Today’s topic is: “Your best chicken recipe”
So many choices… but the first thought that came to mind was “anything that someone else cooked for me!”
I’m a reluctant cook. When I was single, I ate out, or microwaved meals, or had a bowl of cereal for dinner. More often than not, I ate “appetizer dinners” (like a big plate of cheese, crackers, almonds, sliced fruit, chocolate, and a glass of wine). That covers all the food groups, right?
In 2010, when I came to visit my future husband, he cooked me the most amazing meals! Farm-fresh eggs (with *orange* yolks like I had never seen before) and locally-raised bacon. Grass-fed ground beef burgers and garden-harvested salad. I was in heaven. After the lower-quality food I had been unwittingly eating, it’s no wonder why I decided to settle down with this culinary master.
But shortly after I moved in to the old farmhouse, he announced it was my turn to cook. “Excuse me?” I said in surprise. “But I don’t know how to cook.” In fact, before I met him, I hadn’t even realized that my stove wasn’t plugged in until my foodie sister came to visit, a year after I’d moved in to my apartment. “You’ll figure it out” was his quiet response.
So I muddled around the kitchen for a few months, feeling like I had been pushed into the deep end without knowing how to swim. Then, my dear friend Diane called one day and announced that she was cleaning out her bookshelf and offered me a handful of back issues of Cooks Illustrated magazine. All of a sudden, a bright light turned on and the dark shadows surrounding my kitchen disappeared. Not only did the magazines include recipes, they told me why it worked. I thought “I may not know how to cook, but I can follow directions” and these folks write very detailed instructions!
I vividly remember the first chicken recipe I made: Lighter Chicken and Dumplings soup. It had more ingredients than I had ever cooked with before and took me nearly three hours, but my husband couldn’t stop raving about how good it was! I think he ate four servings that first night! A few days later, I tried another recipe (with the same enthusiastic reception), and then another… I quickly went online and ordered their full 2,000-recipe cookbook, which has since been renamed “the cookbook bible” in our house.
But even with this excellent resource, I’m still a reluctant cook. I cook because I must, not because I love it (yet). So, if you were to ask me my favorite chicken recipe to cook, I’d say…
Crock Pot Chicken
Place a whole (thawed) chicken into a crock pot with a handful of baby carrots and a quartered onion. Sprinkle with a generous amount of Lawry’s seasoned salt (which I swear is the same stuff they put in those little silver Ramen packets). Cover and turn on crock pot for 8-10 hours. When you’re ready to eat, make sure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees.
It’s not the most delicious chicken you’ll ever eat, but it is the easiest!
If you have an easy chicken recipe you’d be willing to share, drop me a comment below.
~ Phoebe DeCook
(P.S. If you missed my introduction to these “Musings”, you can read from the beginning here.)