roasted chickenRoasted chicken is a very versatile food. In fact, it is a staple in many kitchens. You can eat the chicken as is, or remove the meat and use it in a number of dishes from chicken salad to enchiladas.

Rotisserie chickens are readily available at most grocery stores, but it is easy to reproduce the same flavor at home, with a minimum of effort, and without heating up your kitchen, which is a real help during the summer months.

Purchase a chicken at your local grocery store or butcher shop. If your family likes chicken, you might want to purchase several chickens when they are on sale and store them in your freezer. If you’re using a previously frozen chicken, thaw it thoroughly.

Wash your chicken inside and out using plenty of fresh, running water. Look in both ends of the bird’s cavity and remove any packages of organ meats or other bits like the neck that may have been included. Trim any excess skin and fat. Gently pat the bird dry and set aside.

To roast your chicken, you’ll need a slow cooker large enough to accommodate your bird. Spray the inside of the cooker with non-stick vegetable spray. You will need something to hold the bird up off the floor of the cooker.

Some cookers come equipped with cooking racks that can help with this. If you don’t have a cooking rack, you can use several crumpled balls of aluminum foil.

A more economical alternative is to use a heat safe dish, like a small ramekin, turned upside down in the bottom of the cooker. Spray the rack, foil or ramekin dish with non-stock spray as well.

Now it’s time to season your chicken. First spray your chicken with the nonstick spray; this will help the seasonings adhere. The simplest seasoning is seasoned salt. Use a generous amount and rub it on the inside and outside of the bird.

You can also use any other seasoning which appeals to you and will lend itself toward what you ultimately plan for the chicken. If you plan to use the chicken in chicken salad, for example, stick to something neutral like seasoned salt.

If you plan to make enchiladas or tacos, you might want to use taco seasoning. Lemon pepper is another good choice; try placing a whole lemon which you have washed and pierced in several places into the cavity of the chicken to really infuse the chicken with flavor. Again, rub your seasoning generously inside and outside of the bird.

Now place your bird breast side up into the cooker on top of the rack, foil, or ramekin dish. Place the lid on the cooker. Set the cooker on high and allow it to cook for about 4 to 6 hours. You can check the bird’s temperature or see if the meat is falling away from the bone.

Remove the hot chicken carefully. If you plan to serve the chicken right away, turn your oven’s broiler on and place the chicken under the broiler for just a few moments to crisp the skin. Allow the chicken to rest for about 10 minutes before serving, or cool completely before refrigerating.

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