Monday, March 17, 2014

sunday best: one whole chicken!

SB 3_16

this may come as a surprise to you, but i've never cooked a whole chicken. and it's been sort of one of those benchmarks of really knowing how to cook. like, i couldn't call myself a proper cook, until i knew how to cook a whole chicken, you know? this recipe has been in an email in my inbox for awhile now (my collection site for recipes i want to make), and finally this weekend i decided to give it a try. i wish i could remember where i first came across it. probably another blog?

anyways, the whole chicken saga:

let me first just say that i am such a wuss about the whole chicken, and i would probably starve if i had to live off the land with my own bare hands. no matter how much my loverboy fantasizes about homesteading...i came to the conclusion, while staring down the gullet of this chicken, that it is not the life for me.

i admit to a modicum of squeamishness and a smidgeon of embarrassment as i screeched for loverboy to come pull out the bristly, alien looking body parts stuffed into its cavity (which he did, thanks loverboy!). and then the recipe called for me to rub the inside with spices? this was the part i had been dreading, which is why it's taken me until the age of 31 to cook a whole chicken. the vegetarian in me was dry heaving. seriously, there is nothing grosser to me than dead, raw, whole animals. except dead, raw, plucked, beheaded animals. i bet you're really hungry now, huh?

sundays are supposed to be a day of rest, and yet, there is this phenomenon of the sunday whirlwind at our house, nearly every sunday. i don't know. either someone is upchucking all over the place or we are trying to work around painted cabinet doors that have yet to be reunited with their cabinets, while fevers run high and to-do lists run long. and sometimes, when you've woken up late, the chicken didn't get started until lunch time, which means you've also got to make lunch, boil bottles, clean out the humidifier and unload/load the dishwasher.

amidst this serene domestic backdrop, the whole two feet of counter space i possess is groaning, and i'm thinking, do i really want to reach my hand down this chicken? i mean, i need at least a foot of demarcation between this unsanitary chicken and...everything else, so maybe this was all a mistake and the chicken should just hang out in the fridge for another day or so.

but then i shut my eyes, grabbed a fistful of spice and rammed my hand in.

six hours later, we had the juiciest, tenderest chicken i have ever made. which just goes to show: crock pots are magic.

and maybe chicken should be cooked whole. and eaten with asparagus. and possibly, a spinach rice casserole.

that is all.

unless you want the recipe:

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken
via kitchen simplicity

1 whole chicken
1 onion, sliced

Spice Rub
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsps paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder (original recipe called for 1 tsp dried onion, which you could do if you happen to have that, or fresh, minced onion, obviously, would work too;)
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground pepper

Rinse chicken under cold water; pat dry. Mix together all ingredients for spice rub. Rub the spices on the outside and inside of the chicken. Place in the slow cooker. Stuff cavity with sliced onion. Cook on low 5-7 hours, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to serving platter and let rest for 15 minutes, before serving.

*edit: here is the spinach rice casserole recipe, that somehow disappeared between my typing it in and publishing the post. i'm pretty sure i originally found this via a friend's blog, but i can't say for sure...anyhow, here it is:

Spinach Rice Casserole
adapted from Tammy's Recipes

9 or 10 ounces fresh spinach leaves
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp onion powder
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt

Place spinach and water in a large pan or skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until spinach leaves wilt. In a large mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients. Add the wilted spinach and stir. Pour into a greased 8x8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until set in the middle.


  1. Congratulations! Whole chickens can definitely be tricky. I've actually been wanting to try one in the slow cooker, so thanks for the recipe. I've never had spinach rice casserole, but it sounds delicious. What recipe do you use? Thanks!

  2. Leah,

    Oops! I thought I put in the spinach rice casserole, so thanks for catching that. I've added it. Hope you like it! (It's sooo easy!)