Sunday Dinner: Crockpot “roast” chicken, gravy and my favorite homemade salad dressing

December 3, 2006

I use my crockpot for a lot of cooking year round. In the summer it’s a life saver because I can cook without turning on the oven. In the winter, it’s wonderful for making stews, soups and other winter type foods. Last week I made one of my favorite meals, roast chicken in the crockpot.

The reason I love this chicken is because it always turns out very moist and flavorful. I tried doing it in the oven a few weeks back and Josh and I both agreed it just wasn’t as good. And the best part? It takes no real effort on the cook’s part! All you need is a crockpot (even a round crockpot will work)

Crockpot Roast Chicken

small roasting chicken (3-4 lbs). I buy mine at Sam’s Club. They’re two for a ridiculously cheap price (like…$4 or something)
about 1/4 cup butter (stick or butter spread)
1/2 package dry Lipton soup mix (flavor your choice)

Thoroughly rinse and pat dry chicken. I like to line my crockpot with the crockpot liners from Reynolds because they make clean up much, much easier. Place chicken in crockpot breast down. Spread butter over the top of chicken, a thin layer but cover as much skin as is showing. Sprinkle the 1/2 package of dry soup mix (I like either onion or herb) over chicken. Place lid on crockpot. Turn crockpot on high. Cook for 4 to 5 hours. I baste my chicken usually two or three times during the cooking process but it’s not necessary. If you want to cook the chicken while you’re at work, cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

I serve this with mashed potatoes, gravy (recipe below) and a veggie, often salad with homemade French dressing (recipe below).

To make gravy:

I take drippings from crockpot approximately 30 minutes before it’s finished cooking. Put them in a small saucepan and allow to cool slightly, then skim major fat from the top and discard. Heat drippings to medium heat. Mix two Tablespoons flour in 1 cup of milk and whisk thoroughly. Then whisk flour/milk mixture into drippings slowly and bring to a boil. Let boil for several minutes while stirring to prevent scorching on bottom (if your gravy tastes floury, you haven’t boiled it long enough). Ta-da! Yummy gravy with no other seasoning needed (though I sometimes do a few grinds of the pepper mill into it)

I’m one of those odd people who 90% of the time eats their salad without salad dressing. I use nothing but salt and pepper usually, because I like the taste of the salad and toppings and think salad dressing masks that. But if I do use dressing, I like French and my absolute favorite is a recipe I got from my ex-husbands grandmother years ago (one of the best things to come out of that marriage, lolol).

Homemade French Dressing

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp grated onion (I use dry but you could use fresh)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup catsup
1/3 cup vegi oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix together in a salad dressing carafe or tupperware container until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed and dissolved.

Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. As Rachael Ray would say…yumm-o!

All recipes at a glance: