Today’s recipe is for a Slow-Cooker adaptation of a favourite chicken recipe. After a few minutes of assembly, Lemon, Balsamic Rosemary Chicken with Glazed Potatoes is made in the Crock Pot and will be waiting for you when you get home from a hectic day.
I’ve said before that I really didn’t ever use my crock pot when I was working six days a week at our shop; I am starting to find ways to use it now. Go figure. It seems like I’m much busier now that I am home, working on this site, gardening, cooking, photographing food, and being the general dogsbody, errand-runner of the family. I tend to go, nonstop, all day long.
So, those things have made me consider the time-saving uses of a slow-cooker. That said, I want pretty food, too. And I always had this idea that crock-pot food was just a jumbled mess of stuff in a pot. In my quest for both pretty and convenient, I started looking at various crock-pot recipes; one thing that I found was in order to have your food look pretty coming from a crock-pot, the layering of the food was really important. I’m sure this isn’t anything new to those of you who regularly use your crock pots, but it was a revelation to me.
Resting meats on a bed of something else, raising it slightly above the cooking liquid, resulted in prettier food. How simple! For instance, with my Slow-Cooker Beef Brisket, the brisket is on a layer of mushrooms and onions, with the “sauce” poured over the top of the meat to flavour it also. It turned out beautifully!
Of course, one thing leads to another, and I decided to try a whole chicken in a Slow-Cooker. The recipe I adapted uses lemons, so with my first experiment with this in a crock pot, I rested the chicken on the halved lemons. While the chicken was delicious, the “sauce” was a bit bitter. So, I went back to the drawing board.
This version is the third incarnation of the dish; both Mr. Saucy and I deem it a success! I decided to use potatoes under the chicken. The potatoes hold the whole chicken above the cooking liquid, and at the same time, cook the potatoes in a glaze of lemon and balsamic vinegar and rosemary, with the juices of the chicken cooking on top of them giving them even more flavour.
I put the potatoes in, whole, so they would retain their shape, then I cut them in half to serve. We mashed them with a fork and poured the cooking liquid over them when we ate it; they were absolutely fabulous!
I marinated my chicken in the liquid for about an hour. By marinating the chicken for a bit, I wanted to impart to the chicken skin some of the caramel colouring of the balsamic vinegar; it worked, but it isn’t an essential step. Since the marinade is cooked along with the chicken, it isn’t necessary to make two batches, if you choose to marinate yours. Next time, I may try putting the chicken in the marinade overnight and see what it does.
I also put my cooked chicken under the broiler for about 3 minutes; this also is not an essential step. The skin was actually kind of crispy, since it wasn’t in contact with the cooking liquid. The chicken self-basted as it “steamed” over the potatoes.
This recipe adapted to a slow-cooker is a keeper for our household; I hope you’ll try it in yours! You won’t regret it. It’s beautiful, mostly hands-off, and ever so tasty!
- 5 whole potatoes (I used russets that were about baseball-sized)
- 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil (I used grape seed, but canola would work)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- zest from two lemons, zested lemons cut in wedges and reserved
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 lemon, to stuff the bird (optional)
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, to stuff in the bird (optional)
- ½ tablespoon turbinado sugar (or brown sugar) to top the chicken
- If you plan to marinate the chicken overnight, or for a few hours, whisk together in a bowl all of the ingredients except for the potatoes, chicken and the last ½ tablespoon of sugar (this would be the balsamic vinegar, oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, lemon zest, rosemary, salt and pepper).
- Pour over the chicken in a ziplock bag and refrigerate.
- When you are ready to cook the chicken, place the potatoes in the bottom of the slow-cooker, arranged to hold the chicken atop them.
- Place the chicken on top of the potatoes (I tied the legs to help keep the chicken from falling apart – optional).
- Pour the marinade liquid over the top of the chicken.
- Add the water to the marinade under the chicken.
- Sprinkle the top of the uncooked chicken with ground black pepper and the final ½ tablespoon of sugar (this makes a really wonderful “glaze” on the top skin).
- Put the lid of the crock pot on.
- Turn the slow cooker on high and cook for about 4 hours.
- OR turn the slow cooker on low and cook for about 8 hours.
- (Optional step: Once the chicken is done, remove from the top of the potatoes and place on a baking sheet and put under the broiler for about 2-4 minutes to crisp the skin.)
- Remove the potatoes from the cooking liquid to a serving platter and cut in half or quarters. Place the chicken in the center of the serving platter, and scatter the reserved lemon wedges, to be squeezed on individual portions of chicken, as desired.