Marinade + slow cooker = super tender.
This recipe actually involves making a marinade in your food processor or blender. For those of you willing to take that extra step, I assure you that it will be worth it. This whole chicken recipe works best when you let things marinate overnight. I know, you like easy dump-and-go recipes. You hate food prep and waiting, I know. Don’t fret kids, this recipe will help save you time over the next couple days when you have these delicious leftovers to spice up your salads, lunches, and even breakfast scrambles.
This recipe uses a dry chili rub for the chicken and a wet cilantro lime marinade. This bird will come out of your slow cooker fragrant, moist, and super tender. You won’t be able to lift the bird out in once piece. You can try, but I will be there standing over your shoulder, laughing and mocking you. Well, not really, but you will have a fall-off-the-bone chicken that will set you up for a few days of clean eating. Cooking a whole chicken while you’re at work is a great plan of action to take.
I swear this came out of my slow cooker.
What you need:
- One large free-range organic whole chicken. Mine was 6 pounds for a 6 quart slow cooker.
- Dry rub (black pepper, sea salt, chili powder, cayenne powder, ground cumin). I used about a teaspoon each of salt, pepper, cumin, and a tablespoon each of the chili powder and cayenne .
- 1/2 cup of lime juice (about 2 limes).
- 1 extra whole lime for stuffing inside your chicken (yes that makes 3 limes total).
- 2 generous handfulls of fresh cilantro.
- 3 cloves of garlic.
- 1 tbsp of olive oil.
How you make it:
- Wash your chicken off under cold tap water and then dry with paper towels.
- Dust your chicken with salt & pepper, and apply an even coating of chili powder, cayenne, and cumin to your taste. There is no magic amount or formula to use, yet do try to cover the whole bird with some spice. This also helps give the golden brown color you see in the picture.
- In a blender or food processor, combine your lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and olive oil. Pulse until an even consistency is reached.
- Take your extra lime and poke lots of holes into it with a fork. Now dust this lime with chili powder and stick it into the cavity of your chicken.
- Find a ziplock bag or crock pot liner large enough to hold your whole bird. Place your bird in the bag and pour your wet marinade over it. Use your hands to make sure the marinade is applied evenly around the chicken and under the skin, this is the important part. You can puncture the chicken breasts a few times with a knife for the marinade to seep into, yet this is not necessary. Making sure you get the marinade well applied and under the skin will do the trick.
- Seal your bag tight so that the marinade is making contact with the chicken all over. I used a crock pot liner bag which I pulled tight around the chicken and marinade, and then stuffed that into another large ziplock bag.
- Let your chicken marinade overnight. I know, you have to wait, but the morning will be true dump-and-go style cooking.
- Place your chicken in your slow cooker along with any marinade left over in your bag.
- Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. I would recommend closer to 6. It will be glorious.
I posted the before picture, after. Please don’t be confused. Slow cooking is fun!