Category: chicken (page 1 of 2)

Is It Possible To Cook Rotisserie-Style Chicken In A Crock-Pot? My Take + Good Gravy

I have a confession:

I used to think Crock-Pot recipes were kind of annoying. It seemed like I kept encountering Crock-Pot recipes everywhere, for every time of food imaginable such as Crock-Pot mashed potatoes to Crock-Pot spaghetti. I couldn’t help but question, “Just because you can cook it a crock pot, does mean you should?”

The answer I’ve arrived at is a “We can crock pot that!” attitude in the spirit of Portlandia’s We can pickle that! bit.

I love my big Crock-Pot, so much so, that it’s earned a mostly permanent spot on my kitchen counter. Before college, my mom gave me a small Crock-Pot that lives in my cupboard. I use it less frequently, but find it handy for keeping food warm and making small batches of stew.

Crock Pot Selfies wm

When my friend Kristen of Make the Best of Everything posted her recipe for Crock-Pot Rotisserie Chicken, I had to give it a try. I had just bought locally-raised chickens from my friends at Twisted River Farm and her timing could’t be more perfect.

I simply rubbed a small chicken with butter and a seasoning mix before placing it on foil balls. Then, I cooked it on low until the meat was tender and the skin rendered.

rotisserie Chicken twisted river wm

The chicken had a texture and moistness very similar to a store-bought rotisserie chicken. The skin wasn’t crispy, but I was pleasantly surprised by how far it had rendered down to a paper-thin layer. Then, I added the chicken’s drippings into my rice’s cooking liquid.

More recently, I tried a different spin on Crock-Pot Rotisserie chicken. This time, I bought a pair of chickens from my friend Shannon who raised them at her pumpkin patch Enchanted Acres. I’ll always remember the excitement I felt upon holding a baby chick for the first time when we visited her days after she brought the chicks home from Hoover’s Hatchery in nearby Rudd.

chicken Collage
I followed the The Country Cook‘s advice and stuffed the bird with aromatics. I used fresh lemon, onion, fresh garlic and parsley.

To add flavor to the juices and elevate the bird from the bottom of the pot, I nested it on a bed of vegetables I found in my fridge such as sweet potatoes, carrots celery and onion. With the Crock-Pot set to low, I roasted the bird for about six hours until it began to fall apart.

With this particular chicken, my skin wasn’t as throughly rendered as the first. This may be due to the facts that the chicken had more fat or cooking it on a bed of veggies instead of tin foil created more liquid and steam. I followed Brandie’s advice to simply broil the chicken before serving. The juices that formed in the bottom of my Crock-Pot made a beautiful gravy; one of the most umami-filled gravies I’ve ever tasted.

FInished Chicken wm

Cooking a rotisserie-style chicken in a Crock-Pot is not necessarily the fastest way to cook a chicken, nor will it produce results exactly like your grocery store’s, but the method is stress-free and close enough to a real thing that it’s become one of my new favorite recipes.

Jeni’s Take On Cooking A Rotisserie-Style Chicken In A Crock-Pot

Ingredients:
Vegetables, roughly chopped. Enough to cover the bottom of your Crock -Pot: I used sweet potatoes, carrots, onions & celery
1 whole chicken
Olive oil or butter
Parsley sprigs, a handful
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 head of garlic, sliced in half, or a handful of crushed garlic cloves (skin-on is OK)
Your favorite seasonings: I used a combination of Lawry’s seasoning salt, thyme, rosemary, smoked paprika and sumac.

