Thursday, September 8, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic (!) and Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a great double duty meal.  I make two chickens so I can use the leftover chicken and stock for chicken noodle soup the next day.  Both recipes are SUPER fast; and you get two meals!

Recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic:

  • Two whole chickens, innards removed;
  • Celery, onions, or lemons (or a combo of any or all of them) to line the bottom of the slow cooker
  • 40 cloves of garlic (2-3 heads, separated); don't peel them, but remove as much excess papery skin as you can. Some will end up losing their peels; stick those in the cavity of the chicken.
  • Any fresh or dried herbs you like; I used fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme (optional)
Line the bottom of the slow cooker with your veggies. Throw about half the garlic cloves in there, too. Plop in the chicken, and tuck the remaining garlic cloves around it (try not to have any on top of the chicken. They won't cook down well and might burn; tuck them between the breasts, wings, thighs and legs and around the outside of the chicken, instead).
Rub the herbs under the chicken skin ... use a light hand, because their flavors will intensify with long cooking.
Put the lid on the slow cooker, set it on high, and go on about your day. In about six-seven hours, your house will smell incredible and you'll have delicious, moist, garlic-scented chicken (this can overcook and dry out, so if you're not eating at the six/seven-hour mark, turn it down to low from then until dinnertime or use your cooker's "keep warm" setting if it has one).

Fish out all the garlic cloves (and the vegetables if desired), and serve alongside the chicken; the pulpy flesh of the garlic makes a great condiment for the meat or spread on a crusty slice of baguette. 

recipe from Amy Kuras

Recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup:

  • Juices and chicken from prior recipe
  • A few carrots
  • 8 cups of water
  • 3 cups Kluski egg noodles
  • 1 Tbsp (more or less, to taste) Kosher salt (regular salt will work just as fine)
  • Pepper to taste

Save the juices from the chicken but take out all of the herbs and garlic (go ahead and leave the celery in there too!) Remove the chicken that you would like to use from the bone (about half a chicken) and return to juices; don't bother shredding it or cutting it up.  Place the juices and chicken in the refrigerator, covered, overnight.  

When you are ready to make your soup, remove the chicken and it's juices from the fridge.  There should be a layer of (really yucky) fat on the top.  It is super easy to stick a spoon in there and scoop it off the top.  Discard the fat.  PLEASE, discard the fat.  

The remaining "juice" will look like chicken jello, gross huh?  Scoop it out, along with the chicken, into a stock pot.  Add the water, whisk (chicken will break up here) to combine.  Bring to a boil.

Add noodles and return to a boil.  When noodles are soft, your soup is ready!

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