Did you know that you can take a whole, frozen chicken, unthawed, and cook it from frozen in your slow-cooker? Well, you can. And I just did that, today. And it became my third slow cooker recipe, thus completing that list item.
If you're playing along at home, you might know that we are avid Costco members. And we often buy whole chickens there, in packs of two, so that I can make beer can chicken. I love, love, love beer can chicken.
The last time we bought a two-pack of chicken, it was nearing its expiration date, so David tossed both birds in the freezer. I remember thinking at the time--well, now we're going to have to thaw an entire whole chicken before we cook it, otherwise, we'll be wasting food.
A quick trip to the google machine led me to a number of recipes for cooking a chicken in the crock pot, straight from the freezer. So, this morning, before I went to work, that's what I decided to try.
A couple of things about cooking a frozen chicken--it's hard as hell to unwrap a shrink-wrapped frozen chicken. And once you peel the plastic off, you can pretty much forget about pulling out the neck and giblets. That thing will be frozen hard as a rock.
So, what did I do? I used a knife and slit open the plastic, peeled it off of the bird, and then just put the whole thing in the crockpot. I seasoned it with Old Bay, and crushed black pepper, and I put a handful of thyme sprigs on top of the frozen bird.
Then I set it on "low" and went to work.
Fortunately, David was working from home, so after a couple of hours, he was able to remove the neck and the giblets, when the bird was thawed enough. But I have to think that there wouldn't really be any harm in leaving them in longer, if you had to.
The recipes I found suggested pretty consistently that a frozen bird needs about 10 hours to thaw and cook completely in a slow cooker. But ten hours later, when I wasn't yet home from work, and David checked the bird, it was falling off the bone, and way overdone.
It wasn't bad, though. In fact, for the amount of work involved (almost none), it was pretty good. I think I might try it again with the other frozen whole chicken that's still on hand--except this time, I might not cook it as long.
And, with that, I've completed my slow cooker item, less than six weeks into my 1001 Days!