The one single item in my kitchen that is by far the most utilised in almost all of the seasons is without a doubt – the slow cooker. To date – (and I am seriously not kidding), it has paid for itself over 500 times, and still counting….
Picked up on my mums advice – from some kind of easy-breezy department store over 15 years ago; this most praise-worthy kitchen appliance, is something that I simply cannot live without.
I have now (literally) stumbled across this recipe whilst we were completing the usual everyday school run a few mornings ago – with one of my treasured pal’s, Amy. So to be fair, I cannot take the credit on this one; the glory belongs all to her. All I can do is write about it. But with the rainy, Wintery weather predicted to grace our city today, I felt it was the perfect time to share something super easy, yet totally delicious for a traditional Sunday dinner.
I’ve been an avid pot roast cooker for a long time now… Most probably because I absolutely suck at using an oven… But more importantly because I realise the time saving benefits that it gives me. You basically load the ingredients, turn it on, and come back to it later once it’s nearly done.
There is no frying involved. No browning off, not part-cooking. It is literally a 1 or 2 vessel dinner, and your ready. And the result is nothing short of sensational. Juicy, tender, fall apart style meat when you carve it – but in no way being mushy. What else can you ask for, right?
And since then, my family have now made this dish the most requested meal of the week.
To say this one is on high rotation in our house, would be an understatement.
So here it goes…
1 whole chicken from the general meat cabinet in your supermarket (stuffed or unstuffed).
2 X chicken stock cubes
A handful of garlic cloves, peeled and slightly smashed.
A big sprinkle of Italian herbs (or whatever herbs you fancy… Eg have available 😉)
Whole, peeled carrots
While, peeled onions (optional)
Peeled Sweet Potato. Cut into large chunks
And here are the ridiculously easy cooking instructions:
Remove whole chicken from the plastic wrapper, and place in the slow cooker dish. Turn slow cooker on to low.
Sprinkle with the 2 x chicken stock cubes, and place the smashed garlic cloves on top of the chicken (tuck these into the wings if you like also).
After 4 hours, remove the whole chicken as one piece, and set aside on an oven tray. Add the desired amount of potatoes to the pot. Then replace the whole chicken on top of the potatoes.
Around the insides of the dish, strategically place the whole carrots, whole onions, and sweet potatoe chunks to fill up the rest of the available area.
Cook on low for another 2-3 hours if possible.
Remove all ingredients from the pot, and place on a uniform fashion on a baking tray. Eg, carrots with carrots, potatoes with potatoes etc. You might need to place the whole chicken on its own tray. The chicken may fall apart a little, which is ok, but try to keep its shape if possible.
Drizzle a little juice from the slow cooker onto the entire amount of food on the tray(s).
Place the tray(s) in a hot oven for about 15 mins to crisp up the chicken and the veges.
Remove from the oven, and serve with your choice of steamed greens.
*For the gravy* I am a big fan of using a powdered base (Yes it is true… Cue the imperfect chef!). But I do like to make a very small amount of this base gravy just to start, and then add my own mix of slow cooker juices. These are real and natural – obtained from nearly the meat itself. Usually containing a lovely mix of broken up veges, garlic piece leftovers, and chicken/vege juices.
All in all, it’s a pretty original, rustic, fabulous home cooked dish. And you pretty much know exactly what has gone into it.
The size of your regular slow cooker can provide more than enough for our family of three, and then left over lunches again for each of us. Just be sure to stem yourselves enough green veges.
I guarantee that you cannot find fault I this roast. Just cook it once or twice, find your happy time/temp place, and you’re done.
I’m so unbelievably grateful for my dear friend to share this ever-so-simple recipe. And now you can experience the pleasure of this simple roast gorgeousness, any night of the week.
Words by Danielle Tinkler.