Guys. This will go down as a groundbreaking moment in history. I bought a slow cooker.
Swooooooooooon. Isn’t she a beauty?
I like to consider myself a fairly early adopter of new technology. I mean, not finger-on-the-pulse-before-it-beats sort of early, but aside from installing my iPhone’s software updates, I tend to be on top of these things. Most food bloggers probably have a slow cooker, pressure cooker, Dutch oven or other large receptacle for cooking 1-pot meals in. Kitchen gadgets are my jam and I’m a sucker for them, yet have got no idea how I’ve managed to be a food blogger for 7 ½ years without investing in a slow cooker. Until last week. Amazon Prime got me hard with this one.
Not long ago I mentioned I’ve been doing a little side hustle at work, preparing lunches, smoothies and snacks for my hungry co-workers. With fall now being here, I’ve got more ideas than I can fit in my pumpkin-drunk brain for seasonal recipes, many of which involve meals that can easily be prepared in big batches for a crowd. Obviously they also have to travel well since I’m toting them into the office every day, and because I like to have a social life, they can’t require all weekend to prepare. Prime candidate for a slow cooker? You’re looking at her.
In the spirit of Canadian Thanksgiving coming up on Sunday, I figured something cozy and holiday-esque – Slow Cooker Lemon Herb Chicken and Vegetables – would be a good fit for this week’s recipe. Up until I made it, I’d never actually cooked a whole chicken myself before. And trust me, if I can do it, so can you.
The process is super simple, and while it tastes like you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen all day, the effort is so minimal. All ingredients can be popped in the slow cooker in the morning and it’ll be cooked to perfection by dinner time. You’ll also have a house that smells divine, so if guests come knocking at your door, don’t be surprised.
The chicken I used for this recipe came to me compliments of a new Vancouver-based company, MeatMe.ca. This isn’t a sponsored post (aside from the free product I received) but I really want to tell you guys about how awesome they are.
As I’ve discussed before, sourcing of recipe ingredients, especially when it comes to meat, is really important to me. Part of my reasoning behind being pescetarian for so long was because the price of what I’d consider to be ‘properly raised’ meat was beyond what I could afford, and I didn’t have very good access to it at the time. This is where MeatMe comes in.
The company partners with local farmers who raise their animals on natural pasture, in a sustainable, ethical and humane way. All meats are 100% free of hormones and antibiotics, and the fact that they come from local farmers is just one extra step to feel great about.
MeatMe offers its customers (that’s people like you and me) shares in animals from these farms. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey and lamb are all available, and they deliver throughout Vancouver. If you’re interested you can find out more here, and if you need some inspiration for your holiday entertaining this year, read on!
The combo of slow cooking and the quality of this chicken make this recipe one I see myself enjoying over and over again. Think super tender and flavourful, juicy and fragrant, with a crazy short (yet wholesome and fresh) list of ingredients. Because I was preparing this for others and wanted my Crock Pot-christening meal to be a success, I consulted this awesome tutorial from The Kitchn on how to cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker. My version of the steps, including where to stick the veggies, are outlined in the instructions below.
Weighing 5.75lbs, I cooked the chicken on high for 3.5 hours, then used a digital thermometer (this one) to make sure the internal temperature was over 165F before switching it off. The meat was enough for 4-6 people – probably 6 if you don’t snack while pulling it off the bones like I may have done. Then, because I was feeling especially proud of all my “hard work” ?, I made bone broth afterwards. I’m currently dreaming about turning it into some sort of delicious fall veggie stew, and when that happens, rest assured you’ll hear. In the meantime, unbox your Crock Pots because you can expect many more healthy slow cooker recipes from me over the coming months!Print
- 6 peeled cloves garlic
- 1 lb baby potatoes, halved or quartered if on the larger side
- 3 cups diced carrots
- 1 1/2 cup diced peeled beets
- 3 cups trimmed baby brussels sprouts
- 1 whole chicken, about 5.5-6lbs
- 1 tbsp extra olive oil
- 1/2 sweet onion, sliced into wedges
- 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
- 1 sprig each fresh rosemary and sage
- generous amounts of all-purpose seasoning
- Prepare the garlic, potatoes, carrots, beets and Brussels sprouts as directed above. Aim to get them roughly the same size for even cooking. Arrange them in the bottom of a large slow cooker. (Mine holds 8 quarts.)
- Pat the chicken dry on the surface and inside as best as you can. Remove the giblets if they’re still inside.
- Stuff the onion wedges, half of the lemon rounds, rosemary and sage inside the cavity.
- Rub the area between the chicken’s meat and the skin with olive oil, then slide the remaining lemon wedges in. Insert the chicken breast-side-up in the slow cooker, on top of the vegetables. (If you need to, shift some of the vegetables up the sides so that the chicken fits inside without touching the lid.)
- Sprinkle the chicken generously with all-purpose seasoning, then cover the slow cooker with a lid.
- Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours, or low for 4-5 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest parts of the chicken reads at least 165F.
- Switch off the slow cooker. Use strong utensils or gloves to protect your hands in order to lift the chicken out of the stoneware. Place it on a pan or tray and let it rest for about 5 minutes before removing the meat from the bones.
[Tweet “A delicious healthy feast: Slow Cooker Lemon Herb Chicken and Vegetables #thanksgiving”]
So tell me, dear friends: what are your favourite slow cooker recipes? Hook a newbie up! And for my fellow Canadians, what will your Thanksgiving spread look like this year?