Slow Cooker Odyssey: The Chicken

December 2, 2016

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  • I’m giggling like a school girl with a crush on the captain of culinary arts.

  • I have a testimonial! This is super delicious even if you forget to make the pan sauce. And the garlic.

    If you’ve got an hour or two at the end of the day, roasting a chicken –proper Ina Garten “For Jeffrey” style– is still the way to go, but if you want to walk in the door and have a plateful of dinner ready to go on arrival, this is genius. Super juicy and the potatoes are so chickeny it takes me back to the shtetl. (Disclaimer: I have a lot of things in my family history but probably not a shtetl.)

    • Well said, Kay. Barefoot Contessa. Also, I am a sucker for the Lee Bros. recipe for roast chicken in a cast-iron skillet, on page 193 of “Simple Fresh Southern.” But if need to walk into the house and find dinner ready, slow cooker for the win!

  • As someone who is “domestically disabled,” this kind of recipe is right up my alley! More assembly than cooking. I’d leave that last saucepan bit (and maybe the broiler too) to my gourmand spouse, but this I could do – fooling myself and everyone else that I’m actually contributing something besides scintillating conversation. 😉

  • What is red-colored spice mix?

    • Carrington’s version used a mix of chipotle chili and paprika. When I roasted mine, I used sweet paprika only as I didn’t want to spice it up too much. If you’re going to do the broiling step, I don’t think you need to do the reddish brown spices.

    • I raided the spice cabinet for something red and found a packet of paella spice which I mixed with some Mexican Tajin (lemon, salt, chile mix), under the ‘whatever’ approach to red-colored spice mix. Fingers crossed!

      • Hurray, this is totally in the Slow Cooker Odyssey spirit of Or Whatever! Keep us posted. Can’t wait to hear. Bon Appetit!

  • OK now you’ve made me hungry. My only worry is that I will pick the wrong red rub and screw it up.

    • Kay is right: You can leave the red spice off if you broil. But sometimes people are using a slow cooker in the first place because there’s no oven/broiler available, in which case, a spice rub can add a little cheerful color to the skin.

  • This sauce should work with pork too. Wish this was posted yesterday , it would have made the leftover pork I’m eating for my paleo breakfast more exciting.

    • Absolutely. We do a similar pan sauce with pork tenderloin, using scrapings from the cast-iron skillet. (I’ve learned to conceal the jar of fruit preserves in the process, because my kids think it’s weird for breakfast jelly to go into dinner meat. They don’t know the half of it….)

  • I’m not a writer but quiet time in forest setting with like minded people, books, knitting, good food and wine is all very appealing.

    • Rivendell Writers Colony, on a bluff about 1.5 hours from Nashville, is my happy place. Even the website makes me feel peaceful. Check out

  • I’m grabbing my favorite handknit wraps & heading to our local butcher for a chicken worthy of our dinner tonight!

  • Sounds delish.. And I gotta try this – But no liquid is added to the chicken for cooking?

    • Correct. There is no liquid added. You will be astonished by the amount of liquid produced for you to make the sauce. Also, it’s helpful to put lots of potatoes etc. in the bottom, to lift the bird out of the liquid.

  • I read this early today, but didn’t have time to comment until now. What a treat! Graceful, witty writing and a fabulous recipe! Perfect start to my day. Thanks.

  • I have two slow-cooker-size chickens in the freezer, which had been awaiting an uncertain fate. One that almost certainly involved something way more elaborate than I actually have time for these days. Now, their path is clear!

    I don’t know why it never occurred to me to slow-cooker ’em, but I think I have been in thrall to a serious category error and was imagining that a slow-cooker-ed chicken would be akin to a boiled one. Now that I actually think about it, I have no way to justify this assumption.

    Can’t wait for the next stop on the Odyssey. Thank you so much, especially for O-scale potatoes.

  • Love the slow cooker meals and this sounds delicious. When I do a chicken I take a few minutes and toss it first into a frying pan on high, turning it all around quickly-this browns the skin up front.

  • Everything about this post makes me happy – can’t wait to dust off my slow cooker!

  • I loved “needling out narrative knots.” Graceful, witty writing indeed!

  • As much as I love to cook, this will be wonderful to come home to. Thanks, Carrington