Thursday, October 13, 2011

Unbearably Easy Crock Pot Chicken

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on less than $10/day.

My chickens never sit properly and hold their legs together. Oh sure, you can say that that's just because I don't know how to tie them correctly with their neatly cinched packet of Herbs de Provence tucked soundly within. You might even be right.

Which is just exactly the great thing about this recipe. It's crazy easy and incredibly good. Throw in a splayed open chicken and some spices and you're good to go.

What's even better is that after you've eaten the chicken (or taken it off the bone to store in the refrigerator), you throw the bones back in (go ahead and break the easy to break ones like the back), cover them with enough water just to cover them, and then turn the heat back to high. Let it simmer away for several hours (I did about 6) and you'll have some dang tasty broth from it too. I got 5 cups of really really good broth. If you're wont to buy the cans of broth, you've just saved yourself $3-5 for a whole lot of no work and a much better broth.

For this recipe you have Lisa at 100 Days of Real Food to thank. I've altered it only just slightly and the tip about the broth was from her as well. Thanks, Lisa.

Unbearably Easy Crock Pot Chicken
taken from 100 Days of Real Food
Makes 1 chicken
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 4-5 hours on high
Cost: $6.00 for a 3 pound-ish, humanely raised chicken

2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme or 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (I used fresh)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cayenne pepper
1/4 black pepper
1 onion
1 three or four lb whole chicken (though I'd wager any parts you've got around would work too)

Cut onion into rings and lay on bottom of crock pot.

Combine seasonings. Sprinkle or rub over chicken (make sure it's got the neck and giblets removed). Rub some inside the cavity. I also like to loosen the skin above the breasts (just use a finger to get all up in there and loosen it) and them rub some directly on the breast meat as well.

Place chicken on onion slices.

Set crock pot to high. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. (You don't need any extra water.)

If you wish to make broth:

After chicken is cooked and you've eaten it or removed all the meat, put the bones back in the crock pot. Break the back bone in a few places. Cover (just barely) with water and set to high again. Let cook for 6 hours or over night. Strain broth through sieve and there's your broth. I store it in freezer bags in 2 C increments.


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