Gravy:
Chicken fat
Flour
Chicken stock
Salt
Pepper, white & black
Garlic or garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Layer the bottom of your Crock-Pot with chopped vegetables.
  2. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.
  3. Season the inside of the chicken with salt & pepper, and stuff with garlic, lemon slices and more onion.
  4. Rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil or butter and your favorite herbs and spices.
  5. Cover and cook on low until the meat is tender. This could take anywhere between five and seven hours, depending on the size of your chicken.
  6. For more rendered skin, put the bird on a pan and broil until it’s as golden as you like.
  7. To make the gravy, pour the juices and vegetables into a strainer placed over a container. Press the vegetables gently to gather all of the broth.
  8. As the juices cool, the fat will rise to the top. Strain about 1/3 cup of the fat into a pan and heat.
  9. Whisk flour into the hot fat, until it resembles the texture of wet sand. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. Cook long enough to eliminate the raw flour quality, but not enough to brown.
  10. Whisk in the broth, a little at a time. The flour-fat roux will thicken the broth. You can always add more liquid.
  11. Season the gravy with salt, pepper and a little garlic. Drizzle over the chicken.

Koreanish: What Happened On Halloween & Ketchup On My Chicken Wings

“Oh dear God.”

These were the words I uttered after the first round of trick-or-treaters left our doorstep.

One of the people in this party was dressed-up like an Asian. I handed his children candy while my jaw hung wide open, for I couldn’t stop staring at his conical Asian hat. Yeah. You know which type of hat I’m talking about. He wouldn’t make eye contact with me and I’m guessing he didn’t expect a real Asian to answer the door.

Only two more rounds of trick-or-treaters arrived, and, believe it or not, not a single child was dressed like Elsa. One little zombie in the last group asked me how many pieces of candy they each could take, and I replied “two.” One girl grabbed all six of my remaining Kit Kats and stared at me as she slowly transferred them to her trick or treat bag. The other kids decided to do the same and went in for the big grab.

“Woah, let’s each take two,” I reminded them. They wrinkled their noses. “Well, if you wanted us to only take two, why didn’t you say so in the first place?” the bold one asked.

I did.”

They frowned and begrudgingly took their two pieces while I bit my tongue desperately wanting to ask, “And where the hell are your parents?”

As the kids ran into the minivan parked at the edge of my driveway, I declared trick-or-treating at our house officially over and turned off the front light. I had better things to do, like watch Roald Dahl’s The Witches and sip fancy gin. Eight o’clock quickly turned into Far North Solveig gin O’Clock.

We ate leftover chicken wings for dinner. The evening before, I had found a simple recipe for baked wings in my old, spiral bound Korean Cooking book published by the Korean Institute of Minnesota my parents bought during my years at Korean Culture Camp. The recipe contains ketchup, so it’s rather Koreanish.

Kind of like me.

Chicken Wing Collage

I pondered all of this as I sipped my gin.

I was adopted by a Midwestern family with Scandinavian roots and grew-up in a community in which few people looked like me. Now that I live in a community where I also encounter few Asians, I think about my Asianess a lot. My Asianess used to be a source of embarrassment, but I become more and more intrigued with it as I grow in age and confidence. I love how Lefse tastes as much like home to me as pork bulgogi. I’m used to looks of surprise when I boast about my Swedish meatballs and I crave the stern, Korean grandmothering I receive while dining at Dong Yang.

For now and for me, Koreanish can be Korean enough.

By the way, I’m saving these fortune cookies for the next folks who trick-or-treat at our house in 2016 dressed-up like Asian people. 

Drawer Watermarked

Koreanish Wings
Adapted from the Korean Cooking book published by the Korean Institute of Minnesota, circa 1983. Chili sauce or gochujang could be substituted for ketchup or added to the sauce. 

Ingredients:
12 wings & drummies
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Dash of garlic powder or fresh minced garlic
Fresh grated ginger
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, ketchup and rice wine vinegar.
  2. Place chicken wings in a marinating-safe container or bag and add the marinade. Toss the wings so they are evenly coated. Allow to sit overnight or as many hours as possible. I marinated my wings for five hours.
  3. Place wings in pan and bake at 350℉. Baste the wings with the sauce every once in a while.
  4. If the sauce starts to burn on the bottom of the pan, remove the wings and continue baking them on a different pan. You can also baste them with a light coat of butter.
  5. For extra caramelized wings, broil until the skin is as crispy as you’d like.

