phynedyning

A recipe for the Un-Cook – Greek-style Crock Pot Chicken

In Recipies on December 22, 2011 at 10:16 am

I dug this recipe out after one of last night’s Latke Night Fever guests asked me, “Do you ever have days where you just don’t feel like cooking. And, what do you cook then?”

Happens all the time.

Usually I get the cooking blahs after Shabbat or after any Jewish holiday where the theme is, “They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat.”…which is the theme of every Jewish holiday. Usually, I will settle for something “egg”, a salad, or just something simple like fruit and cheese. But what about those times when I have committed to making another “fancy” meal right after Shabbat or Yom Tov?

Do you remember Crock Pots? No, not Lyndon LaRouche…a Slow Cooker.

These things were all the rage back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. We still have one, painted in garish “harvest gold” with a cutesy cornucopia graphic on the front. My dearest mother-in-law gave it to us on our first wedding anniversary, well over 32 years ago. I have another one, in a more sober and traditional black finish that we haul out when “nice people” come over.

This is a recipe that fits well for any occasion, takes a minimum of prep-work, tastes great, and looks like you spent all day making it…which you did.

A few words about crock cooking.

I know, it is one of the crock cooker’s best features…to fill it, plug it in, and come home to a cooked supper.

Please do not do that.

Fire is probably a low risk threat, but food poisoning is not. If the power goes out your meal sits in the perfect bacterial incubator. Even if the black cat clock (with the swishing tail pendulum) that is plugged into the same outlet suggests the power was out for “only a little while”, toss out the food (I hate doing it too.). If the power went off in the early part of cooking, you had practically raw food sitting in a warm container long enough to make you sick.

Sermon…over.

When you use dry herbs in crock cookery, add half the called-for amount at the beginning of cooking and the rest about an hour or two before the meal is finished. Remember, herb flavorings tend to intensify in crock cookery. So, use about half the amount you would use for other cooking methods.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 whole roasting chicken

1 large onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 sweet, red pepper, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced

juice of two lemons – reserve the rinds

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried rosemary

8oz bag dried apricots

salt and freshly ground pepper

Carefully rinse out the bird, removing the neck and other parts usually stuck inside. The bird must be entirely thawed before cooking! Lightly salt and pepper the inside and outside of the bird. Stuff the cavity with the apricots, half of the peppers and onions, and the lemon rinds. Stick the bird into the crock. Pour the lemon juice over the bird and sprinkle with half of the herbs. Stuff the rest of the peppers, onion, and garlic around the chicken. Cover and turn on “high”.  Cook for 6 hours. The meat and veggies should provide enough cooking liquid, so do not add any. After six hours, add the remaining herbs. Continue cooking another hour (or two, depending on the size of the chicken). Don’t worry about the internal temperature of the meat to determine “doneness”. When the meat just about falls from the bone, the meal is done.

Your house will smell wonderful while this cooks and your guests will swear you spent all day in the kitchen making it. Well, you sorta did.

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