Cooking a whole chicken in your crock pot is a fabulous idea. Obviously you need a crock pot big enough to fir your chicken! I have a big family so i have a biggish crock pot and mine gets a good lot of use, especially in the winter months. I think its a god send and you when you learn to use it to its full potential you will learn to see how versatile it really is.
I think this sort of meal can amazing as while you are cooking the chicken, you are making a wholesome gravy at the same time and your vegetables – genius!. I choose to buy a organic chicken as i’m making stock with the bones and carcass and but thats my choice and this is up to you. I have chosen to brown of my chicken first before putting it in the crock pot to too give it more flavour but again this is up to you and depends on how much time you have in the morning so ill leave this step up to you?
I have chosen tarragon for my herb in this dish as it goes so well with lemon and chicken but you can easily play around with choices here.
So you will need:
This feeds my family of 6
1 whole chicken (organic if you choose and make sure it fits into your crock pot) but i would choose 1.5kg chicken this feeds my family of 6.
splash of vegetable oil if you are going to brown off your chicken and onions before putting in the crock pot
1 large onion peeled and cut into wedges
3 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of honey
1 litre of hot chicken stock
4 large carrots peeled and cut into battens
3 sticks of celery cut into battens
1 lemon cut into 4 wedges
20g of fresh tarragons with the stalks strips of leaves
salt and pepper
3 cooking apples peeled and cut into wedges
- Cut your vegetables and place in the base of your crock pot.
- If browning your chicken take some vegetable oil and place in a pan and place your chicken upside down and brown it off in the oil and turn until the chicken has some colour and place in the crock pot breast side down. Brown the onions and place in the crock pot also.
- Cut the wedges of the lemon and place down the sides of the chicken
- Take the sprigs of tarragon and remove the leaves and sprinkle down the sides of the chicken in the crock pot.
- Take the apple and peel and core and slice into chunks and place down the sides of the chicken also.
- Take the stock in a large jug and add the mustard and salt and pepper and stir around and pour over the chicken. Ideally you would like the stock to cover all the vegetables and other ingredients in the stock pot. Do not worry if the chicken is sticking out as it probably wont cover all the chicken but this will still cook just fine.
- Cover the crock pot with the lid and cook on high for 5-6 hours. if you around ideally turn your chicken after 4 hours. Check your juices run clear from the thickest part of the chicken, the leg and breast before eating. If you will be out for a lot longer i would cook this on low and on your return check that the juices run clear from the chicken before eating.
- Before eating, make sure the the setting is on high and stock is very hot. Lift the chicken from the stock. Mix some cornflour with a little water to make a paste and pour into the stock and stir in to thicken up to a gravy. Remove the chicken from the carcass and keep warm. I often cook more veg and potatoes etc and serve up.
- Note….As an alternative you could thicken the sauce with a little cream or creme fraiche if you are not serving for a dairy free guest.