Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Comfort Food: Selena's Crock Pot Rosemary Garlic Chicken

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As a diabetic, it is always a struggle to find recipes that use low starch vegetables. Since I recently got back into the habit of using my crock pot slow cooker, I noticed that the same old potatoes and carrots seems to appear in all my recipes. So I brainstormed other vegetables that I could use and so far have come up with celery, mushrooms, parsnips, turnips, kohlrabi, rutabagas and fennel.

I also decided that, since I cooked a whole turkey in my crock pot for Thanksgiving, it was time to cook a whole chicken. I Google some recipes to get the general gist of how to approach cooking a whole chicken and then improvised using one of my favorite vegetables, fennel root. Unlike the strong licorice taste of raw fennel root, cooked fennel definitely has a milder and sweeter flavor. Cooked at the bottom of the crock in a combination of chicken stock and white wine, it makes a refreshing and tasty departure from the same old carrots and other routine vegetable.

Here is my recipe for crock pot whole chicken. Please try it and let me know what you think.

Selena's Crock Pot Rosemary Garlic Chicken

serves 6

  • 3/4 lbs. fingerling potatoes
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs
  • 1 medium leek
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 whole chicken, giblets removed, washed and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 10 whole cloves garlic

  1. Coat a 5 to 7 quart oval crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Rinse potatoes and place in the bottom of the crock.
  3. Rinse fennel bulbs and trim tips to 2 inches in length. Cut bulb in half and each half into quarters. Place with potatoes at the bottom of the crock.
  4. Slice the leek into rounds and include some of the green top. Rinse rounds well to remove sand and dirt. Place rounds on top of potatoes and fennel bulbs.
  5. Pour chicken stock and white wine (I used white Zinfandel) into the crock pot.
  6. Combine olive oil, dried rosemary, salt, pepper and crushed garlic into a bowl. With a basting brush, coat the inside and outside of the chicken with the mixture. Place the basted bird on top of the vegetables, breast side facing up. Place the fresh rosemary sprigs and whole garlic cloves into the body cavity.
  7. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast and thigh measures 180 degrees.
  8. Remove the chicken from the crock and transfer to a serving platter. Take care as the chicken meat may fall right off the bone. Discard the rosemary sprigs and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before carving. Transfer the potatoes and fennel to serving bowls and serve hot.

TIP: Make a delicious gravy with drippings remaining in the crock pot by combining 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch with 1 cup of the hot liquid. Stir into the remaining drippings in the crock and cook covered on HIGH for 1 hour. Serve over leftover deboned chicken placed on toast with a side of garlic mashed potatoes (see below.)

TIP: Make garlic mashed potatoes using the cooked potatoes and garlic cloves from inside the chicken. Using a potato ricer, mash both the potatoes and garlic in a large bowl. Stir in enough heavy cream or milk and butter to bring the mixture to a creamy consistency.

TIP: Another use for the cooked garlic cloves is to mash them onto slices of crusty French bread as a spread. Yum!

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