Monday, June 17, 2013

Chicken Week- Day 1- Lemon Pepper Chicken in the Crockpot

Hello and welcome to my second theme week on the blog! We're talking chicken this week. First we're going to cook a whole chicken* and then make a lot of yummy things with the leftovers. How about it?

When you are in grad school, you learn a lot of things... You learn the subject you are studying (chemistry!). You learn that research is a roller coaster ride that can make or break your happiness on a daily basis. You learn how to deal with people, including bosses. You learn how to write papers and theses and scientific documents.

You also learn important things. Like never ever cook bone-in chicken for a significant other if you don't know they like it. My good friends and lab mate had this boyfriend that cooked her bone-in chicken for her birthday one year and it did not go over very well. You see, she just doesn't like eating chicken off of the bone. From then on, I'm also careful to make sure that I understand who I'm cooking for and what they like whenever I invite someone for dinner. I don't want anyone to leave my house grossed out by what I'm serving.

So for everyone except Leigh, here's a delicious recipe for a whole chicken in the crockpot. It is simply seasoned with lemon and pepper. After cooking all day, it literally falls apart when you remove it from the crock. Cook it up, serve it with some roasted potatoes and a spinach salad. Then make sure to pick off the rest of the meat, we'll be using it later this week. Save the bones to make some chicken stock as well.

Lemon Pepper Chicken (adapted from The Little Kitchen)
4-5 lb whole chicken, gizzards removed
1 tsp white pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 lemons-- 1 quartered, 1 zested and halfed
2 carrots
3 celery stalks
3 garlic cloves

Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Stuff the quartered lemon into the cavity of the chicken.

Mix together the white pepper, kosher salt, paprika, onion powder, freshly ground pepper and lemon zest. Rub into the skin of the chicken.

Place the carrots, celery and garlic in the bottom of your crockpot. Place the rubbed chicken on top of the vegetables. Squeeze the juice of the halved lemon over the chicken.

Cook on low for 8-12 hours.

Pull chicken out of crockpot carefully and remove meat from the bones. Make sure to save extra chicken meat for leftovers!

*If you feel even lazier than throwing this whole chicken into the crockpot for the day, pick up a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store.

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