Too hot….too hot…too hot

It has been too hot here in hazy, hot, and horrible NJ.  Too, too hot.  Definitely too hot to cook!

I’m going to keep this post short and simple so you can read this, fix dinner, and get back in the pool.

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

a slow cooker
a whole chicken (from Hillacres Pride at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or two to three sprigs of fresh thyme
1 garlic scape (I freeze them in a bag to use all year)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons butter
five aluminum foil balls or three to five small carrots or a couple of onions cut in half

Plug your slow cooker in and set it to 8 hours on low.  Place five aluminum foil balls or three to five small carrots on the bottom of the slow cooker insert.   Place the thawed whole chicken (from Hillacres Pride…Collingswood Farmers’ Market) on top of the foil balls or carrots, BREAST DOWN.

IMG_3911Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon over the chicken.  Put two pats of butter on the chicken.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your taste.  Place a couple of sprigs of thyme on the chicken or sprinkle dried thyme on it.  Put a garlic scape, if you have one. Put on the lid.  Wait 8 hours.

When the time is up, carefully take the chicken out and put it on a large platter.  Be careful as it will fall apart.  When it is cool enough to touch, pick all the meat off the bird and put it on another platter.

If you used carrots under the chicken, take them out and put them in a bowl to serve.  If you used onions, take them out and serve. If you used foil balls, take them out and throw them away.  What is left in the slow cooker insert is about two inches of delicious juice.  You can use it as it is or you can thicken it into a delicious gravy.  The meat of the chicken cooked this way is also delicious on a salad (with some bacon from Hillacres Pride…if you want to cook it) or as chicken salad.

Hillacres Pride sells pork, lamb, beef, cheese, sausages, and chicken to patrons of the Collingswood Farmers Market.  All of the meats are pasture raised.  Grass fed.  The chickens do not live in cages and, therefore, have muscles, which when exposed to high heat get tough.  Cooking a free range chicken in a slow cooker makes it moist and delicious…and keeps your kitchen, and you, cool.

Add some ears of corn and sliced tomatoes……totally delicious, totally NJ summer meal.

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