But seriously, if I could hire someone to handle and clean up after all the raw chicken at my house, I would without hesitation.
Last month when whole chickens were on sale, I grabbed two and stuck them in my freezer. I knew I was going to have to touch them eventually (deep breath). And this week, it was time.
One of my favorite ways to deal with raw chicken is to slide it straight into the slow cooker to cook for the day, leaving my hands clean and my nerves calm.
However when I adapted this recipe, a whole raw chicken must be touched, bathed, and slathered in a jerk spice paste. Deep breath, I promise it will be worth it!
Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken
1 whole chicken, 3-5 lbs
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Begin by making four balls of aluminum foil and placing them in the bottom of your slow cooker. For each ball I tore off about 14 inches of foil and lightly packed it into a ball, kind of like I was making a snow ball.
You want them to be large enough to keep air circulating under the chicken but small enough that your chicken will fit in the slow cooker with the lid on.
2. Now grab your whole chicken and remove everything from the inside cavity. (If you are like me, it is best to not ask what it is, just grab it and toss it in the garbage.) Rinse the chicken in the sink, inside and out, with cold water.
As you rinse, work your hands around the chicken between the breast meat and the skin. Let the chicken rest in a pan in the sink while you make the paste.
3. Place all the ingredients listed above, except olive oil, in a food processor and pulse to combine.
4. With the food processor running, stream in the olive oil to form a thick paste.
5. Go back to your chicken and pat dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Place chicken, breast up, in the slow cooker on the balls of aluminum foil. Now spoon and rub the jerk paste onto and under the skin of the chicken.
**I know this looks gross, or dross as my little guy would say, but the paste smells amazing and this chicken will not disappoint!**
6. Cover chicken, breast meat under the vent whole in the lid, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. This chicken can be dry if cooked for too long, so at 6 hours insert a meat thermometer through the vent on the lid into the breast meat to check the temperature.
As soon as the thickest part of the breast reaches 160 degrees, turn off the slow cooker and let the chicken rest for a few minutes.
7. The meat will be so tender that it will be difficult to remove in one piece. I've found that if I get two large spoons or spatulas, I can slide them under the chicken and lift it out in mostly one piece. No guarantees!
8. Congratulations! You conquered a whole raw chicken and now you have a golden juicy cooked chicken to show for it.
Enjoy the drumsticks or sliced breasts with brown rice, a side salad, or roasted vegetables and pineapple. Shred the leftover breast to use in chicken salad, stir fry, or sweet and spicy sesame noodles.
Even the little guy loves this recipe and tries to sneak tastes whenever he can!