The first time I prepared this slow cooker chicken, the aromas filling the kitchen made my mouth water but I was let down — I learned he hard way that certain breeds of free range chickens can bruise if they grow too large, resulting in meat that turns green after it’s cooked. The raw meat looks perfectly fine. Apparently it is okay to eat since it is dead tissue, not infected, but green meat looks really unappealing and we weren’t in the mood to risk it. Into the green bin it went and we were left scrounging for dinner. Have you ever had your chicken turn green?
The following weekend, I bought a smaller chicken and prepared it again. Persistence pays off!
When we cut into the slow cooked chicken, the meat was moist and tender — some pieces fell right off the bone. The prosciutto, sage and lemon rub complimented the chicken by making it taste more meaty yet fresh at the same time.
This chicken dinner is easy to prepare but tastes special enough that you could serve it to guests too — Handy for all the holidays coming up.
Cook: 8 hours (low) or 4 hours (high)
Yield: 6-8 servings (prepared in 6.5 quart slow cooker)
In a small bowl, mash the butter and Dijon together, until it forms a homogeneous paste. Add the minced garlic, sage (fresh and ground), and a ¼ teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Add the chopped prosciutto and stir together.
Using the blunt handle of a wooden spoon, loosen the skin from the chicken breasts, legs and thighs. Add the prosciutto and mustard mixture under the skin about a tablespoon at a time and spread it as evenly as you can. Reach in with your hands or massage the chicken with your hands on the outside of the skin, spreading the seasoning by feel.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pan over medium heat. Brown each side of the chicken until the skin develops a nice golden brown colour, about 4 minutes. Transfer to your slow cooker insert.
Add the water.
Stir the remaining salt and pepper together with the paprika. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the chicken.
Cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours).
*This recipe is adapted to the slow cooker from Food & Drink magazine.