A blog is about putting oneself out into the world, right? Being honest and open. So, I have a confession. Prepare yourself. I have a condition that is scientifically classified as carnivorium grandiosium trepidatia, or CGT for short. It's not hereditary, so I'm not sure how I got it, but I began to notice it springing up about 3 1/2 years ago (oddly enough, coinciding with getting married and being on a budget). It is sometimes vicious, leaving me stranded in the back of the grocery store, clutching my food dollars and wishing I could make a quiet escape without anyone noticing. Horrifying, really.
So, I was visiting my counselor the other day (I know a really good one, by the way - let me know if you need a recommendation) and I saw this pamphlet that caught my eye:
Meat & Greet:
How to Avoid Being Intimidated
When Large Cuts of Meat Come to Dinner
Published by the International Consortium of Members Engaged in the Advancement of Tender Sustenance (ICMEATS)
I was startled - there's hope for people like me! I don't have to live with CGT forever! I, too, can face my fear of large cuts of meat and prepare them, boldly facing even the largest roast with a dry-rub and the glint of a sharp carving knife.
So, I, having faced my fear and gained some ground over this hobbling condition of carnivorium grandiosium trepidatia, am now ready to share with you some of the things I've learned about dealing with large cuts of meat. You know which ones I'm talking about: the Pot Roasts and the Whole Chickens and the Boneless Pork Shoulders in Heavy-Duty Shrink Wrap (how do they do that, anyway?).
Today, I would like to share some insights into the Whole Chicken, Crock-Pot method:
- Of primary importance is reremoving (yes, re-removing) the innards that were so perfectly removed and packaged and placed BACK into the chicken cavity for you to purchase. Seriously, do they REALLY think that I want a liver pouch? OK. So, just remove it. Throw it away. And take out the trash.
- Next, rinse the Whole Chicken under running water, and pat dry with paper towels. Throw THOSE away too, and take out the trash again. Remember, you're preparing a DRY rub, so make sure your chicken is satisfactorily dry.
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. You're going to want the oil to be really hot - almost smoking - when you're ready to put your Whole Chicken in.
- Set the Whole Chicken aside on a plate or dish, and prepare your dry rub. Here are a few suggestions:
1. 1 Tbsp salt + 1 Tbsp pepper
2. a Cajun Dry Rub found here
3. pre-packaged spice and herb mixtures like Mrs. Dash Steak Seasoning or Cavender's All-Purpose Greek Seasoning (both are personal favorites)
4. 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. garlic powder, and 1 tsp. onion powder (a little fajita-y dry rub for you there)
- Combine the dry rub in a small dish or jar, mixing well.
- Sprinkle liberally on ALL parts of the Whole Chicken and rub in. It's called a dry rub, people, so just do it. If you have any leftovers, just keep it until next time.
- When oil is hot (it should sizzle like crazy if you sprinkle a few drops of water in there), carefully place Whole Chicken in the pan, and if you're like me, grab the lid as a shield for the splattering. I usually use my kitchen tongs for moving the Whole Chicken around - you want to make sure you've got a good grip on the chicken, otherwise it might fall into the oil suddenly, splatter, and burn you.
- Leave it for 5-8 minutes or until the side that's down has turned a crispy brown color. Turn the Whole Chicken over, and leave it for another 5-8 minutes. At this point, you face a choice: you can turn the Whole Chicken on one end and brown that (hot buns!), on one side and then the other, or remove the chicken. It's completely up to you. The point is to sear the outside of the chicken to lock in the moisture when you're cooking it.
- Remove Whole Chicken from the pan and place it in the crock pot.
- Add about 1/4 cup of liquid to the pan that you just seared the Whole Chicken in - it could be water, broth, or cooking wine - I'd suggest you avoid milk and orange juice, but if you do go down that road please let me know what happens. Reduce heat and stir to loosen the stuff on the bottom of the pan - it should simmer for just a minute or two. Pour this over the Whole Chicken in the crock pot.
- Cook in the crock pot for 8-10 hours on Low or 4-5 hours on High.
- At this point, the chicken is going to be so fall-of-the-bone that you can't really serve up a leg, thigh, or breast to fulfill the usual expectation. But you do have a number of possibilities, including de-boning the meat and using it for chicken salad, on pizza, or in pasta dishes. Or you could just pull meat out of the crock pot and eat it with mashed potatoes and green beans. It's your call.
I hope that this has been helpful in some way, especially for those closet sufferers of carnivorium grandiosium trepidatia. There is hope! Just reach out and find it here!

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