Slow Cooker Roast Chicken And Gravy
I love rotisserie chicken, but I don’t have a rotisserie, so I decided to try cooking a whole chicken in a slow cooker and then briefly broiling it in the oven to crisp up the skin. The result? A moist, delicious, fall-off-the-bone chicken just as good as rotisserie! I got a gorgeous whole chicken from Spring Rain Farm and seasoned it with garlic and Penzey’s ‘Mural of Flavor’ although you can use pretty much anything in your spice rack. The leftover liquids can be used to make an awesome gravy and the leftover bones to make stock!
Note: Standard size slow cookers are a bit too small and a whole chicken won’t fit. You’ll need a 6-quart slow cooker for this recipe.
4-5 pound free-range certified 100% organic chicken
2 medium onions, chopped (I used 1 onion and 1 large shallot)
1/2 cup organic chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine (or another 1/4 cup chicken stock in lieu of wine)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 heaping teaspoon Penzey’s ‘Mural of Flavor’ seasoning (use any of your favorite seasonings)
To keep the chicken out of its fat while cooking, wad up two to three pieces of foil, making them somewhat flat on top and place in the slow cooker. Peel and slice the onions and arrange in the bottom of the slow cooker around the foil balls. (In lieu of foil balls, use extra vegetables or foil-covered potatoes). Add the stock.
Remove any giblets from the chicken. Dry off the bird and season it well by drizzling with olive oil and rubbing all over with the garlic paste and spices. You can even put some of the spices inside the cavity and under the skin covering the breasts.
Place the chicken breast side down in the slow cooker on top of the foil balls. Cover and set it to cook on high for 4+ hours, steaming until the chicken is falling off the bone and the internal temperature of the leg is at 160 degrees F. Total cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken and your slow cooker. My chicken weighed just under 5 pounds and was done in 4-1/4 hours.
Once the chicken’s finished cooking, carefully transfer it to a broiling pan, sprinkle with sea salt and place in the oven under the broiler for 5 minutes to brown and crisp up the skin. Allow chicken to rest after removing it from the broiler for 5-10 minutes before carving.
Use the remaining slow cooker contents to make a delicious gravy.
After removing the chicken from the slow cooker, remove the foil balls. Blend remaining liquids and onions with an immersion blender.
Transfer blended contents into a medium saucepan, check for seasoning and add salt to taste. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of tapioca flour and bring to a near boil over medium-high. Continue to whisk to avoid scorching, cooking until desired thickness.
This flavorful gravy is pretty much incredible on everything! I served it over mashed cauliflower and of course, the chicken!
De-bone any leftover chicken to use for other recipes and make stock with the carcass. (I combined leftover chicken and gravy with carrots, sweet potatoes and mushrooms, topped with a crust and baked, for an outstanding chicken pot pie).
Place all of the bones and bits into a large stock pot or dutch oven, it needs to be big enough to hold all the leftover bones plus 16 cups of water. Add two tablespoons of cider vinegar to the pot. This will break down the bones and draw out the calcium into the broth. Cover and let sit for 45 minutes.
Bring the contents to a boil. Once it starts boiling, skim off any scum that floats to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and let it simmer for at least 4 hours to really let the flavor get delicious.
About an hour before it’s done, you can add some vegetables to give the broth extra vitamins, minerals and flavor. Try adding a couple chopped carrots, 1 chopped onion, and 3 stalks of chopped celery. You don’t even have to peel the carrots or onion; just wash and chop since you’re not going to eat them, they’ll be skimmed out.
After 4 hours total, remove the pot from the heat and let sit for about 20 minutes to cool before handling. Place a really big bowl and a colander in your kitchen sink. Pour the pot’s contents into the colander to catch all of the bones and vegetables.
Let the broth cool to room temperature – you do not want to put hot things in your fridge – it changes the temperature and can affect foods already in there. Once it’s cool, put the stock in the refrigerator for a couple hours. After chilling in the fridge, any fat should rise to the top for you to skim off. Mine had almost no fat to skim since most of it had dripped into the bottom of the slow cooker. To store, divide between several containers and freeze.
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