Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Whole Rotisserie Style BBQ Chicken in the Slow Cooker (plus homemade chicken broth!)

Becca here with a super easy recipe for making a rotisserie style chicken in your slow cooker.  I didn't get a good photo of the chicken before we ate it, but chickens are a bit hard to make attractive looking anyway I think, even if they taste amazing, and I hope you'll try this recipe anyway!!

I love the chickens that you can buy pre-cooked at most grocery stores and warehouse clubs now, but after actually reading the ingredient list on what all the chicken 'marinade' contains, including partially hydrogenated oils, tons of sodium, and several different preservatives, I didn't feel so great about purchasing them anymore.  Whole chickens where I live are rather inexpensive, with their everyday price being just under $1/pound for 'regular' chickens, and just under $1.50/pound for antibiotic free/cage free chickens, my preference.  Don't let the long list of spices in this barbeque style dry rub scare you, it's likely all things that you already have in your spice cabinet, and leaving one or two out or substituting something similiar will still result in a delicious chicken!  I was inspired by the recipe here. With things like this that have several dry ingredients (like my favorite cornbread), I like to prepare several 'mixes' at a time in either reuseable containers or plastic zip top bags, so that when I'm ready to make it again half of the work is already done, and it really takes barely any extra time to measure out the extra meals once you already have everything out.  I actually started my chicken late Saturday night and let it cook on low all night so that it would be ready and waiting for lunch after church on Sunday.   You can't beat the convenience of that!  Don't forget to make a big pot of super yummy homemade chicken stock with the bones & skin too!  You just return those things to the slow cooker after you've removed the 'good' chicken, making this an extra economical recipe.  My method for doing that is here. 

Whole Rotisserie Style BBQ Chicken in the Slow Cooker

1 whole chicken, 4-5 pounds, giblets removed if they're included
1 large onion
2 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons salt (I use Real Salt)
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon mustard powder
1 Tablespoon dried granulated garlic (minced garlic could also be used)
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground red pepper

In a small bowl, combine all spices (everything except for the onion & chicken) and stir well to combine.

Slice the onion horizontally into 4-6 thick slices, keeping the rings together.  You want to line the bottom of your slow cooker with these, so slice accordingly. 

Line the bottom of your slow cooker with the onion slices.  You're making a platform of sorts for the chicken to sit on.

Add the whole chicken, breast side up.  Be sure to remove the giblets first!  The antibiotic/cage free chickens I get at our local store have these in a plastic bag inside of the chicken that's super easy to pull out.  The same type of chicken at Sam's Club is slightly less expensive for me, plus doesn't include the giblets that you're paying for and don't use when cooking a whole chicken, so I get those when possible.

Rub your spice mixture over the top and sides of the chicken.  You want as much of it to stay on the chicken as possible, so just put pour any extra in right on top of, or even inside, the chicken.

Cover the slow cooker, and cook approximately 8 hours on low.  My chicken the last time I made this recipe was five pounds, and I cooked it on low for 12 hours and it was great.  Since you're cooking it with the skin on, and on the onion platform, you can get away with cooking it for a bit longer without it drying out.  I actually like it to be so tender that it pretty much falls apart when you remove it from the slow cooker, since it makes removing the meat from the bone significantly easier. 

Be sure and leave the onions in the slow cooker, as well as returning all of the non-edible parts of the chicken (bones, skin, etc.) to the slow cooker to make a great homemade chicken stock!  The extra seasonings will make it really tasty, and a great base for soups!  I love to cook quinoa in the homemade chicken broth too, it makes it extra tasty.  You can see all the details here.

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