Sunday, September 13, 2015

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

I just made a whole chicken in the slow cooker for the first time and it was the best chicken I have ever made, ever.  So moist and so easy.  I normally brine a chicken for 24 hours before roasting it in the oven and it still isn't as moist as it was when made in the slow cooker.  If you like a crispy skin on your chicken though, you won't get it in the slow cooker.  My family usually just removes the skin so it wasn't a big deal to us.
Forgive the bad picture. I wasn't planning to blog it until it came out so yummy!
First, before you doing anything with the chicken or spices, grab some foil and roll 4 balls of foil to put under the chicken.  She shows you how over at No. 2 Pencil and trust me, she's right.  I chose not to follow her recipe because she used a pre-mixed spice blend.  I have found that the spice blends at the store are often not friendly to the Elimination Diet restrictions and I prefer to balance spices myself.

Spice Blend - Mix together in a small bowl.

2 t. salt
1 t. paprika
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion flakes
2 t. black pepper
1 t. red chili flakes

1 whole chicken, 3.5-4.5 lbs.
3-4 T. EVOO or butter
1 medium yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic

After mixing the spices, grab your chicken.  Don't rinse it.  If your chicken came with the neck, I recommend placing it on the bottom of the cooker next to the foil balls for later use in making stock. Place chicken in slow cooker atop foil balls.

Rub the chicken with oil or butter. (I use EVOO.) Then rub the chicken with spices both on top and under the skin for extra flavor.  Chop the yellow onion into 4-5 wedges.  Roughly chop the garlic cloves.  Place onion wedges and chopped garlic into the bird's cavity.

Cook the chicken on low for 4-5 hours.  (Time and temperature will vary by cooker type.)  Use a meat thermometer to check if chicken is done.

What I Learned Week 1

Reflection.  It's a good thing, necessary for growth, both personal and professional.  It's an indispensable tool for teachers of all types.  It comes naturally to me but I don't always remember to write it down, which isn't helpful.  This past week was our first week of homeschool for the 2015-2016 school year and I have learned (or was reminded) of SO many lessons from my children.

What Did I Learn?
  • Spreadsheets are Helpful but Simple is Best - I had a huge spreadsheet for Week 1.  I mean HUGE, about three times what is shown below.  I had it divided up by day and subject, including page numbers and references.  It was super organized.  Did I use it?  Some, but I kept simplifying it to a little daily checklist.  
  • Calendar Time is almost useless as long as it remains in their room (with all their toys nearby). Do the routine and picture books but notebooking is pointless.
  • Quiet Boxes - It's pointless to plan what goes in them ahead of time.  
  • Reading - Picture book reading works best as part of Calendar Time; Read Aloud time works best during afternoon snack time.
  • Phonics - It either clicks for my girl or it doesn't.  If it doesn't then there's no use dwelling on it.  It will frustrate us both.  Keep practicing reading skills and eventually it will just click.
  • Handwriting - My girl needs practice, practice, practice until all those old bad habits from public school are gone. My boy isn't ready - color and trace, color and trace.
  • Fridays are for review.  No one feels like sitting and concentrating on something new by that point in the week.
  • Feedback from the kids - Craft projects. More music time. Don't leave Science until last.

What Did We Do?

Week 1
Field Trips
Beach; Six Flags; Library
Bible Verse, 100 Days, Letter, Number, Pledge, Weather
Hot air : the (mostly) true story of the first hot-air balloon ride Marjorie Priceman.
How do hot air balloons work? Buffy Silverman.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
The Cheese by Margie Palatini
A Year of Playing Skillfully
Sensory Box
Sand & Seashells
Phonics - CH/SH; Phonics Review; Phonics Review; Writing - All About Me; Sight Words - First Grade
Singapore Math - Go Fish, War card games
Bible Sketchbook - God made Heavens & Earth, Eve and the Serpent, Rules - Fruit of the Tree
Music & Art
Combined with Science and Writing
Combined with Calendar time