Carrots & Clucks: What A Crock!

It’s that time of year when everyone is creating their New Year’s Resolutions. Even though I am not one to join the revolution of commitments with each new calendar cycle, I do have a great recipe for those of you who have made certain health promises to get more veggies in your diet during 2014!

If you are a busy lady (or person) like me, you are sure to appreciate this healthy, quick, simple, and homemade meal. As a working mom, I use my crock-pot multiple times each week. It is the most used wedding gift we received besides our linens, of course! (Wink, wink!) I’m confident I didn’t invent this recipe and it can be altered in a million different ways, but I call my version:

Carrots and Clucks in a Crock

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7 Simple Ingredients:

  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 24 oz Chicken Broth
  • 5 Whole Peeled Carrots
  • 2 Whole Peeled Potatoes
  • 1 Whole Summer Squash (Halved length wise then quartered, making long wedges.)
  • 1 Whole Peeled White Onion
  • Seasoning

5 Easy Steps:

  1. Quarter onion and place in bottom of crock. Spread pieces about to elevate chicken and pour broth in to cover. (If you are messy like me have extra paper towel on hand or just an extra glass of wine so that spilling doesn’t matter so much.)
  2. Place entire chicken, breast down, on top of onions and broth. (There is wide spread debate over “breast up” or “down” for cooking birds. If you need to go with “up” you will find no judgement here! Handle your breasts the way that serves you best.)
  3. Add peeled carrots, potatoes and summer squash, placing them on top of chicken then season to taste. (Mrs. Dash is the queen of my kitchen but you can make your seasoning as simple or elaborate as you would like.)
  4. Cover and cook on “low” for 6 – 8 hours. (Make sure temperature of the chicken has reached 160 degrees F at the interior of the leg and keep reading for chicken disclaimer!)
  5. Come home to a rockin’ yummy dinner and let your family marvel at what an amazing crock cook you are! For crock’s sake, you have accomplished a delicious and healthy meal so eat it up!

Friends, this one is super easy and oh so delicious! You can build it in the evening before bed and place it on the counter to cook before flying out the door the next morning. You can add or omit any vegetables as you please, just keep in mind your new lifestyle change of eating a million vegetables a week! You can also season this dish however you would like or season the chicken separately from the vegetables.

I have learned that placing the veggies directly on top of the chicken and not in the “juice” helps to keep them from overcooking. I do sacrifice the onion in this instance but it is mostly for flavor, anyway. After I make this dinner, I often use the leftover chicken and juice to make homemade soup later in the week; or I spill it around for an excuse to enjoy the extra glass of wine mentioned above.

If you give this one a try, let me know how it turns out! I’d also love to know about your variations so that our Jelly Bean Journals community can put them to the test. Happy Carrots & Clucks eating!

*Follow ALL chicken handling and preparation instructions including thawing, rinsing, patting dry, and removing innards. Visit http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types/chicken/ if you aren’t comfortable with your chicken handling skills. I will not accept any responsibility for salmonella poisoning or any other funky chicken happenings in your life.*

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