This recipe takes only a few minutes of work and delivers tender, flavorful chicken every time! Always start with thawed chicken. Thaw in the fridge for 2½-4 days, or thaw on counter for 4-6 hours by submerging in cold tap water and changing water every 30 minutes. Leftovers are great re-heated, or used in salad or tacos.
Mix in a small bowl:
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Spread the spice mix out on a plate.
Then pat dry:
- 1 whole chicken, thawed, giblets removed
Press and roll the chicken in spice mix, coating it.
Place chicken in a slow cooker on top of:
- 2 large carrots, whole
The carrots serve as rails for the bird to rest on, enabling good heat circulation. They will be perfectly tender and tasty when the bird is done. You may also use a small grate, if you have one, instead of the carrots.
Do not add liquid. Cover and cook on low for approximately 4½-6 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into the innermost part of the thigh reaches 165°. (For example, a 2½ lb bird will take about 4½ hours, while a 5lb bird may take about 5½ hours. Timing will also vary by slow cooker.)
What to do with the extras
If the neck was separated and placed in the cavity, save it for broth. If it will take more than a couple days, store it in the freezer.
The giblets are tasty chopped and sautéed with garlic or shallots. They can also be smothered with onions; used to make gravy or stock; or frozen for later use. Just trim the silvery skin off the gizzard first.
When the chicken is done, drain the liquid into a small glass container. The fat (schmaltz) will rise to the top and harden. Separate it and store in the fridge or freezer. It makes amazing sautéed or roasted veggies. The remaining liquid will have the consistency of jello when chilled, but will be liquid when heated. Pour it over the chicken when serving and/or use to make braised vegetables.
Save the carcass to make a nourishing broth — perfect for immune support and as a flavorful base for your favorite soup recipe.
Recipe courtesy ThisIsWhatFoodLooksLike.com (coming soon!), adapted for and tested with pastured chicken from Acorn Acres Farm.