Thursday, September 13, 2012

more about the chicken

Well, it's not a pretty story. Mr. C was so looking forward to trying his new slow cooker with a nice, plump whole-body chicken cooked in onions, lemon juice, various spices and some red pepper flakes (above, before plugging in the pot). The recipe called for a cooking time of 10 hours on the Low setting. Cooking a chicken for 10 hours? That should probably have been the first clue that something wasn't quite right. But he pressed ahead anyway. He checked the bird after two hours and thought it looked awfully close to "done" but left it alone. After four hours, ditto. Finally after 5 hrs., 45 minutes, the whole bird had basically collapsed in the roaster. He turned it off and there it sat for 5 hours until it was time for dinner. Let me tell you, this was one ruined chicken. The meat was incredibly dry and mealy, and I'm talking about leg and thigh. Forget the breast. So we decided there might be something amiss with the heat elements.  Or the recipe.

This morning the resident scientist decided to test the heat theory. He put a quart of water in the pot and turned the heat to high. After four hours the temperature measured 205ยบ and the water had started a gentle simmer. Tomorrow he will repeat his experiment using the low temperature to see how hot it gets in four hours. Perhaps it's like any gadget; it's all in the knowing how. We'll see.

So what about all the dried out chicken? Pot pie for dinner with a phyllo topping!


mary ann said...

ohhhhhhhhhhh ~ this will be an amusing story for Mr. C. in a week or maybe two. Maybe the recipe was wrong?

Anonymous said...

Liz says:

Well, you had my mouth watering from when you first mentioned the chicken recipe a couple of days ago... so sorry it turned out the way it did!

I'm thinking that it should have simmered in a small amount of broth. From the photo, I don't see any liquid. Any way he can email the recipe people?

From my experience, the crock pot is best for stuff like soups, chili, pot roast (drowned in rich broth made with Lipton's onion soup)and the like.

I also have one of those Etruscan clay pot cookers, and even though you have to soak the 2 halves in water for a time before you use it, the recipes all call for some liquid. I have used it often for whole chicken, and it is wonderful.