‘What’s the weather like out there? “It’s hot. Damn hot! Real hot! Hottest thing is my shorts. I could cook things in it. A little crotch pot cooking.” Well, can you tell me what it feels like. “Fool, it’s hot! I told you again! Were you born on the sun? It’s damn hot!’

Kinda breaks your love for the Crock Pot, no?

Despite this, I have recently acquired a Crock Pot (actual Crock Pot brand, no less) and early dabbling has shown to me the world I have been missing out on.  It is fair to say that I am pretty sure that I could make a pair of size 13 desert boots edible in the damn thing given enough time and seasoning.

We’ll skip the boots for now and start off with something simple.  Pot Roast Chicken.

The challenge with pot roast, especially Chicken pot roast, is that roasted chicken is a staple of almost every house.  Roast chicken in any form is after all, when cooked exceptionally, a thing of culinary beauty.  Roast (pot or ‘regular’) chicken with 3 veg (for me – carrot, runner beans and parsnips), roast potatoes and gravy is definitely in the top ten of all dishes you can serve me when done proper.

Crock Pot Chicken (serves 4)

Ingredients You Need:

  • Large Chicken (the best you can justify – I’m not the organic/free-range Police…)
  • 2 Lemons
  • Handful of fresh Thyme
  • Rub of your choice (I like Old Bay or Mortons)
  • 3 Onions (or 2 if they’re biggies!)
  • Salt & Pepper

Gear You’ll Need:

  • Crock Pot (‘Slow Cooker’) large enough for the Chicken
  • Sharp cooks knife
  • Time

How To Make It:

  1. Roughly chop the onions into 8ths and remove the brown outer skin, chuck them into the crock pot
  2. Trim the chook however you prefer but they key thing is to remove any butchers string so the bird can breathe a little
  3. Get some rub into the chicken cavity
  4. Chop the lemons in half and shove 3 of the halves into the chicken along side a few sprigs of Thyme
  5. Get some rub on the outside of the chicken, sprinkle with Thyme leaves
  6. Squeeze the remaining lemon half over the chicken and lob the spent half into the crock pot
  7. Salt and Pepper if you’re rub does not contain lots of either (!)
  8. Put the lid on, set the thing on MEDIUM heat for 5-6 hours (dependent on what ‘medium’ means for your brand of crock pot)
  9. Bugger off and do something else
  10. Come back and enjoy…

WorkTop Tips:

  • I like to open the chicken up a little by leaning on the legs (top downwards) once ‘un-trussed’ until I hear a little ‘crack’ of the joints breaking
  • Feel free to add other stock veg to the underside (carrot, celery) as you will get an unctuous ragu after 5 or 6 hours – just remember that chicken can be quite fatty so you will need to drain suitably before making that fowl gravy

Wine Pairing:

Chicken love Gavi.  It’s a fact.  Locate any good ‘Gavi di Gavi’, chill appropriately (coincidentally for exactly the same length of time as the chicken cooks…) and serve.  Done and done.

Enjoy!

SM