Here’s a delectable country-French-inspired dish you can make in your slow cooker. The only effort involved is in browning the chicken. Though it may be tempting, don’t skip this step; there are few things more enticing than a golden chicken, in its own juices, with vegetables. So take your time, add it to your slow cooker, and walk away.
- 4 Pound whole chicken, excess fat removed, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 Ounce applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 4-inch lengths
- 2 medium onions, chopped into large pieces
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
- 1 3⁄4 Pound new potatoes (about 12)
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme, crumbled between your fingers
- 1⁄2 Cup dry white wine
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving
Season the chicken inside and out with the salt and pepper. Tuck the wings behind the back and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
In a Dutch oven large enough to hold the chicken, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring as needed, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
Place the chicken on its back in the Dutch oven. Cook until nicely browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken onto its breast and brown for 4 to 5 minutes longer. (Stick the handle of a long wooden spoon into the cavity of the chicken to help you maneuver it.) Turn the chicken on its side and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat on the other side. Transfer the browned chicken to the crock of a 6-quart slow cooker.
Add the carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, garlic, and thyme to the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring as needed, until the vegetables are nicely glazed, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker, scattered around and under the chicken so that everything will fit. Add the bacon and wine. Cover, set the slow cooker on high, and cook until the chicken and vegetables are very tender, about 4 hours. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Using a large metal spoon, divide the vegetables and broth among serving bowls. You will be able to portion the chicken easily with the spoon. Lay the chicken pieces over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.