Comfort Food After the Storms: That Swiss Chicken Casserole My Mom Made

Four evenings of storms passed and our refrigerator remained running for three, so I’m cooking again.

The tornado warnings occurred on Monday, followed by severe thunderstorm watches and flash flood warnings. Many farms, parks, homes and campgrounds in North Iowa are experiencing flooding. Our block is located near a creek and we’re thankful it’s remained dry this week.

I wanted the first meal I prepared after our post-storm fridge dump to be simple and comforting. For whatever reason, a casserole my mom used to make popped into my head. It combined chicken breasts, swiss cheese, white wine, and stuffing.

It turns out that this dish is called “Swiss Chicken” or the vague and partially misleading “Chicken with white wine sauce.”

Swiss Chicken casserole is not gourmet. It won’t win any beauty pageants and contains condensed cream of [pick your poison] soup, but it made me happy and it tasted like my mom’s. Comfort food after the storms.

Swiss Chicken
There are a million recipes for this dish and they are nearly identical. I worked from The Girl Who Ate Everything’s post.

Swiss Chicken

Ingredients:
4-6 chicken breasts (or enough to fit into a large baking dish).
1 slice of swiss cheese per chicken breast
1 can of cream of chicken/mushroom/celery soup
1 cup milk
1/4 cup white wine
Black pepper
1 box of stuffing
Melted butter, enough to lightly drizzle over the stuffing

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350℉.
  2. If you are using smaller chicken breasts, pound the thicker part so it’s more uniform in size. If you are using large chicken breasts, slice them in half so you have two thinner halves of equal size.
  3. In a lightly oiled baking dish, line-up the chicken breasts in a single layer.
  4. Top each piece of chicken with swiss cheese.
  5. Combine the soup, milk and wine. Sprinkle in some black pepper.
  6. Pour soup mixture over the chicken.
  7. Sprinkle the stuffing on top and drizzle with melted butter.
  8. Cover and bake for 40-minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the stuffing is golden brown. You will need to adjust the length of time depending on how thick your chicken breasts are.

Reader Request: How to Make Chicken Salad

A while ago a reader asked me to write about how to make a fantastic chicken salad. I just made a batch and it was so delicious that I wanted to share my recipe and seek your suggestions.

When I’m at work, I love visiting Taste by Unc’s Cheesecake, the cafe and bakery behind the alley from our office. They have the best lunch specials and one of my favorites is their Contessa turkey salad panini. The turkey looks and tastes like it was cooked in-house, meaning it’s not chopped-up lunchmeat. The salad is creamy but not overdressed and cranberry sauce adds a pleasant sweetness. This Contessa turkey salad was on my mind as I prepared my chicken salad.

As far as your chicken salad goes, you can use dark or light meat chicken and cook it however you’d like. If you are really crunched for time, buy a rotisserie chicken. I prefer dark meat, so I cooked two bone-in, skin-on thighs in simmering water seasoned with black pepper, parsley stems, lemon slices and onion. I simmered the chicken until it was cooked through and the juices ran clear. This took about 20-minutes. If I had a whole chicken, I would use the same method to keep the meat moist.

Serve the salad on sandwiches or on a bed of fresh salad greens with your favorite chopped vegetables. These are the typical elements I add to chicken or tuna salads:

  • Something crunchy: Add nearly any vegetable available in your kitchen. I’ve used diced bell pepper, celery, radish, carrot, pea pods and blanched green beans. You could also add chopped nuts or sunflower seeds.
  • A little something sweet: I like adding a handful of currants or craisins to my salad. You could also use fresh fruit like halved grapes or apple. Toss them in at the last minute so they don’t get mushy or make the salad too liquidy.
  • Spices: I add black pepper, salt, garlic powder and white pepper. Sometimes I’m in the mood for curry powder.
  • Onion: A little onion adds savoriness to the salad. You don’t want to get carried away, though. For a mild onion flavor, try adding some grated onion with the juices, thinly sliced green onion, or chives for the mildest flavor
  • Herbs: Use what you have. Tarragon, parsley, and chives would be great additions. If the herb is more fragrant like rosemary or thyme, add more sparingly.
  • Tartness: A tart element like a spritz of fresh lemon juice, drizzle of vinegar, and/or a squirt of mustard will balance the creamy salad and add more complexity.
  • Creamy: I like creamy chicken salad that’s dressed enough to hold the ingredients together. I really like the combination of mayonnaise and greek yogurt.

