Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Lemon-Herb Slow-Cooked Chicken
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Those of you who read One Perfect Bite on a regular basis know that I have mixed feelings about crock-pot cooking. Actually, I should say slow-cooker cooking. Crock-Pot is a trademarked name that should only be used to describe slow-cookers made by Rival. Whatever you call it, the appliance was a godsend for busy women when it first arrived in American kitchens. It then fell out of vogue and was relegated to a decade of basement storage. There was a resurgence in it's popularity about six years ago and it once again claims counter space in our kitchens. Some problems with it's use have been overcome, others haven't. I speak now for myself, so please understand there are others of a different mind. I, then and now, have a problem with the texture of meat left for overly long periods of time in a slow-cooker. I'd like to be kind but the word mush is what comes to my mind. Years ago, meals made in the slow-cooker all tended to taste the same. That's to be expected when everything is seasoned in the same way and left to cook for hours. At the end of an eight hour stew it was really difficult to identify the kind of meat you were eating. Today there's a wealth of wonderful recipes for the slow-cooker but you still have to be careful. I've had some success in developing recipes, but because I'm lazy by nature I've become even more adept at identifying outstanding recipes created by others. Today's recipe is a "found" creation. It comes from the 17th Winning Taste Recipe Contest, now sponsored by Pilgrim's Pride Chicken, and was developed by Leslie Pew for that competition. If you decide to try this, make sure you cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch slices and please, please, please don't overcook the chicken. I cook it on HIGH power for 4 hours. Let the chicken sit for ten minutes before you slice it. While it's resting, strain and degrease the liquid in the pot. It can be reduced or thickened with a little cornstarch or flour and it makes a wonderful sauce for the chicken. I really like this recipe. As you can see it's beautiful to look at. Save for the limp skin you'd never know that it was made in a slow-cooker. If you are a devotee of slow cooking, you'll love this recipe. It's outstanding for its kind.
Lemon-Herb Slow-Cooked Chicken...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Leslie Pew and Pilgrim's Pride Chicken
1 whole chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds, giblets removed
1 onion, diced
1 head garlic, peeled, trimmed, cloves left whole
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 medium lemon, juiced and zest removed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (about 3/4-ounce)
1/2 cup chopped fresh rosemary
1 onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
4 potatoes, thickly sliced
1 lemon, quartered
Fresh basil, rosemary or lemon slices, garnish, optional
1) Rinse chicken and place in large bowl. Set aside.
2) Place onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, basil and rosemary in bowl, stirring to combine. Pour half of basil-rosemary mixture over chicken, coating chicken inside and out. Place quartered onion and bay leaf inside chicken cavity. Tie legs together at end of drumsticks if desired and place in large slow cooker (crock pot), about six-quart size.
3) Toss potatoes and quartered lemon in remaining half of basil-rosemary mixture. Add to slow cooker with chicken. Cover and cook 4 to 6 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low heat. Chicken is done when temperature reaches 180°F on meat thermometer. Remove chicken and vegetables to serving dish and garnish if desired with fresh basil, rosemary or lemon zest. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
Cook's Note: If desired, gravy may be made from broth accumulated while cooking chicken. Per each generous cup of broth, combine 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons broth in saucepan. Cook, stirring until thick, then slowly add broth. Stir until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Variation: Chicken and vegetables may be roasted, uncovered in a 350 degree F oven if a browned, crispy skin is desired. For gravy, chicken broth, white wine, or water may need to be added to the liquid in the roasting pan. Thicken as directed above.
This is being linked to Recipes from Pilgrim's Kitchen and Crock Pot Wednesday at Dining with Debbie