Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rosemary Lemon Crock Pot Chicken

So it was just Easter weekend, my mother-in-law was visiting and my oven decided to go caput.  Can you even imagine?  I mean, a blogger with no oven?  I am going through serious withdrawal (it's still not fixed as of right now).  But that wasn't even the worst part.  How was I suppose to cook Easter dinner??

We thought about grilling something, anything, but our Easter dinner typically consists of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies (very similar to Thanksgiving because I don't eat ham).  Then, it hit Crock Pot!  And thank goodness for Pinterest because I had already pinned a couple of roast chicken Crock Pot recipes.  After glancing over them to check times and heat temperatures, I came up with this rosemary lemon chicken.  

Lemons, inside and out, plus a rosemary, garlic and zesty salt blend rub make this chicken absolutely incredible.  Not only does the chicken become so tender that it just falls apart, but there is enough juice leftover to make gravy.  The breast completely separated from the legs and wings as I was lifting it out of the Crock Pot, which was perfect because it was less carving we had to do.  I am hooked on roasting chicken in the Crock Pot!

 Serves 6

Rosemary Lemon Crock Pot Chicken

1 (4-5 pound) roasting chicken
3 lemons
2 tablespoons dried chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon salt-free zesty seasoning blend (like Mrs. Dash)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil 

For the gravy
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
chicken drippings from bottom of Crock Pot
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth, or more as needed

In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, garlic, salt blend, then add olive oil to make a paste (start with 1 tablespoon and add more as needed).  Set aside.  Spray the inside of the Crock Pot with non-stick cooking spray and turn heat to high.  Cut a tiny bit off of the end of 2 lemons (so you have a flatter surface - you'll be setting the chicken on top of these so they need to be sturdy and not rolling around) and slice in half.  Set the 4 pieces on the bottom of the Crock Pot, with the insides of the lemons facing up.  

Remove the chicken giblets.  Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry.  Rub the rosemary garlic paste all of the chicken, including the inside.  Cut the remaining lemon into quarters and stuff inside chicken.  

Set the chicken on top of the lemon halves and cover with Crock Pot lid.  Cook on high for 3 1/2 - 4 hours or until the pop up timer pops up.  Remove chicken, set on cutting board and cover with foil for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the gravy.      

To make the gravy:  in a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until melted.  Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute to make a roux.  Place a mesh strainer over the saucepan and start ladling the chicken drippings from the bottom of the Crock Pot through the strainer.  Whisk occasionally to combine the flour mixture with the drippings.  It will start to thicken, then slowly add in the chicken broth, whisking the whole time.  Cook until thickened and bubbly, add more chicken broth to thin out if needed.  Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

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