Monday, February 20, 2012

Roasted Rosemary Chicken (with Crock Pot Option)

We made this in a crock pot for Sunday dinner. You could roast it normal style if you wanted. Your skin would come out crispier and butterier. Do you take issue with words like 'butterier?' If so, perhaps you ought to re-examine some of the limitations you've imposed on your life. Just relax and enjoy the butterier that is to be found in this world. Yes, well, un-grammar lesson and life coaching aside (because I'm, like, totally qualified for that and all), let's talk chicken.

This particular poultry started as a pert near frozen solid bird (due to my, er, re-examining of limitations and all) and was done to perfection 6 hours later. Which made me realize something: I usually cook my crock pot chickens too long. I usually cook them at least that long when thawed. They're often falling off the bone. Oh sure, they're still good and all, but this one was more juicy and tender and right. By which I mean that it had more in common with its roast sisters than my crock pot chickens usually do. Yes, it was lacking a crispy skin as any crock pot chicken will, but otherwise it was humming a roast chicken song. When you spend a good three hours at church on Sunday and don't want to come home and babysit your chicken for another 1 1/2 hours (roasting a chicken isn't hard; it just takes time), that can be a pretty good tune to hum. And I don't even like the skin, so there.

Roasted Rosemary Chicken (with Crock Pot Option)
adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Chicken
Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 4-6 hours in crock; 1 1/2 hours in oven
Cost: $6.25 (for chicken only; vegetables will add another $.50-1.00, which is a steal of a deal for a whole meal; wow--I've missed my calling and should be writing jingles)
chicken: $6.00, other stuff: .25

Note: This would have been even dreamier with fresh herbs, but I've managed to kill yet another rosemary plant so fresh herbs will have to wait until summer.

Another note: Whether dried or fresh, crush you herbs before sprinkling. You'll release oils and aromas that will make your food taste and smell better.

1 three-four lb whole chicken
1 tsp dried rosemary or 1 Tbsp fresh
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 Tbsp fresh
1 C white grape juice (or chicken broth with 1 tsp sugar or white wine)
salt to rub all over

Pat your chicken dry. Rub it all over with salt. Then rub it all over with the rosemary, thyme. Sprinkle on some pepper.

Place in crock pot and pour grape juice into crock. If you wish, you can add potatoes, onions, carrots or some vegetable combination that sounds good to you. If you add vegetables, don't forget to give them some of the seasoning/salt love too. (I added vegetables.)

Cook in crock pot on high for 6 hours (this is for a frozen bird with vegetables). Otherwise, cook on low for that long or on high for 3-4 hours.

To go the old fashion route and roast:

Preheat oven to 375. Rub bird with butter and then season as directed above. Place in Dutch oven or roasting pan.

Roast chicken (breast up) for 15 minutes alone. Then, if using, add vegetables and sprinkle them with more herbs and salt. Pour grape juice into pan. Roast for 1 hour 15 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 160-170 at thickest part of breast and thigh.


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