Many of my friends have older daughters. They help in the kitchen and with the house. I have to admit, I am often envious of this. There is a camaraderie and joy when you get to work side by side with someone. Plus, you can get more done. I have many different “handmaidens” that I use to help me. They are not much on conversation or camaraderie, but they do help me multi task. I employed two of my handmaidens to make supper last night. I have a crock pot similar to this one. My Mom gave it to me, so that makes it special. It is round and it was hard to get one of our large chickens into it. So, we bought this crock pot. It is large and oval rather than round in shape. We like the fact that it has high and low, but also a warm setting. We use both of them often. There are even times I wish I had a smaller one like this.
My favorite way to make chicken is in the crock pot. I make it that way if we want a roasted chicken or if I need the meat for sandwiches or some other meal. First, it does not heat up my kitchen. That is a big plus in July, in Ohio. Secondly, the meat comes out wonderfully tender and juicy and flavorful. Thirdly, the broth it makes is unbelievable delicious. The crock pot really works for us because our oven has issues. It does some weird thing (we are not sure what) and has to be quickly turned off for a few seconds and then turned back on. So, whenever we are using the oven, someone has to be in the house. Using the crock pot solves this issue.
I also made baked potatoes in my other crock pot. My crock pots were my handmaidens. They had me covered for supper while I took care of other chores. I will share with you below how we do this.
Crock Pot Baked Potatoes
This is so easy and you can do as many potatoes as your crock pot holds or choose to only make 2 or 3 at a time. Wash your potatoes and then poke them a few times with either a knife or fork. Put them in your crock pot and put the lid on. I had a couple of potatoes starting to go, so I put them all in so none go to waste. I will put the extras in the fridge. I can cut them up and fry them for either supper or a breakfast. I will have potatoes ready to mash if I want that with a meal. They are so easy to use this way.
Turn the crock pot on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. Again, you do not heat up your kitchen using this method. I usually check them by sticking a fork in one and seeing if it is soft and easily splits.
Crock Pot Chicken
We normally brine our chicken. Our chickens are raised on pasture and get exercise. Their meat is denser. Brining helps them to be more tender. I am planning on doing a post on brining soon.
I cut up a large sweet onion. We prefer Vidalias, but they are not available year round. You can use a stronger, less sweet onion if you like. I just cut it up and put it in the bottom of my crock pot.
We use a lot of garlic at our house. We just harvested our garlic for this year. It is hanging out in the barn to dry. We normally end up with a few bulbs that we accidentally pulled the stem off when pulling them up. There is nothing to hang them by, so we bring those into the house to use right away. I chose the biggest bulb out of those and peeled it, cut it up and threw it in on top of the onions. We like this much garlic, but you may choose to use less.
I then mix the following spices in a small bowl. 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. of Salt, 1 tsp. of Pepper (again this might seem like a lot to some of you, but I encourage you to try it), 1/2 tsp. of Paprika, 1/2 tsp. of Oregano, 1/2 tsp. of Cayenne Pepper (it does not come out hot), and anything else you like for spices.
Mix them up well. I then sprinkle just under half of this mixture over the onions and garlic. This helps get those flavors into the broth that the chicken will make. This also eliminates the need to put the rub on the side of the chicken that will go down in the crock pot.
You do not add any liquid of any kind. The chicken makes its own broth. Simply put the lid on and turn the crock pot on high. If you have a smaller chicken, then you will need to let it go about 4 to 4 1/2 hours. Our chickens are usually large and because their meat is more dense, I let mine go for 6 hours. You can tell if it is done because it will easily come apart with a fork and fall off the bone.
Did you enjoy this recipe and want to see some more. Head on over to the weekend Potluck. Click on image below!