Rush Hour

If you thought that roasting a whole chicken was a task to be relegated to the weekend, think again! All you need is a crockpot with a roasting rack and that chicken will be roasted without a fuss.

My crockpot -- or slow cooker -- is probably one of my kitchen's most prized inhabitants. When I'm expecting a crowd in the middle of the week -- or on a very busy weekend -- it's there to save me time, effort and money.

How? It's really quite simple. A crockpot does all the cooking for you while you're off attending to the various chores and events of the day. It cooks your meal slowly after you've added your meat, a small amount of liquid and any seasonings you want. You can even pop your meat into a crockpot while it's still frozen and come back hours later to find a tender, juicy dish waiting for you. And, because crockpots are known for turning even the toughest cuts of meat into melt-in-your-mouth meals, you can save money by buying less expensive cuts of meat without worrying about battling with steak knives later.

This delicious roasted chicken recipe is delightful when served with the pesto rice and grilled asparagus recipes featured in previous issues of Seasoned Cooking. Feel free to use them or create your own special menu. Imagine how surprised your family will be when you present them with your Sunday best menu on Tuesday!

Hands-Free Garlic Roasted Chicken

  • 1 roasting chicken (4-6 lbs.)
  • 1 head garlic, divided
  • 1/2 large onion, sectioned
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2/3 c. wine
  • salt and pepper

Remove any giblets from the cavity of the chicken. Rinse the chicken thoroughly and set aside.

Peel all of the cloves from the head of garlic. Set aside 3 cloves for mincing. Cut the remaining cloves in half. Stuff the halved cloves of garlic and the onion sections into the chest cavity of the chicken. Using wet kitchen string, tie the legs of the chicken together.

Carefully mince the remaining garlic cloves and combine with the olive oil. Generously spread the mixture over the entire chicken. Place the chicken on a roasting rack positioned in a crockpot. Pour the wine into the bottom of the crockpot and sprinkle the desired amount of salt and pepper over the top of the chicken (I use about 1/2 teaspoon each). Position the cover on the crockpot and turn it to the LOW setting (or the "3" position on some models). Allow the chicken to cook for about 8 hours -- give or take an hour.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus cooking time
Editor's Note: For more information about crockpots, how they work and some tips on how to use them, read the Product Focus on slow cookers in the May 1999 issue of Seasoned Cooking.