There are about a zillion ways to roast a chicken. Although it seems easy enough, I rarely choose to roast a chicken, usually because it always winds up being dry. I thought that roasting a chicken in a crockpot may prevent dryness, and I was correct. Of course, so were the rest of the food blogging community who suggested this and provided another zillion ways to do it.
The recipe directs you to brown the chicken in a large pan before placing in the crockpot. Browning the chicken is a little difficult. It is hard to move the chicken around, and impossible to get all sides browned. I did my best, trying to hold the birdie up with two spatulas while the sides browned, but I would not recommend this as the chicken kept slipping away.
The chicken in the crockpot, surrounded by lemon quarters, garlic and rosemary looks picturesque, like from the pages of some French country cookbook. The chicken is moist and flavorful with hints of garlic, lemon, sage, rosemary, and the saltiness of the soy sauce adds a tanginess to mix up those traditional flavors of roasted chicken.
Crockpot Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Roast Chicken (adapted from The Kitchn)
3-4 pound chicken (labeled fryer or roaster)
3 garlic cloves–minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 springs rosemary-leaves stripped and minced
2 teaspoons ground sage
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (keep the rinds)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 whole lemon–quartered
1 head of garlic–cloves separated and peeled
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3 sprigs of rosemary
Prep the chicken: Remove gizzards, wash chicken thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.
Season the chicken: Combine seasoning ingredients in a bowl, gently rub between meat and skin, being careful not to break the skin all over the chicken. Any remaining seasoning rub inside the chicken cavity.
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Pan-sear the chicken on all sides for 6-8 minutes until the outside is browned. Transfer the chicken to your crockpot–breast side up.
Combine lemon juice, soy sauce, and chicken broth, and add half the liquid to the same pan until just boiling, and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan with a spatula. Then pour mixture over the chicken in the crockpot.
Put lemon rinds (reserved from squeezing the juice), one whole bouillon cube, and a few of the garlic cloves inside the cavity of the chicken. Place lemon quarters, remaining garlic cloves around the chicken toward the edges of the cooker. Crumble the other bouillon cube over the chicken and rub it into the skin. Place the lid on the cooker and cook on high for 4 hours. Twenty to thirty minutes before the time is done, pour reserved lemon juice mixture over chicken and add the rosemary.
Remove chicken from the slow-cooker and allow it to rest on the carving board for about 20 minutes before carving.