I bring good news! You can have your mid week roast and eat it with this fool proof hack that will save you time, energy and dollar – whilst stepping up your leftover game to a whole new level.
We all know it: There really is nothing quite like that distinctively succulent flavour you get from a juicy roast chicken – and because it is so versatile you can add it to pretty much any dish for a high quality protein hit when you’re short on time to prepare something from scratch. Yup – a freshly roasted golden bird is now just as home inside that slow cooker you’ve got storing away as it is perched on the Sunday dinner table surrounded by a host of hungry family members. So perhaps it’s time to embrace it, no?
Lately I’ve been all about my slow cooker (even if I am working from home and have the luxury to cook all day), as I just think that there is something so tantalising about the idea of your kitchen being filled with the aromas that come from a dish that is slowly cooking away, unleashing those flavours and providing you with a wholesome, warming and lip smacking delicious dish by the end of it. The whole preparation is truly one of the finest forms of therapy too: You kind of slow down for those 5 minutes that you’re thinking about what’s going in and how it’s all going to taste when it’s all cooked up. Using richly scented fresh herbs is all part of it; they really help you to appreciate the making of such a simple yet gorgeous meal using basic, real ingredients. Then there is that exciting feeling about what the outcome will be – and the reassuring thought that when you get home you will have your dinner (and lunches for the next few days) ready and waiting for you is pretty damn sexy, too.
Now there are many ways that we can go about serving up the roast chicken when it’s hot outta the slow cooker – but my go to’s include stuffed inside a sweet jacket potato with lashings of hummus and fresh greens, added to pesto and brown rice pasta or just with a tray of simple and fragrant roasted veg. All. So. GOOD! And then the next day? Go ahead and throw in to leftover salads, reheat and add to soups or lay it in your sandwiches for the ultimate feel good feed.
Leftovers are bestovers, I say – and above there we have two fine examples of how making batches of your favourite foods is the way to GO for easy, simple and healthy lunches through out the week. At the top we have a leftover parsnip fritter (recipe here) and also a couple of the sides I made on my cabbage appreciation post… Both of which go so, SO well with the cold roast chicken, may I add!
And don’t get me started on how well it goes with avocado toast. I’ll go as far as saying that I don’t even miss eggs for brunch now I’ve made a diversion to this sensational lil combo…
The beauty of all this slow cooking business? Once you’ve taken the chicken out and carved off all the meat is has to offer – you can simply place the bones back in to the slow cooker with veg and water to make a MAJOR gut loving bone broth. Just ensure all the skin is off, give them a rinse and throw back in with chopped carrot, onion, celery, leek, pink salt, pepper and filtered water. Leave to simmer over night and have reap the benefits the next day. Bone broth has been making it big in the headlines lately – but I promise that it’s all for good reason and it really does deserve all the hype it gets!
Just do one thing before you try this: Make sure that when you buy your chicken, you’re going organic. I know, I know – the price difference is pretty steep, and you might wonder ‘Why choose a smaller organic chicken over a regular British chicken when it can set me back an extra fiver?’ But buying organic ensures that the chicken hasn’t been fed on antibiotics and has had an all round better life – meaning the meat you’re eating will give you the optimum benefits. Plus, when you consider that this chuck will be feeding you for the next few days along with a nourishing broth to go with it – 12 quid doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch, right?
Now let’s get to this. It won’t take long, I promise!
Chop your white onion and place at the bottom of the slow cooker.
Combine a tsp each of paprika, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Stuff the chicken with 2 lemon wedges, 2 garlic cloves and a sprig of rosemary. Get that bad boy in the slow cooker ready to cook!
Plug it in and cook on a high heat for 4 hours (ideal if you’re going to be out for just part of the day) or a low heat for 7 hours – perfect if you’re out for the best part of the day.
You know what to do… Grab a carving knife and dig the hell in!
Don’t worry if it doesn’t look super cooked on the outside; because it’s cooked slow and low you get plenty of juices flowing that keep both the inside and outside super moist. You can preserve those juices to make a dreaaaamy gravy; just mix with a little buckwheat flour to form a paste, add some veg stock, simmer and appreciate.
Happy slow cooking, lovers!