This Basil Pesto Chicken is so fresh and delicious!
You can roast a whole chicken! Yes, it really is quick and easy…and the house will smell amazing….and the kids will eat it! (Actually they may fight over it…so be prepared;) For some reason, and I don’t think that I’m alone, I had always thought that roasting a whole chicken was difficult. I thought that it was time consuming and…
When people hear that I am married to the butcher they often comment that we must eat well. They are right. But, there are days when it’s hard to convince the butcher to bring home dinner! Yep, it’s true. There are also days where I prefer to start dinner early in the day to prevent that mad rush after school. And then, there are some days I feel slightly lazy, and look for something simple to prepare. So on these days I need to dig into my freezer and come up with something fancy.
Recently, I read that you can put an entire frozen chicken in the slow cooker. I was doubtful, so of course I needed to try it!
I had previously frozen a D’Artagnan Crystal Valley All Natural Chicken, so I dug it out. These Crystal Valley Roasters are already pre-rinsed, giblets removed, and completely trussed. Perfect for popping into the slow cooker directly from my freezer!
I am happy to report; it was simple…and delicious to slow cook an entire chicken! Click through the following images to see how easy it was to prepare a delicious dinner on a lazy day.
The complete recipe is posted below the gallery
One D’Artagnan Crystal Valley Whole Chicken
1/2 cup of warm water (only when slow cooking a frozen chicken)
1 cup of chicken stock ( I prefer to use Kitchen Basics brand)
6 carrots chopped into rustic size pieces
10 whole cloves of garlic
One lemon cut into 4 wedges
Fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1. Start by removing the whole chicken from the package. If you are using a D’artagnan Crystal Valley Chicken, you can place it directly into the slow cooker, since it has already been prepared for you. This is what makes it so simple to slow cook the chicken directly from your freezer. It has already been rinsed, trussed and giblets removed. Fantastic!
2. When using a frozen chicken, you will need to add a half cup of warm water to the bottom of the slow cooker.
3. Set the slow cooker to low setting for seven hours. Close the lid and leave alone to cook. At the three and a half hour mark, add one cup of chicken stock around the chicken. Add the chopped carrots, whole garlic cloves and lemon wedges. Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken, season with fresh salt and pepper. Place your fresh herbs on top and turn heat setting to high. Your chicken will continue to slow cook for another three and a half hours.
4. At the end of seven hours, the chicken should have reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees. At this point scoop the garlic cloves out of the drippings and rub them over the skin of the chicken. Gently remove the roaster from your slow cooker to a cutting board. Do this carefully as it will be very tender. Carve the legs first, then wings, and lastly the breast.
5. For a quick gravy, you can ladle some of the “drippings” into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Whisk in one and a half tablespoons of cornstarch that has been dissolved in one cup of cold water. This will thicken the gravy. Heat through and serve alongside your chicken and veggies.
I used a Crock Pot Brand Slow Cooker with a 6 quart capacity.
You can slow cook a fresh whole roasting chicken by omitting the warm water, and placing all ingredients in the slow cooker at the same time. Set the Slow cooker on low and cook for six hours or to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. ( Place your meat thermometer between the thigh and the breast to get an accurate reading.)
If you will be away from the kitchen, you can slow cook your frozen chicken on high for six hours, adding all ingredients at the beginning. (I use the two-step method because the veggies stay firm, but it is delicious either way.)
These twice baked potatoes would make a really great accompaniment to your chicken. https://randsmeatmarket.com/2014/10/10/twice-baked-potatoes-with-lavender-farmstead-cheese/
As it turns out, two days of hunting down an article about grilling whole chickens, has made it much easier to tear it out, and bring the chicken to the table.
I’m happy to say…..grilling a whole chicken was simple and fancy too!
My butcher recommends a D’artagnan all natural roaster. I marinated the bird in buttermilk for 2 hours, turning it at the halfway point. Don’t Skip this step, it keeps the meat super juicy!
Pre-heat that grill! Over a medium heat, sear the bird on all sides for a total of twenty minutes. Reduce the grill to medium low heat ( 350 degrees if your grill has the handy temp gauge). Grill the chicken for 45 minutes to 1 hour, mopping every 10 minutes with your favorite barbecue sauce. I used Whistlin’ Dixie from Wild Thymes.
The chicken’s whistlin’ when it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees…(use the meat thermometer ….it works every time).
Remove the bird from the grill and let sit covered with foil for 5-10 minutes.