August: Potlucks!

August Theme: Potlucks. What do you take with you?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jennifer vs. The Chicken

Okay girls. Indulge me. I have a story to tell...

When I was a freshmen in college, I got this crazy idea to buy a whole chicken because it was so much cheaper than anything else. (Just so you know, this was an abitious decision since all I ever cooked was oatmeal and quesadillas!) I put the poor little guy in a pot on the stove and boiled it. Not only did I burn my hands, I started a grease fire that my roommate had to put out and the chicken was dry and nasty. I swore I would never cook a whole chicken again.

Well, it's been six years. Today at the store, I saw whole chicken again...and again $0.98 per pound was too tempting to resist. So I bought one and brought it home. After searching the internet for tips and recipes, I mustered up my courage and opened the package. Now, I am not a fan of food that still looks like the animal it came from. Whole chickens are still a little too "cute" for my preferences. I comforted myself by saying in my head, "I'm grateful that this chicken gave it's life to feed my family." I also scraped out the "innards" all by myself, another big feat since I'm pregnant and my gross-out meter is off the charts. I even reached under the skin to rub the spices in. Gently I nestled that chicken on a bed of onions and set the crockpot on the front porch (because I hate how all our clothes and towels smell like onion when I use the crockpot in the house).

Three hours later I realized I had forgot to turn the crockpot on. Dang. But only a minor setback. Tonight, after putting Sadie to bed, I brought that pot in and...

SUCCESS!!! Store-bought rotisserie has nothing on this chicken. It is so moist it literally fell apart the moment I poked it. Each bite is culinary bliss! I can only dream up the possibilities...soups, casseroles, sandwiches. Ahh.... and the best part is I have 4 pounds of chicken cooked and ready to be eaten AND amazing homemade chicken stock to boot! Anyone who has wondered about those whole little chickens at the store, now is the time to face your fears, cook and conquer!!!

Whole Chicken--Conquered

4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large roasting chicken (with pop-up timer if possible)
1 cup onion, chopped

In a small bowl, combine the spices. Remove any giblets from chicken and clean chicken. Rub spice mixture onto the chicken. Place in resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight (skip this step if in a hurry). When ready to cook, put chopped onion in bottom of crock pot. Add chicken. Cook on medium/low 4-7 hours, or until chicken is no longer pink.


Katrina said...

Thanks for the story and recipe! Chris loves it when chicken has been boiled and it falls apart, but I have never tried it. It just sounded like too big of a deal for me. Now I just might try it!

Liz said...

I have never tried cooking a whole always sounded too difficult.

Congratulations on your pregnancy. When are you due?

Kirsten, Mike & The Boys said...

You are too funny Jennifer! And I totally agree with you on the whole "not being a fan of food that still looks like the animal it came from" thing. This sounds so yummy though! I just may have to get over it.

Jennifer said...

Good news. After reading this, Tessa tried making a whole chicken and she was successful also! Hurray! I didn't cause anyone too much trauma.

Liz, I'm due Sept. 17 (ugg. another hot summer). We'll be finding out the gender the last week of April. Can't wait!