Foodie Googlie

Custom Search

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

All Hail the Slow Cooker

Put your hand up if you'd like to spend less time cooking at dinner time and still have a nosh-up feast? I seem to recall shooting my own hand in the air in response to this question (paraphrased anyway - with nods to Morgue and Giffy :) )

So when the opportunity arose to get a Slow Cooker we took it. I have heard from lots of people how much they love theirs, but I have to admit I've been a bit dubious about the ability of a single 5.5litre pot and element to replace all the skill and technique of a good cook. I have decided that that, however, is missing the point. The Slow Cooker is a tool, and you make of it what you will. But aside from questions of time and technique, the cooking test had to be done. Never one to bow from a challenge, I dove in feet first, offering up a whole chicken to the Cooker. I did a bit of research to get an idea of cooking times and suchlike, then had everything ready and cooking by 10am. Eight hours later, I pulled out the chicken, and had to go back in four or five times to get it all, because it was absolutely disintegrating. I slung the meat and veges under the grill for 10 minutes while I did some fresh veges to go with it, and dinner was served.

Slow-Cooked Paprika Chicken

Take one whole size 14 Chicken. Pat dry with paper towels, then prep with freshly ground salt and pepper, a few good lugs of olive oil, a few grated cloves of garlic, and about 3T of paprika. Toss it all about in a bowl to coat throughly. Place a few crushed cloves of garlic in the cavity. Quarter an onion and place it on the bottom of the Slow-Cooker Dish, then position the chicken on top of it, with the breasts facing up. Turn the Slow Cooker on High for 2 hours.

Prep some roast veges: 1 Onion, 2 Kumera, 6 Potatoes, and about a 1/4 of a Pumpkin. Prep these with feshly ground salt and pepper and a few finely chopped cloves of garlic (great stuff for warding off those winter bugs, thats why I use so much of it!). Place on top of the Chicken and turn the Cooker down to Low for a further six hours.

After 8 hours, remove the Chicken and Veges to an oven tray and place under a hot grill to brown lightly.

Serve with fresh steamed veges. I had some trouble making gravy with the chicken liquid, so I won't pretend to advise on that just here. Maybe after a bit more practice I can provide a recipe for Slow Cooker gravy.

As usual, I used the Chicken bones, vege scraps and the liquid to make a stock, and kept a few extra roast veges as a soup base. Yesterday, we did Lamb Chops in the Slow Cooker, and they were great. Will post that shortly.

1 comment:

Giffy said...

Go the Slow Cooker! I'm made whole chicken a couple of times before, I think I do a whole 8 hours on low with the potatoes etc underneath the chicken.

One time I was in a rush and put just an apple in the cavity. Smelled divine.

I hadn't thought of grilling to give it some colour. I expect I'm too lazy for that nonsense ;)