Slow Cooker Winter Roast Chicken
Last Winter I had a parsley plant that was so large it was intimidating to look at, let alone wonder what the heck I was going to do with it all. This year I avoided planting parsley over the Winter period for that reason. I have some small plants going now but they will not be abundant for another couple of months. It’s absence in my kitchen has been noticeable. I have missed parsley this Winter. It is a fresh addition to Winter meals that never seem to feel as fresh as Summer ones. The slower, longer cooking processes subdues the vibrancy of vegetables – in color and texture. I love to look at, smell and taste vibrant fresh food ingredients so garden fresh herbs are a required addition to Winter meals that are otherwise a little “brown”. Do you know that parsley contains a significant amount of Vitamin K in addition to Vitamins A, C ?* It is easy to consider herbs to be simply a garnish to make a dish look appealing, however, the health benefits should not be overlooked or underestimated. It is possible to give your family meal a significant boost by adding fresh herbs.
The flavors in this slow cooker meal are family friendly, simple combinations of lemon, ginger, rosemary and parsley. The ingredients are readily accessible from the Winter kitchen garden. Our lemon tree is currently almost bending with the weight of fruit. I have been negligent and not taken advantage of them in the kitchen this season. Despite this, they will not go to waste. Earlier in the season I preserved some in salt and I will pick, juice, zest and freeze the rest in ice cube trays soon. This allows me access to my own lemon juice across the rest of the year until they are back in season again.
Everything has been on hold here over the past few months, including me tending to the garden or cooking as I work on my book manuscript and two new projects. I am really looking forward to sharing some new things with you very soon and I am very much looking forward to the warmth and sunshine of Spring. I am looking forward to spending some time soon planning and planting my Spring/Summer kitchen garden. Winter seems to have dragged on for a long time, venturing out to the garden or to school or kinder pick up has seemed like a major shock as it involves stepping out from my cozy little office where the heater is strategically placed under my desk to lull me into a state of la-la while I tap away on the keyboard.
I have been using my Slow Cooker almost non stop this Winter. Once the ingredients are prepared I love that I can set it to cook and forget about it until dinner time. A roast chicken in the slow cooker is gloriously tender. When you remove it from the machine, do so carefully as it is will fall apart into lots of pieces.
Save the bones and juice from the meal and cooking process, add some additional water, vegetables and herbs and use that combination to make stock – you can simply put it all back into the slow cooker and press start. Once cooker, strain and use for meals across the next few days or freeze. The ability to create multiple meals from one set of ingredients is a great time saver and a good budgeting practice. In addition to these obvious benefits, you are making your family food from scratch, with quality ingredients that you have selected or grown – this means that you know every ingredient and the quality of it. No additives, no additional salt or preservatives and you get to use aging vegetables and ingredients from the garden and bottom of the fridge.
This is my slow cooker recipe for Lemon Parsley Chicken, I hope that your family loves it.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 cloves garlic - chopped
- 2 cm fresh ginger, skin removed and grated
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1.8 kg (approx) free range chicken
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 lemons - juice and zest
- 12 stems of fresh parsley
- On the stove top, add the oil, garlic, ginger, lemon zest and rosemary until fragrant
- Add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides
- Add the red wine vinegar
- Return the removal pan to the machine and add the stock and most of the parsley and lemon juice
- Cook on high for 5 hours
- Serve with vegetables of choice and top with additional fresh parsley leaves
If your machine can no do this then do these steps in a pan and then continue with the slow cooker.
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