Crock-Pots are designed to make one-dish meals that reduce cleanup and time in the kitchen. You can even thaw, steam, and brown a whole frozen chicken in one of these babies. Modern digital slow cookers are often programmable to multiple time and temperature settings. Meals can go directly from the freezer to the Crock-Pot in the morning and be ready to eat by that evening. So convenient!
Things You'll Need
Preheat Crock-Pot to the high heat setting, or 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lower a whole frozen chicken into the preheated pot.
For every pound of chicken, add 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables such as carrots, onions, and mushrooms. Three-and-a-half cups vegetables is plenty for a 3 1/2–pound chicken.
Add 1 to 2 cups water, beer, or wine to raise the moisture level and conduct heat to the chicken faster. Use less liquid if the vegetables are moist, like zucchini, tomatoes, or cabbage; use more if they’re dry, fibrous root vegetables. Too much moisture boils the chicken and results in a mushy bird.
Generously season the top of the chicken and vegetables with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and spices.
Reduce heat to low, or approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and cover the pot with the lid when the liquids begin to bubble. This may take as long as an hour if you have a smaller cooker or a large frozen chicken.
Lift the lid after 6 to 8 hours of simmering and remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon.
Turn the heat back up to high, add butter or oil, and let the chicken cook for another 30 minutes to 1 hour with the lid off. The high heat concentrates the residual liquids and crisps the chicken skin.
Serve the chicken right out of the pot or move it to a cutting board for carving. Use the slotted spoon to support the weight of the chicken from underneath as you lift and transfer it to the board.
- You can set a programmable Crock-Pot to automatically shift to lower temperatures after the initial hour of high heat.
- Seal lids that constantly leak steam by covering the rim of the pot with a piece of plastic wrap before lowering the lid.