Slow cooker chicken

This whole chicken was cooked in the slow cooker and just feel apart once cooked.
This whole chicken was cooked in the slow cooker and just feel apart once cooked.

One of my favourite Sunday dinners is roast chicken. I know that everyone has their favourite Sunday roast. Being British, it’s one of the many things that I look forward to on a Sunday. There is something comforting about a home cooked roast dinner. The smells from the kitchen as the dinner cooks reminds me of home and happy childhood memories. Sundays in my family were about spending time together and preparing for the week ahead. 

Over the years some things have had to change when it comes to my version of a Sunday roast. For a short while the Yorkshire puddings had to disappear from my plate when we had roast beef and so did the gravy. Over the years I have managed to introduce them back with the aid of some great gluten free products such as gravy and dare I say it, frozen gluten free Yorkshire puddings. I make all elements of my roast from scratch, but when visiting friends they don’t want to get anything wrong and have often resorted to the pre-packed alternatives. It is great that they want me to feel included. I look forward to the day that restaurants who serve carvery options and Sunday roasts have gluten free Yorkshire puddings and gravy on their menus!

Roast chicken was once considered a luxury meat to have on a Sunday, but today it is seen as a more affordable Sunday roast option compared to beef and pork. I am a huge lover of chicken and often prefer it to ‘brown’ meats. I like the taste of chicken and you can add flavour to it, in so many different ways.

Being addicted to food programmes my mind goes into over drive about how to change recipes that I have seen that either suit a gluten free diet or even my tastes. I’m sure I can’t be the only one, but I dream up recipes and often I am kept awake with ideas. I have now resorted to having a notepad and pen by my bed so that I can write ideas down and then hopefully get a peaceful nights sleep.

One Saturday night just before drifting off to sleep my mind started to mull over ideas on different ways of cooking the chicken that was sitting in my kitchen defrosting. I wanted to do something a little different and instead of roasting the chicken I decided I wanted to cook it in my slow cooker. Having done chicken in there before, I knew that it would be tender once cooked. Having never braved putting the whole chicken in before I had to hope that it would fit and also that it would cook.

With the recipe written down I managed to get a good nights sleep. I was pleased with the results and would encourage anyone who has a slow cooker to try this. I will warn you that if you are not the biggest fan of bones that the chicken is so tender that it literally will fall off the bone as you take it out. If you can get over that then all your efforts will be worth it.

As the chicken cookes it produces more liquid in the slow cooker. I would suggest that about half way through the cooking you check the amount of liquid that is in the slow cooker. I had to ladle out about 1/2 pint.

Any chicken that you have left over use it in salads of stir frys over the next couple of days.

This recipe would serve a family of 4-5 people. Cooking time is 7 hours.

Whole chicken – 2kg
2 large white onions, peeled and cut into quarters
1 pint of stock – I used 1/2 chicken and 1/2 vegetable stock. You can use homemade or gluten free stock cubes.
10 whole peppercorns
1 tsp – basil
1 tsp – oregano
1 tsp – rosemary
2 tsp – paprika
3 bay leaves

1. Make sure your chicken is clean and has all the giblets removed. Stuff inside the chicken one of the onions that has been quartered. Put the other onion at the bottom of the slow cooker pot and then put the stuffed chicken in the pot.
2. In a 1 pint jug put the stock cubes and all the herbs and spices in (basil, oregano, rosemary, peppercorns, paprika and bay leaves) and pour over 1pt of boiling water and mix until dissolved. If you are using your own homemade stock, warm it up and then add the herbs and spices and mix.
3. Pour the boiling hot stock with the herbs and spices in over the chicken and turn on the slow cooker. Put it on high for 3 hours and then turn down to low for 4 hours. Check that the chicken is cooked before serving. Using a knife make a small cut and any juices that escape should run clear when you check the breast and the leg. Or use a meat thermometer.

You will have to check the amount of liquid that is produced. If you think there is too much then ladle some out. Either keep it to make a gravy with or dispose of it. Remember that you can use all of the cooking liquid as a gravy once the chicken is cooked. Strain any fat and onion from the liquid and put into a sauce pan and thicken with a little corn flour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve this slow cooker chicken with steamed seasoned vegetables and roast or mash potato.

Happy gluten free cooking 🙂

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