Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lemon Garlic Crockpot Chicken

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 a conference 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. 

The Ingredients

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 a conference 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?