Category Archives: chicken

Slow Cooked Chicken Makes a Hasty Tasty Meal

My friend recently asked why I bought the new 6-quart slow cooker when I already had the 4-quart model and typically cook for just two people. Here’s my answer.

One of my Hasty Tasty Meals strategies is cooking ahead, and slow cooking allows you to maximize your cooking with little fuss. A larger pot is roomy enough to hold several different foods.

My favorite cook-ahead meal is a chicken. If my pan is large enough, I can start with enough potatoes to make two days’ worth of potatoes. I can cook carrots with the potatoes, giving me two side dishes for two meals. Finally, the chicken flavors and moistens the root vegetables. How efficient. The six-quart size produces a minimum of eight servings of each food.

First, I peel 4 potatoes (Peeling is optional–these russets had tough peels, but I scrub and leave the peels when possible) and cut into uniform pieces, approximately 1″. These go on the pan’s bottom. I top with sliced carrots or, because they were on sale this week, baby-cut carrots. Next, I form a rack for the chicken from two celery ribs and a large onion, quartered.

Season the chicken thoroughly. I use a rub made with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. Kosher salt, ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper, 1 tsp. dried thyme, ½ tsp. dried sage, and 1 Tbsp. paprika. Place the chicken so it rests on the vegetables.

Celery and onions form a roasting rack.

Celery and onions form a roasting rack.

Cover and cook on High for 4 – 5 hours. That’s it. Just ten minutes of prep and you’re free to run errands or do other chores. If it makes you nervous to use a dry pot, add a cup of water or broth. I don’t. The chicken and vegetables produce enough liquid to make a pan gravy before serving if you desire. (Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan. Then whisk in 1 Tbsp. corn starch dissolved in ½ cup cooled broth or water. Boil to thicken and season to taste.)

The six-quart Gourmet Cooker by Kitchen Craft Cookware

The six-quart Gourmet Cooker by Kitchen Craft Cookware

If serving the same meal twice in one week doesn’t appeal to you, switch it up with other vegetables. For instance, I added a side of broccoli one day and green beans the other. I served biscuits once and dinner rolls once. I whipped half the potatoes, and stirred half in with the green beans. Finally, I didn’t serve the chicken meals consecutive days, although we aren’t averse to chicken two days in a row.

Don’t limit your slow-cooking to beef roasts or stews. Try cooking ahead a mix of foods. You won’t feel like you’re eating leftovers, and you’ll spend less time in the kitchen. Enjoy the food and extra time.

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Filed under chicken, cooking

Hasty Tasty Rotisserie Chicken

I enjoy the convenience of a supermarket rotisserie chicken, but unless it’s on sale, it costs as much as $8 for about a 3 pound bird. Not only do I save money cooking my own; I control the ingredients. My family agrees that mine tastes better, too. So here is how I make rotisserie chicken in the oven.

Tools: an oven, a cast iron skillet and a vertical chicken roaster stand.

Ingredients: 1 3½ pound fryer (organs and neck removed–save for making stock) and a spice rub. 

My spice rub of choice:

  • 1 tsp. pink Himalayan salt or Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil

For optional gravy:

  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 10 ounces chicken stock or broth

Directions for Hasty Tasty Rotisserie Chicken:

  1. Place chicken on vertical chicken roasting stand. Position stand in the center of the cast iron skillet.
  2. Preheat oven to 450° Position rack to a low setting to allow air flow around vertical chicken.
  3. Combine all ingredients for rub.
  4. Apply rub over chicken. (Optional: I add a sprig of fresh Rosemary to the top)
  5. 100_1151Place chicken in center of oven rack.
  6. Lower oven temperature to 425° and set timer for one hour.
    100_1152 100_1153
  7. After one hour, carefully remove skillet and chicken from oven. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove chicken stand to a cutting board or platter. Add 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour to drippings in skillet.
  9. Place skillet over medium-low heat and stir in flour to make a roux.100_1154
  10. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock. Simmer over low heat until gravy thickens. Whisk often.
  11. Carve chicken into serving pieces and serve with the gravy and sides of your choice.


Filed under chicken

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken

The idea for this delicious and easy dish came from my author friend Susan Sweet. I modified her recipe a bit by adding vegetables, but that’s an option. Her recipe calls for pineapple juice. I didn’t have any, but I always have crushed pineapple in my pantry. I prefer the added fiber.

Prep time for this meal is about ten minutes. Then plug in your slow cooker and forget about it for five or six hours. I put this on Sunday morning and it’s ready by the time we return home from church.


Serves 4


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple (include juice)
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • (optional) 1 Tbsp. corn starch if you prefer thicker sauce
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice



What you need to make slow cooker pineapple chicken










  • Empty contents of crushed pineapple into slow cooker pot. Stir in soy sauce, brown sugar, and (optional) corn starch.
  • Add celery, onion, and bell pepper pieces.
  • Cut chicken into one inch cubes and add to the pot.
  • Cover and set slow cooker to Low. Cook for at least five hours.
  • Serve over 1/2 cup cooked rice per person.

Cut chicken into 1″ size pieces


Cook on lower setting for 5 or 6 hours


Serve over cooked brown rice


Filed under chicken, Healthful Eating, Recipes


I’ll admit I’m not much of a microwaver. With the exception of asparagus and corn on the cob, most of my dishes cook rangetop or in a conventional oven. When I purchased the Deep Covered Baker (The Pampered Chef), I read the product guide that included directions for “30-Minute Chicken” in the microwave oven. I had my doubts.


The Pampered Chef® Deep Covered Baker

If you’re on the fence about buying this product or roasting in a microwave oven, keep reading.




  • 1 whole chicken (approx. 3 lbs.)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Seasonings (your choice fresh chopped herbs + 1 tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper)
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 baking potato cut into 1″ slices


  1. Spray nonstick cooking spray generously to cover the interior of the Deep Covered Baker.
  2. Pat dry the chicken using paper towels. Rub with the olive oil.
  3. Rub the herbs (I use fresh taragon, thyme, and parsley) over the chicken.(reserve part of the herb mix for vegetables)
  4. Position chicken breast side up in baker. Add carrots, onion, and potato. Add salt and pepper over chicken and vegetables.
  5. Microwave uncovered on High 30 minutes. Check using a digital thermometer (should be 165° in thickest part of breast). If necessary, microwave an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from microwave oven and cover for ten minutes. Residual cooking should bring the chicken to 170°.
  7. Remove skin from chicken. Transfer chicken, carrots, and potatoes to a platter to serve.

Yield: 4-5 servings chicken, 2 servings vegetables
Refrigerate leftover chicken.


So there you have it. You really can roast a chicken in the microwave oven, a great convenience if pressed for time. You won’t have a browned skin, but that isn’t an issue for me. I skin chicken before serving because skin contains too much saturated fat.

I am glad I experimented with roasting in the microwave oven. However, if I have the time, I still think it’s easier to slow cook chicken. The microwave method may save time, but it’s tricky, especially if your microwave oven varies on size and wattage.


Filed under chicken, cooking, Healthful Eating, Roasted Vegetables