Lets get right to the point – here’s what you’ll need:
- One whole chicken (4-6lbs)
- Fresh Thyme (4-5 sprigs)
- 2tsp salt
- 1tsp dried thyme
- 1tsp paprika
- 1/2tsp onion powder
- 1/2tsp dried rosemary
I followed the recipe from The Prairie Homestead tweaking it a little as I went. I decided not to add the amounts of carrots, potatoes, etc. into my recipe because I’d like to think that free thought still exists and you can make those decisions on your own. I added additional garlic and also half a lemon to the inside of the bird – I like my chicken lemony. Leave the potatoes whole and cut down the carrots so everything fits comfortably into your slow cooker. Crush the garlic cloves with the side of your kitchen knife or your palm and add them to the slow cooker as well. Dress your bird with the seasoning mix from the recipe below – making sure it’s a liberal coating. Set your slow cooker on low and patiently wait 8 long hours until that little meat machine is ready to burst with tasty juices.
I had never cooked a whole chicken before and the idea of “removing the gizzards” seemed like a lot of work and a lot of shoving my hands into unfamiliar places – but what good relationship doesn’t have a bit of that involved? What do gizzards look like you ask?? They look exactly like this small puddle of animal bits resting in my hand… Technically, the gizzard is the thick-walled part of the birds stomach used in the digestion of food. Various bird species – typically those that eat seeds and other hard food items – will ingest small stones and other objects that will act as “teeth” and aid in the digestion of food. The entire process of “removing the gizzard” took roughly 5 minutes and was much more painless than I was expecting. After you remove the gizzards carefully run some water through the inside of the bird making sure not to splash chicken juice all over your sink and kitchen. Pat your new bird friend dry and dress that little lady in some seasoning. Now, conservative can be sexy too, so dress that bird in the seasoning equivalent of a sexy librarian and mop up the puddle of drool forming between your feet. For consistency sake, mix your dry ingredients together in a seperate bowl before rubbing them into your bird – or just add them all willy-nilly like the uncivilized swine you are.
After your bird is well seasoned, its time to place her in your slow cooker and let the waiting game begin. After about the 5th hour of waiting I really began questioning my decision to make a rotisserie chicken at home when I could have very easily boughten one from the store hours ago. But store bought rotisserie chickens don’t give you the feeling of accomplishment like an at home rotisserie chicken will – and they certainly wont gift you with a tupperware full of tasty chicken juices…
I promise you, the waiting is worth it. The chicken was so moist that I now fully understand why that word makes some people uncomfortable. The vegetables – that had spent the last 8 hours wading in all that tasty chicken juice – had become little flavor bombs waiting to be detonated on some unexpecting taste buds.
After the 8 hours has elapsed – or the thickest part of the chicken registers at 165f, whatever comes first – carefully remove your bird from the slow cooker and broil for 10-15 minutes to get that essential crispy chicken skin. Before transferring to the oven cover the chicken with lemon juice to amp up that crispyness.
It’s always easy to take the easy way out – that’s why they call it the easy way out – but instead of grabbing fast food on your way home from work or relying on your local deli to feed you and essentially keep you alive – I highly recommend setting aside 20 minutes before you head to work so when you get home you have a nice cooked meal waiting for you.
- Cut carrots so they fit comfortably into your slow cooker while keeping potatoes whole.
- Remove the gizzards from the inside of your bird and either pat dry with a paper towel or if you feel the need, carefully rinse with cold water making sure not to have chicken juice splatter all over your kitchen.
- Mix seasonings together and liberally coat the outside of the chicken.
- Stuff your bird with garlic, fresh thyme, and lemon.
- Place chicken on top of veggies and set slow cooker to low.
- Set timer and go about your life for 8 hours – It’s less excruciating if you leave the house so you don’t have to be subjected to the wonderful smells coming from your kitchen…
- After the 8 hours has elapsed transfer the juicy meat machine to your broiler and let that skin crisp up for 10-15 minutes – I highly recommend dosing your chicken with fresh lemon juice before broiling.
- Remove veggies and save all that tasty chicken juice for another meal.
- Remove from oven and either carve, rip, or tear that chicken to pieces and enjoy all the hard work of your slow cooker.