Friday, November 5, 2010

Some Things are Worth Waiting For

This is one of those things that I haven't always done, because I'm a little, well...


when it comes to meat.

I mean - I enjoy eating meat, you know - once it's been cooked and all...

But dealing with raw meat?

It totally skeeves me out.

So...I've always purchased skinless, boneless chicken breasts - even the tenderloins sometimes, because that was one less step I had to deal with. Because steak is kind of gross, ground turkey is a little icky, but raw chicken?


But...have you seen the price of boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins lately? Especially organic ones? Jiminy Christmas, people...I had to do something...I needed to be able to deal with a whole chicken!

I finally found a solution.

genius senior

I hired a sous chef.

So, let's get started!

Roast Chicken a la Crockus Pottus

You need one whole chicken - but please don't buy one of those grotesquely misshapen ginormous extra meat ones, people. They're just wrong.

Have your sous chef open the nasty package containing the dreadful chicken, and have him/her remove the chicken innards.

chickens are gross

After a rinse under cold water, have your sous chef place the chicken, breast-side up, into the sink. Liberally coat the chicken with your seasonings of choice. If you have fresh herbs, stick a few under the skin (well, I mean, have your sous chef do it). Otherwise - lavish the dried stuff on.

Really - you can't overdo it - there's a lot of meat, and a lot of skin in between the seasonings and the meat. I love to put lots of garlic - the whole house smells so fantastic the rest of the day.

season liberally

I used a pre-mixed blend of seasonings for this bird - because I had it on hand.

Once you get the breast and sides seasoned, have your sous chef lift the chicken and place it breast-side down into the crock-pot (or roasting pan, if you don't have a crock-pot.) Then, season the back of the chicken as well.

season here too

Close it up, turn it on, walk away and have a lovely day.

Now - your cooking time will depend on a few things - the size of your chicken, the size of your crock pot or the particular peculiarities of your oven. There are a few guides out there - here is a good one. My experience is that 7-8 hours on low or 6ish on high is plenty of time in a crock pot to cook a chicken. You'll want to use a meat thermometer to make sure it gets up to 180 degrees to be safe.

When your time is up, have your sous chef pull the chicken out of the pot, because even though it is cooked and everything, it's still kind of gross and slimy until he/she pulls the skin off and separates out the bones and stuff.

fall apart tender

It won't come out in one piece, people. And that's okay. (It's awesome, actually - so tender...)

soux chef

Mr. or Ms. Sous Chef should now pull all the meat from the bone, discard the bones and save the deliciously seasoned broth for later. We usually have at least 3 meals from one chicken this way - on the first night, we'll have the chicken with a salad and some bread, and then I can usually make a couple more meals using the chicken in other ways...

...which will have to come later.

My sous chef just went on strike.


  1. I love your solution to the raw meat dilemma. Having a sous chef is the way to go. Back in the dark ages when I was too poor to buy boneless skinless chicken I used a paper towel to pull the skin off the leg quarters ( we're talking cheap meat here). I've always been grossed out by chicken skin....eeek!

    I hope I don't have to go back to the leg quarter days. The economy needs to get better soon.

  2. I roast a chicken every single week and never thought to use the crock pot.
    (Picture me doing the Homer Simpson "DUH" move about now...)
    I can't believe, though, that you're letting your sous chef have all the fun... how can you resist the fun of doing things like holding the chicken up to make it dance and (pretend to) sing at least one verse of "Putting on the Ritz"?

  3. Well, I suppose I could hold the chicken up to make it dance and sing to "I'm Nasty and Disgusting and Slimy and a Little Smelly," but I haven't been able to find the sheet music...