Whenever there's a day I know I'll be bending over laying out row cover or pulling up plastic for hours, it's incredibly comforting to have dinner all ready to go at home in the slow cooker. My usual jam is pot roast, but the other day the Internet told me to pop a whole chicken in there. Oh, Internet. Never leave me.
The original technique calls for a packet of onion soup mix, but why not just inject salt straight into your neck? Fortunately the Internet giveth more than she taketh away, and homemade onion soup mix recipes abound. I went with this guy.
The resulting bird is extremely moist and tender. All you need to do is whip the drippings up into a quick gravy, make some rice if you like, and dinner is served. Then you can strip the leftovers off the carcass and make jambalaya later in the week. Oh yeah!
1/4 cup dry onion flakes
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
3-4 lb whole chicken, thoroughly rinsed and patted dry
1 lemon, halved
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp flour
Mix together the onion flakes, salt, thyme, paprika, mustard, garlic powder, and black pepper. Season the inside of your bird with a generous sprinkle of the mixture, then coat the whole outside with the rest of it. Insert the lemon halves into the cavity.
Toss your carrots, onion, celery, garlic and bay leaf into the bottom of the slow cooker. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. No need to add any liquid. Lay the chicken on top of the veggies and drizzle it with a little olive oil. Season with a little more kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, pop on the lid, and cook on low for about 6 hours.
Carefully remove the bird (it'll fall apart) and your veggies to a platter, covering with foil to keep warm. Spoon off the fat from the liquid left in the slow cooker (I use a gravy separator, yes it's a unitasker but a really good one) and pour it into a small saucepan. Whisk in about a tablespoon of flour and cook, reducing the gravy to the consistency you like. Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary and make sure the raw flour flavor is cooked out.
Tear your bird into hunks and serve the vegetables and gravy alongside.