Slow Cooker Recipe: Whole Chicken & Vegetables

slow cooker chicken

If there is one thing that I love when I want to prepare a no hassle meal, it is having a slow cooker.  Many people I know just use their slow cooker for making queso or other dips for parties and never realize the full potential of what you can prepare with them.  Slow cookers can cook just about anything from soups, stews and chilis to whole chickens, braised lamb and roast duck.  More often than not, you are able to just throw in your ingredients and let your slow cooker do all the work.  It’s definitely a way to impress your family and/or guests and let them think that you spent hours in the kitchen cooking, when really the only thing that was cooking for hours was your slow cooker.

My go-to meal in my slow cooker is chicken and vegetables.  I use a whole chicken and whatever vegetables I have on hand at the time.  It’s so simple and the chicken is so tender when it’s done it falls right off the bone.

Whole Chicken and Vegetables

Ingredients

2 cups broth or stock (chicken or vegetable)
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 8 oz package of mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika

Directions

1. Add a layer of vegetables to the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. Combine all spices.
3. Rinse the whole chicken and rub with spice mixture.
4. Place chicken in slow cooker on top of the layer of vegetables.
5. Add the remaining vegetables and garlic into the slow cooker.
6. Pour the broth into the slow cooker. As the chicken cooks it will add more liquid as well.
7. Cook on low setting for 5-8 hours.
8. Use a kitchen thermometer to check if chicken is done before serving. (The internal temperature should be 180 degrees in the thickest part.)

What’s your favorite recipe to make in a slow cooker?

Bread Machine Cranberry Wheat Recipe

Cranberry Wheat Bread

I got a bread machine a few weeks ago and have been on a bread-making craze ever since.  With everyone trying to eat healthier these days, it is great because I can control the ingredients that I put in the bread. Now I don’t have to worry about preservatives and I can modify recipes to make them lower carb or higher in fiber, etc.  There is just no end to what you can do and let’s face it, homemade bread just tastes better!

I tend to make several loaves over the weekend, one to start eating off of immediately and the rest I freeze so that I have them on hand as needed and don’t have to worry about running out and having to get store bought bread. The latest, and by far my favorite recipe so far, is a Cranberry Wheat Bread.  I use honey or agave nectar instead of sugar and apple sauce instead of butter.

Bread Machine Cranberry Wheat Bread

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
2 tablespoons apple sauce
2 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients (except cranberries) in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select “Sweet Bread” cycly; press Start.
  2. Add the cranberries about 5 minutes before the kneading cycle has finished.

If you don’t have a bread maker, my favorite would have to be the CBK-200 Cuisinart 2-pound Convection Bread Maker. It has a mix-in option that tells you when it’s time to add in the cranberries (or whatever mix in you want), so you don’t have to guess. Makes it super easy!

Photo credit goes to Kathy.