Tuesday, July 21, 2009

French Chicken in a Crock Pot

I have been working on this recipe for a while, and now I'm finally ready to blog about this dish. The idea for French Chicken in a Crock Pot came about because I wanted to be able to have the moist, tender, and flavorful namesake dish without heating up the house. More importantly, I wanted to be able to leave the house and come back to a finished dish. Even if the oven is set to a low 250 degrees, I just don't feel comfortable leaving it on while I'm gone.

The first time I made this dish I overcooked the chicken and there was zero flavor left in the chicken or the vegetables. So, it is possible to overcook chicken in a crock pot. However, I made the most amazing rice that I ever made with the juice, since that is where all the flavor went.

My next try, I actually made the original French Chicken in a Pot, so I could compare the crock pot version with the real thing. What I like about the original version is that you only dirty one pot. I will make this version again in cool whether when I don't need to leave the house. However, the oven version took a lot longer than I expected, and I took the temperature on the bird several times before it was done.

Back to the crock pot version - I made this at least two more times and settled on my spice amounts. I have learned to use the advanced settings on my crock pot, and the temperature probe attachment. The chicken, paired with some roasted vegetables, presented on a platter is fit for dinner guests. I recently had the opportunity to serve this chicken dinner to guests and received excellent reviews.


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French Chicken in a Crock Pot

1 (5 lb) roasting chicken
1 tablespoon herbs de provence
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot
1 small to medium onion
1 parsnip or carrot
6 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons grape seed oil

1) In a small bowl mix herbs de provence, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, garlic cloves, and olive oil to make a paste.

2) Rinse chicken. Loosen the skin over the breast and slide 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture over each breast/ under the skin. Rub another teaspoon of the spice mixture inside the cavity. Save the remaining spice mixture for the outside of the bird. Finish prepping the chicken by trussing the legs together, and tucking the wing tips under the bird.

3) Heat 3 tablespoons of grape seed oil over medium-high heat. Rub the remaining spice mixture over the entire chicken and place the chicken breast side down into the hot oil to brown the skin. (About 2 minutes). Take a wooden spoon, put inside the cavity and flip the chicken over to brown the other side. (About 2 minutes).

4) Skin and quarter the shallot and onion. Peel parsnips/carrots and cut into pieces to match the size of the shallot and onion pieces. Add these vegetables along with the peppercorns and bay leaf to the bottom of the crock pot and place the chicken on top.




5) Use temperature probe attachment if you have it - otherwise cook on high for 2.5 to 3 hours for a 5 lb. bird, or until 165 degrees. Remove chicken and tent with foil. Pour cooking juice through cheese cloth, and into a fat separator to use for au jus.




6) Place on platter with vegetables for a nice presentation.



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