My favorite thing about going to potlucks is the fun fellowship. The next reason I enjoy going to potlucks is to discover other ideas, flavors and recipes that I would normally not experience. Well, I was at a potluck a few weeks ago and was introduced to roasted lemons. Yes, roasted lemons. Roasting lemons is something that I would not ever have thought to do. My friend Jen had brought Martha Stewart’s Roast Spatchcocked Lemon Chicken which was absolutely amazing, and I didn’t even eat the chicken part! I was just savoring the roasted vegetables and lemons.
This experience totally inspired me to roast my chickens in the crock-pot and infuse them with lemons. I was absolutely AMAZED at the results. If you are a lemon-lover and have never put a couple of lemons, sliced in your chicken skins and around your chicken, drop your computer now, go get a chicken and a couple of lemons, or go to the freezer and thaw that whole chicken you got on sale. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate; go do it now!
- 3-4 lb. whole chicken, giblets removed (yes, you can use boneless chicken breasts, but the bones give the chicken more flavor and nutrients and it is much more frugal per pound so I haven't bought boneless chicken breasts in at least a year)
- 2 lemons, sliced
- optional, 2-3 medium potatoes, cubed
- 1 onion, sliced or diced
- 1/4 cup organic olive oil
- 2 T fresh minced garlic
- 1-2 T Italian seasonings or seasonings of choice
- dash of cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper
- Mix olive oil with all seasonings.
- Prop up chicken, legs up, on some balls of foil or small bowls so the chicken doesn't touch the bottom of the crock-pot. This allows the chicken to turn out more like a roasted chicken with browned skin. Do not put any liquid in the bottom of the crock-pot. If you haven't crock-potted a chicken before, you'll be amazed at how much liquid comes out of the chicken due to the slow cooking.
- Rub olive oil mixture all over the chicken and inside the skin (you can use a spoon to insert the oil mixture between the skin and the meat).
- Place lemons all over the chicken, inside of the skin, and inside the cavity of the chicken.
- Place/sprinkle onions all over the chicken.
- If you are using potatoes, you may want to toss them with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and then place them at the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Cover, and cook on low for approximately 10 hours, or until the juices flow clearly and the legs can easily wiggle.
The Verdict: The lemons make this chicken!! I don’t think I ever want to crock-pot a whole chicken without the lemons now. They are so invigorating!!
The first time I made this I had the lemons at the beginning of cooking. Later when I made this, I added the lemons in the middle of cooking because I didn’t have the lemons on hand and had to procure them from the store. It’s best if you can add the lemons at the beginning of cooking because it give the lemon peels more time to break down. I know it might sound weird to some people, but you can actually eat the lemon peel because it becomes so tender. The lemons I have eaten after cooking all day are so much more amazing, and the flavor of lemon infuses the chicken. I can actually taste lemon in the shredded chicken afterward when I use the leftovers in other dishes like Taquitos or Chicken Salad.
Sometimes I add a couple of cubed potatoes. They become lemon-infused, too!Here is my chicken after an entire day of slow cooking, when I didn’t prop it up, and it is drowning in its own juices. I made a broth with these strained drippings, the leftover chicken bones and added vegetable scraps. It was fabulously infused with lemon flavoring.
Have you tried Orange Ginger Chicken?
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