How to cook chicken in a crock pot.
Have you been struggling with figuring out how to cook chicken in a crock pot? If you answer yes; you are not alone. If you answer no, maybe you should try, but I cannot promise that you will be 100% successful.
I also have been struggling. Yes, indeed! Did you know that there are over 60 breeds of chicken? I knew there were a few but that not many. The number is surprisingly unbelievable. “Chicken Breeds List” has a good list with photos which you might also want to check by clicking here if you are interested in learning more about the breeds.
As mentioned earlier, 100% successful rate is not easy to accomplish. Cooking chicken in a crock pot is a challenge. The challenge comes from not only the size and type of chicken, but also type and model your small kitchen appliance, your crock pot. All crockpots do not heat up the same way. I own 2 crockpots. One crockpot is from the Crock-pot Manufacturer, “The Original Slow Cooker” and the other from Waring. Both are different sizes.
In several occasions I have had both crock pots working at the same time. The Waring Crock pot which is 6.5 quarts heats up much faster than the Crock Pot brand that is 3 quarts. Interesting, right! You almost want to ask yourself if size matters. I don’t believe size matters. It is a question of brand and how the appliance is manufactured.
The Caribbean Islands and the Crock Pot
In the Caribbean it is not customary to cook dishes in a crock pot. We prefer to slow cook our dishes in regular pots and pans. This way, we have more control of how the food is cooking.
We do love cooking our food over low heat to let all ingredients blend their taste together. Fast cooking is not for us. We may prepare something quickly that does not require much time to cook, but it is not often.
For example, when we make meat and vegetables stew, we cook the meat first. While the meat is cooking, we prepare the vegetables by cleaning, slicing, and chopping. The vegetables are added to the pot when the meat is halfway cooked. All ingredients are slow cooked to perfection.
The pots and pans are different, but that is for another article.
A crock pot is sometime referred to as slow cooker. A writer at Huntington Post clearly defines it: “People tend to use the terms “Crock Pot” and “slow cookers” interchangeably, but they are not, in fact, interchangeable. While all Crock Pots are slow cookers, not all slow cookers are Crock Pots. Crock Pots are to slow cookers as Kleenex are to tissues, or Band-Aids are to bandages. Crock Pot is a brand name.”
In my opinion crock pots were probably introduced to the Caribbean late 70’s or early 1980’s when they were popular in America.
Being alert, why?
Chicken in crock-pot requires anyone to be on the alert. It is necessary because you don’t want your chicken to overcook. Overcooking can sometime be good but the texture of the chicken is different. It might become a bit pasty when chewing.
I cannot advise on the temperature because all crock pots are not the same. You will have to determine whether your chicken needs 2 hours or 4 hours to cook.
Is a crock pot the best small appliance to cook a chicken?
My answer is not really. Sorry to disappoint you. But let me explain. A crock pot in my opinion is not the best small kitchen appliance to cook a whole chicken. If you really want to use a crock pot, you may have even create chicken stock in the process. When cooking, the chicken will release its juice; and if you season it properly with marinades, you will have a flavorful stock.
If you want to cook a chicken using a crock pot make sure you season it properly. By seasoning I mean using a mixture of herbs and spices or even a wet marinade. The reason is because the chicken will be more flavorful.
In the following recipe, you will notice that the chicken is fully coated with a mixture of herbs and spices. There are two reasons: 1) flavor 2) moisture. I find out that when using a wet marinate the chicken is more flavorful than when using only dried spices.
Lastly, you should never cook your chicken in a crock pot with only salt and pepper. There are tons of herbs and spices you can use to make a delicious dish. Use them, you will be disappointed.
- • 1 4 – 5 pounds whole chicken, insides removed, cleaned and washed/patted dry
- • 1 lemon
- • 1/3 cup lemon juice
- • 1/3 cup olive oil
- • 2 tablespoon passion fruit vinegar
- • 6 Garlic cloves
- • 2 -3 fresh bay leaves
- • 2 – 3 rosemary sprigs
- • 2-4 thyme depending on size of branches
- • 4 sprigs of tarragon
- • ½ of a hot pepper preferably habanero
- • Small parley bunch
- • 4 scallions
- • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
- • 1 teaspoon black pepper
- • 1 teaspoon paprika
- • 6 whole cloves
- • 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
- • 3 medium carrot roughly chopped
- Remove the insides of the chicken, cut the lemon in half and rub the halves all over the chicken. Rinse, pat dry and set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, blend the following 15 ingredients (herbs, spices, oil and lemon juice).
- Place carrots and celery in bottom of crockpot. This will act as a stand to prevent the chicken from sticking to the bottom and will also help in creating a chicken stock.
- Rub wet seasoning over your entire chicken (including the inside of the bird). Place on top of carrots and celery. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 - 2½ hours – depending on the temperature of your chicken. Check for doneness before removing from crock pot