Who you callin’ a Slow Cooker?

In all seriousness, they are amazing. I am trying to incorporate slow cooking into my week and extol their virtues to all of my clients. Plus, there are innumerable recipes available these days.
Typically, I will make a soup: beans (filled with protein and fiber, low in calories), veggies (whatever you have, throw it in there!) and stock. Set it on low in the morning and voila! Dinner in the evening. Perfect winter meals to warm you up.  Plus, you can have leftovers for during the week, lunch the next day or to freeze.  But these days, you can make just about everything in a slow cooker.  In fact, there are blogs with recipes and cookbooks written solely for Slow Cooked meals.
I recently experimented with a whole chicken in my basic slow cooker…It came out good, but not great.

Here’s what I learned:

A chicken is best made in a horizontal slow cooker so the juices are evenly distributed.  The top of my chicken was much drier than the bottom which had been sitting in the juices all day as it was cooking.

The lemon I put in the cavity made it too citrusy, a problem I never had before. Typically, I stuff the cavity with a whole lemon cut in half, sliced onions and whatever fresh herbs I have available.  I like to slice garlic and place the slices under the skin of the chicken so it cooks into the meat.

The limited space made it a struggle to fit everything in and I prefer more vegetables in the roasting pan (I usually put regular and sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips and fennel).

Using the residual juices, bones and any veggies can yield a decent amount of bone broth.
The adventures continue, so keep your eyes peeled. There are still many experiments ahead…


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