This new house is designed with the kitchen at the center. I love that. After baking a batch of baguettes in the 400-degree oven however, I also discovered that it heats the house up nicely. Great in the winter, not-so great in the summer. That got me thinking about slow-cooker versions of some of my recipes. A quick browse through Amazon led me to The French Slow Cooker, by Michele Scicolone. French. I was hooked.
I’ve made her Chicken in Half Mourning (page 51) recipe, an adaptation of the classic French Chicken Demi-Deuil, I was blown away by how tasty, tender, and juicy the chicken was. In the past, I’ve rarely roasted a whole chicken, given the trussing, carving, and the subsequent messiness of picking the meat off the carcass. This however was different. This method involves little more that dropping a whole chicken into the slow-cooker, then coming back in 6 hours and feasting. When it’s done, just looking at the meat sternly makes it come cleanly off the bones.
It has motivated me to think about other ways of cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Of course, on the very next page is Chicken with Escargot Butter (page 52), and then there is Chicken in the Pot with Aioli (page 53), Chicken with Tarragon, Mustard, and Cream (page 54), and the classic Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic (page 58). I’m going to be spending a lot of time in this cookbook.