roamin' catholic: karin rosner

Burnout Crock-Pot Roast Chicken (For Lack of a Better Title)

Posted on: March 23, 2013


It’s now the fifth weekend in the Rosner Girls’ Bachelorette Pad without gas after the fire on the other side of the building. The heat and hot water only come on when the super remembers he has to do some manual button-pushing because the furnace has a gas and computerized ignition.

I had planned on going to my office for an all-day, month-end clean up and filing session, but the writing bug bit me and I spent the morning outlining and researching another project instead, and I figured I’d wash a stack of dishes this afternoon, get this chicken going, maybe get in a nap…

There wasn’t any hot water or heat in my apartment building this morning. I got very cold by noon, so I made this chicken, shut down the MacBook, curled up under the covers and took a long nap.  The heat and hot water are back tonight  and I have a zillion dishes to wash.. by hand… we don’t have a dishwasher in this pre-war flat (think, “Pre-Vietnam War)”.  This recipe is an introduction to using the slow-cooker for anything you can think of, including roasting a small bird. The chicken turned out deliciously A-OK, even if the skin was not crispy. I prepared good ol’ reliable Stove Top Stuffing in the microwave, and nuked a plastic package of sprouts with sauce.

However… I am tired of cooking in Crock-Pot. i am grateful I have one, but the meals I’m eating at home are feeling and tasting a little stew-y monotonous. I almost called this one “Ghetto Crock-Pot Chicken” because it cost half of what the last two weekend slow-cooked feasts costs I got the cheapest chicken I could find at the local un-fancy, non-gourmet urban supermarket lurking under the crisscrossed shadows of the White Plains Road elevated train line.  I’m using processed “stuffing”, frozen vegetables… and I had the onion.  And now… dirty dishes await.

Follow my tip on how to store the leftovers, or shred some of the chicken and immediately make a chicken salad. Cooked birds dry out easily in the fridge.

Burnout Crock-Pot Roast Chicken (Serves 4-6)

1 small whole chicken, about 4 lbs, might be labeled a “Fryer”
1 stick of butter, sliced into bits
1 large yellow or Spanish onion
Poultry Seasoning of your choice

6 quart oval slow-cooker with removable insert
1 mesh strainer
Tongs or lifters to remove the chicken from the crock to cool.
Sharp knife


1. Set up your slow-cooker but don’t plug it in yet.
2. Chop your onions in big chunks and create a layer on the bottom of the crock.
3. Dig inside your chicken, front and back, and remove the giblet pack, neck and whatever else the packer stuck inside. Be thorough!
4. Give your chicken a thorough rinse in cold water (I use a basin filled to the brim for a bath, then rinse it under the tap.). Pat dry, inside and out with paper towels.
5. Rub your chicken all over, inside out out with liberal amounts of whichever poultry seasoning or spice blend you like. (I have not tried this with Jerk seasoning… yet.)
6 . Lay your chicken on top of the onions in the crock.
7. Scatter the butter bits all over the chicken.
8. Put on the lid, plug it in, set for HIGH (Six hours)
9. Your chicken will be perfectly done, moist and falling off the bone, I promise you. Remove it to a platter. You will want to remove the backbone pieces because it is ugly and grayish-black, so just split the chicken apart, and then slice down both sides of the backbone and remove it. Clean out whatever gray matter you find – it’s just bones.
10. Pour the juices in the pot through your sieve, pick out pretty pieces of chicken in the sieve, discard the rest (there will be more black-gray bone in there). It’s a light gravy, and very good.
11. Arrange your chicken pieces on a platter You can split each breast side in to two servings. Pour a little of the gravy over the chicken if you want, because the skin is a little on the flabby side… but perfectly edible. Serve!
12. Store the chicken in the fridge with the gravy covering it to keep it moist.


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