If you ask me, one of the best meals on the planet Earth is Roast Chicken.
My mom, The Original Diva, makes a killer roast chicken (click here for her recipe), which I grew up eating and loving. In fact, Julia Child says that roast chicken is the test of a great chef, and in France it seems they take their chicken seriously. Very seriously. Perfectly roasting a chicken is equal parts skill and art involving much babysitting of the bird, and while the results can be spectacular, sometimes there just isn't time for crying out loud!! I mean, we're busy divas!
But that doesn't mean you should sacrifice your health or give up on having a home-cooked meal just because you don't have hours to slave away in the kitchen. That's why I started my Simple Suppers series in the first place - to bring you delicious, healthy meals that can be prepared quickly.
So here's a low maintenance way to make a whole chicken! Did you know you can just throw it in your slow-cooker (crock pot) with fabulous results? You can prep it in the morning and return home from work to find a home-cooked meal waiting for you. The chicken will be moist, falling off the bones, and if you add little fingerling potatoes to the slow-cooker, you'll almost have a complete meal. Just don't forget a salad or veggie!
With chicken (as with all meat), I strongly recommend buying organic for a slew of health, environmental and moral reasons. Yes, it's a little pricier, but a great chicken can go a long way. Not only will one chicken give you at least two meals, but you can save the carcass to make scrumptious, nutrient dense stock. My shortcut is to make the stock in my slow-cooker, too! It'll freeze for up to six months and is great for making risottos and soups (click here for my slow-cooker chicken stock recipe). I procure my organic chickens from Healthy Family Farms, CSA, a local family farming operation that's certified organic and feeds all its livestock on pasture (meaning the meat is chocked full of omega-3's).
So the next time you're short on time, give this recipe a shot! It's got all the home-cooking qualities without having to stay home to cook it.
Slow-Cooker Organic Chicken With Fingerling Potatoes
Serves 4 people
Cooking time: 6 hours
1 medium organic chicken
1 onion, chopped
2 cups fingerling potatoes, halved
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup organic chicken broth
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
To prep the chicken, remove any innards. Rinse the chicken inside and outside and pat dry. Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Then, sprinkle the outside with the paprika, salt and pepper. To truss the chicken, tuck the wings underneath the bird and tie the legs together with a bit of kitchen twine.
Note: if you've never made a whole chicken and need further instruction, there are tons of how to videos on YouTube.
Place the onions and broth in the bottom of the slow-cooker. Add the thyme. Lay the chicken in the slow-cooker on top of the onions and thyme with the breast side facing up (like in the picture). Scatter the potatoes around the chicken. Cook the chicken in the slow-cooker on high for about 6 hours, or until the meat if tender and falling off the bones.
To serve, remove the chicken from the slow-cooker and place on a platter for carving. Spoon out the potatoes, toss with parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you wish, make a quick gravy, strain the cooking liquid from the slow-cooker. Reduce in half on the stove top. Add half a cup of white wine and reduce in half again. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Source For Ingredients
organic chicken (Healthy Family Farms, CSA), fingerling potatoes, organic onion, organic thyme, organic parsley from Hollywood Farmers Market