Orange Crockpot Chicken

6 Dec

When you live ~2500 miles from either set of your parents and families, holidays take on a new meaning.  Not a bad one – just different.  We have lots of people we call family locally and spend many a holiday with, but this year, we decided to just relax….plus, the Mr. had to work the day after Thanksgiving, my boss put me on standby to do the same {but I dodged a bullet}, so the “long weekend” was significantly abbreviated.

We had all kinds of plans of finally unpacking the last of the moving boxes (we moved back in January!), taping off the walls to paint the horrific camo green striped walls in the spare room from the previous owners…but instead, we slept in, went to yoga class, and walked the dog.  The lazy holiday also translated in to a lazy meal, so instead of a turkey, I plucked a few oranges off my tree, snipped some rosemary, thyme, and sage from their pots, and plopped them all into a crock pot and called it a day.

The crockpot ~ aka: the “easy button” of the holidays.

{Gina’s Take}

Defrosting the frozen chicken would just about be the toughest part of this recipe.  It’s a tough one to mess up.  Love rosemary?  Add some.  Dislike basil?  Forget it.  Never grew to like eating your carrots?  I’m cool with that too.

I’ve made this recipe a few times – never quite making it the same twice…depending on what herbs I had handy determined the herbs that went in to the chicken.  I’ve also made this with both lemons and oranges – the household preference is definitely oranges.  The herbs I’ve tried include basil, rosemary, sage, & thyme….mostly because I grow them.  I’ve used both white and Marsala wines, both with outstanding results…really use what you like…and go with that…this recipe is really just a starting point.

I’ve also tried cooking this both on the high (~4 hours) and low (6 hours) crockpot settings – hands down the better looking version is the low setting, but the both taste the same.  The chicken will literally fall off the bone.

I did feel most brilliant, however, the last time I made it because while at the grocery store, I walked past those mini-bottles of wine.  Now, we do have lots of wine at our house…but it’s almost never white, so this was a perfect $2 solution…it was totally a *face*palm* moment…why hadn’t I used these before?

Overall, the prep process is simple and you can’t mess it up.  Simply separate the skin from the bird (the one I show above is about ~4lbs), being careful not to tear it, and start stuffing.  Placing what you can of the seasoning, herbs, onions, celery, and citrus in-between the skin and the meat ensure the maximum flavor to the meat.  Once you max that out, put some in the cavity, a thin layer of the “fixins” on the bottom, plunk the chicken in the pot, and then cover the bird with whatever is left over.

Once you’ve got the chicken in the crock pot, you can run errands, veg out, go to work, find your happy place…whatever…and then about 3 hours in to the cooking – if you’re using the low setting, dump the potatoes and carrots in.  The chicken will cook down, releasing the juices, and simmer the potatoes and carrots in them. Do a sanity check after an hour or two to ensure they are submerged – if not, just push them down with a spoon and you should be good to go.  If you put the potatoes and carrots in out of the gate, you’ll have mushy veggies.  If you like that, go for it, otherwise, wait until the 1/2 way point to add them.

{Pretty Little Tip}

Love squishy roasted garlic?  Me too!  If you plan on eating the garlic, place the garlic heads towards the bottom of the crock pot, that way they cook in wine and chicken juices an extra long time.  This will make them nice and soft and they will pop right out of the skin when squeezed.

Orange Crockpot Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, innards bag removed & discarded
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cut into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium oranges, sliced thick
  • 1 bunch of mixed herbs (ex: rosemary, thyme, sage, basil)
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 2 heads garlic, top 1/2" cut off to expose the cloves
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 6 red potatoes (~1.5 lbs), chopped

Instructions

  1. Take the whole chicken and gently lift the skin from the meat.
  2. Using your hands, place what you can of the butter, onions, oranges, herbs, celery and about 1/2 of the poultry seasoning in between the skin and the meat on both sides of the bird. Season with the salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Place the garlic heads in the bottom of a 6 quart crockpot and sprinkle in a thin layer of the remaining onions, oranges, herbs, celery, saving some to spread over the top of the chicken too.
  4. Place the stuffed chicken in to the crockpot and pour the white wine over the bird.
  5. Place the remaining onions, oranges, herbs, celery, and poultry seasoning on top of the bird.
  6. On the crockpot's low setting, cook for a TOTAL of 6-8 hours.
  7. After 1/2 the time has passed, add the chopped potatoes and carrots, checking back after an hour to ensure the potatoes and carrots are simmering in the juices. If they are not, push them down with a spoon to submerge and allow to cook for the remaining time.
  8. When the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165F, discard skin, and serve.
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One Response to “Orange Crockpot Chicken”

  1. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs December 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    I adore the orange/chicken combo! This one looks like a lovely recipe to try, I’m sure that it makes a delish dinner :)

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