My Chicken Salad for Two

DSC_0074

Ingredients:
2 chicken thighs
3 slices of lemon
1/2 onion cut into a few pieces
Black pepper
Handful of parsley stems
Salt

2 small radishes, finely diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Dried currants, a handful
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Mayonnaise, a couple dollops
Greek yogurt, a couple dollops
Fresh lemon juice, a spritz
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
White pepper, a dash

Instructions

  1. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a simmer. Add lemon, parsley, onion and black pepper. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, tender, and its juices run clear. This should take about 20-minutes.
  2. Allow the chicken to cool. Remove the skin and pull the meat from the bones. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Add diced radish, onion, and currants.
  4. Add mustard and just enough mayonnaise and yogurt to hold the chicken salad together.
  5. Season with a spritz of lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder and white pepper to taste.
  6. Serve on a sandwich or on a bed of fresh salad greens. I added sliced cucumber and halved cherry tomato halves.

How do you make your favorite chicken salad? Thanks to everyone who shared their tips on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

What Is This “Man-Pleasing Chicken”?

I can hardly even say the name of this dish without gagging because it’s just. . . so. . . .awful!

“Man-Pleasing Chicken” is a Pinterest superstar. People who prepare and write about it don’t just like it, they LOVE it and speak of it in hyperboles. I took note of the dish, but mostly ignored it until a few friends recommended it as one of those Pinterest recipes that isn’t just pretty, but actually works.

I did some quick internet research and found the blog Witty in the City published the most-pinned post which is an adaptation of the recipe from the I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook. She describes this chicken as So Good it Can’t Be Described, Explosion on Your Taste Buds Chicken.” 

Holy crap, what?

On Monday after we had just returned from the Twin Cities, I wanted to prepare something simple yet homey, so I gave Man-Pleasing Chicken a try, adding my own touches. Blogger Trial in Food attempted the dish twice and recommends bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. After trying the recipe with bone-in, I think boneless would work just fine.

I thought the original sauce tasted overly sweet and one-dimensional, so I added freshly grated garlic, soy sauce, lots of black pepper, and a couple pinches of smoked paprika. Perfect. Then, I served the chicken with bok choy and steamed rice and french bread to soak up the sweet and savory mustard sauce.

Here’s my take on Man-Pleasing Chicken.

Jeni & Jake-Pleasing Chicken
For crisper skin, you could try searing the chicken before placing it in the baking dish or broiling the chicken after baking. I only broiled for a few minutes before I suddenly realized that I wasn’t sure if you can broil in glass pans. You may have to adjust the cooking temperature and cooking time depending on your oven and baking dish. 

DSC_0072

Ingredients:
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic, grated
3 tablespoons of soy sauce, or to taste
Black pepper
Smoked paprika, two pinches

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450℉.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, syrup, vinegar and garlic.
  3. Add about three tablespoons of soy sauce, or enough to balance out the sweet maple syrup.
  4. Season with black pepper and a couple pinches (or more) or smoked paprika. Don’t be afraid to taste the sauce.
  5. Place the chicken thighs in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the chicken and flip the thighs around so they are evenly coated. Make sure they are facing skin-side up while baking.
  6. Bake for 20-minutes and baste with the sauce.
  7. Bake for another 20-minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. If you have a thermometer, look for an internal temperature of 165℉. I cut into a thigh to make sure it was cooked and the juices ran clear.
  8. If you want the chicken to be browner, broil on high until the skin is crisp and bubbly.
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