As I have limited time to cook, I love crock pot recipes and will be blogging about my favorites in due course. It seems to be very difficult to find a crock pot recipe that really does chicken justice. I love lemon and garlic, so I decided to put this recipe from Civilized Caveman Creations to the test. This site is a great resource for recipes. I had the pleasure of meeting George at PaleoFX this past March and though I was only around him for a few moments, you could tell that this man is passionate about his website and his food. Off to the kitchen.
As George did, I went the lazy/quick route and bought pre-peeled garlic. I did take the time to cut off the ends.
Probably not necessary, but I did. I sliced my onion and lined my crock pot with the slices and the peeled trimmed garlic.
I washed my chicken, dried it, and placed it in the crock pot. The chicken I purchased actually had its giblets and neck inside the cavity. What a great surprise. I reserved them for stock making!
And here is where I will vent about my big box grocery store. When I decided to make this recipe, I had already purchased a lovely organic chicken, but needed the lemons and garlic. The big box has improved and does carry some organic vegetables and fruit, but not much. Normally, I would not worry about whether or not a lemon was organic or not as I’m usually just using the juice, but as the lemon in this recipe would be stuck in the chicken, I thought using an organic one would be better . My big box store only sells organic lemons in 2 pound bags! I only needed one lemon!
Ok, no big deal, but it cost $4.99! I tried to find uses for the rest of the bag after making this recipe and if I had more time or energy, I guess I could have juiced them and frozen the juice in ice cube trays, but that did not happen. I think I was more mad at myself because I had been to Whole Foods earlier in the day and could have bought one lemon while I was there. Lesson learned: Make a list when going to the stores that are more organic friendly grocery store. Ok, back to the recipe!
I cut one of the lemons in half and squeezed the juice over the chicken.
George’s recipe calls for a homemade Italian seasoning. I had 5 of the 7 herbs on hand. I have an ever growing spice collection and for some reason just didn’t want to buy the 2 missing spices. I had a store bought Italian seasoning blend which had most of the herbs he called for which I generously sprinkled on and in the chicken. Per his instructions, I put the squeezed lemon halves into the cavity of the bird.
I put the lid on and went about my business for 6 hours.
When the chicken was ready, it looked lovely in the crock pot. Juicy. I took pictures of this but they came out very blurry so I’ll spare you the headache. When I extracted the chicken from the crock pot, it pretty much fell apart.
As you can see, I really didn’t need my knife.
Oh, it looked so good. I eagerly filled a plate.
The Paleo Review: Thumbs down. While this chicken filled my house with great aroma and looked tasty, in the end, it really wasn’t very tasty. I would not recommend this as a main course meat dish in and of itself. It would be a good chicken for use in another recipe calling for cooked chicken. I sigh when I look into my freezer and see the many frozen portions of this chicken that I still have not consumed. I need to find a recipe to use them in as I can’t bare the thought of heating these up with some vegetables alone. Could my deviation from his homemade herb blend have made a difference? Maybe, but I don’t think the difference warrants me making this dish again.
Note on Prep Time: I forgot to use my kitchen timer to time my prep for this recipe but it was more than the 5 minutes stated in the recipe. I don’t think it was more than 20 minutes, but definitely more than 5.
Clean Up: Yes, the clean up. I hate cleaning up after cooking. I do my best to clean as I go, but there’s only so much you can do. While at PaleoFX this past March, I sat in on a panel discussion with some of my favorite paleo food bloggers. During the question and answer portion, I actually asked about the clean up time. There was laughter. Yeah, its a funny question, but for a full-time professional limited time, its not a trivial part of committing to make fresh meals daily or even weekly, if you do a all day cooking marathon as I often do. Most of the bloggers represented were couples. Other than cleaning as you go (which I already do) and using the dishwasher (which I already do), the answers given were, well we clean up together or my spouse does the dishes.
Well, I’m single and while I can get my paleo kitty Dottie to play fetch, she has not yet volunteered to do the dishes for me. I rely heavily on my dishwasher and cleaning while I go, but as I’ve invested in good cookware and knives, there is always going to be hand washing.
With that said, the clean up was not bad after preparing this recipe. I had an empty dishwasher ready for everything used except for my knife, the only hand wash item. Eventually, I’ll remember to time this as well.
I’m open for requests for a tasty main dish worthy crock pot chicken recipe. Have any?