I have rekindled my relationship with my slow cooker. I have started using it at least once a week, and this week, I’ve used it twice so far. There is something SO satisfying coming home to the aroma of home cooking.
The common complaints I’ve heard about chicken in the crockpot are:
- It dries out
- It gets overcooked and shreds, losing its texture
- it doesn’t get nicely browned
I have solved these for our family by using bone-in chicken, rather than boneless, skinless chicken breasts. If I am going to be out of the house all day, I make sure that the chicken is either cut in large pieces, or, as in this recipe, whole.
Also, to remedy #3, I removed the chicken at the end, and broiled it for a few minutes, to give it a nice brown color, and crisp up the skin a bit.
I mimicked the flavors of the Peruvian pollo a la brasa for the marinade.
Crockpot Chicken, Peruvian style
1 roasting chicken (mine was about 8 lb)
1 onion, sliced
4-6 cloves of garlic, smashed with the flat side of a knife, and peeled
¼ cup white vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon cumin
1 – 2 tablespoons paprika
salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 packet sazon (optional), or 1 additional tablespoon cumin
Place chicken in crock of slow cooker. Separate skin from breast carefully.
In a separate small bowl, mix all other ingredients (onion through oregano – and sazon or cumin, depending on which you are using). Pour over chicken, and rubbing on the skin, and getting some under the skin that you loosened from chicken breast.
Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or low 8-10 hours.
Remove from slow cooker onto a large baking tray or sheet. Place under broiler for 5-10 minutes until nicely browned.
**Tip: I folded two long sheets of aluminum foil into strips, placed them first in the slow cooker, with the ends long enough to hang over the side,crisscrossing them in an X-shape. Then I placed the chicken on top of the foil, so that I could lift the chicken out. (this has to be done carefully, with the tray right next to the crockpot….please don’t try to cross a room holding the chicken this way ) The aluminum foil sheets have to be folded over several times to be strong enough to hold the chicken.