I think that people think of a slow-cooker as more of a winter season method of cooking. But I’m here to tell you, it’s perfect for the summer time! Sure it’s fantastic in the winter too, but it doesn’t heat up your whole house like the oven does. So for that reason, I use my slow cooker just as much in the summer as I do in other seasons. Then there’s the fact that the slow cooker may just be the EASIEST way to cook a whole chicken. People this is not the first whole-chicken-in-a-slow-cooker dish I’ve brought you, and you can be sure it won’t be the last. You can NEVER have too many whole chicken recipes, especially ones that are such easy prep!
When I say the preparation for this dish is easy, I mean it’s REALLY easy, which make it my kind of recipe. There is very little chopping (just one onion). It’s really a matter of pouring some stuff in and you’re ready to set-it-and-forget it. Another reason I love this recipe is because I get to make use of all of the tasty Marinara that I made last year from my dad’s garden and canned! It’s already packed with flavor so you don’t have to add in a bunch of spices and herbs. The homemade marinara imparts a slow-cooked flavor into the chicken and keeps it really moist! You can get the recipe HERE. If you don’t have your own marinara, go ahead and use your favorite good quality store-bought marinara. I like this kind.
This recipe is super special for yet another reason! This was my first recipe that I tried out my new Spiralizer with! This thing is awesome! I’m a girl who loves my pasta. But let’s face it. Pasta doesn’t love me….or maybe it loves me a little too much…so much that it never leaves me once I eat it! The Spiralizer turns zucchini into the perfect al dente vegetable noodle. You don’t even need to cook them. You just spiralize, sprinkle them with sea salt and let them sweat for about 5 minutes. Voila! Noodles! The sauce from the hot chicken warms then noodles just enough. You certainly can heat them, but it’s really unnecessary. Even my husband, the eternal carb-lover, LOVES the zucchini noodles. But you’re not just limited to zucchini. You can do beets, parsnips, carrots, apples…You’re only limited by your imagination. This is the one I have and I love it!
On with the show!
- 1 3-4 pound chicken, giblets removed at reserved for stock
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1½ cups of homemade marinara or your favorite store-bought marinara
- sea salt and pepper
- 4 medium zucchini
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- shaved parmigiano regiano to taste (optional)
- Place the sliced onion in the bottom of the slow cooker
- Generously season the chicken with sea salt and pepper and place it in the slow cooker on top of the onions
- Pour the marinara sauce over the chicken
- Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours
- When the chicken has cooked through, remove it from the slow cooker and set aside to cool enough that you can handle it
- In the mean time, spiralize your zucchini noodles. I like to do about 1 per person
- Place the noodles in a colander fitted over a bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and allow the noodles to sit for about 5 minutes. The excess water will fall into the bowl. Discard that.
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat from the bones and place it back into the slow cooker to warm in the sauce.
- Taste the chicken and sauce and season with sea salt and pepper
- Tear up the fresh basil into pieces and toss it in with the zucchini noodles.
- To plate, lay a bed of zucchini noodles on the plate, spoon the chicken along with some of the sauce over the noddles. Garnish with Parmesan cheese (optional) and extra basil. Enjoy!
If you would like more great gluten free slow-cooker recipes, Stephanie Brandt Cornais of Mama and Baby Love has crafted a beautiful cookbook full of slow-cooker freezer meals! I’ve got this book myself and I have made at least half of the recipes. Every single one is delicious! She has a hard copy and an ebook available. If you would like to see more about this book, click HERE.
Want to see what kind of slow-cooker I use? It’s kind of the coolest Slow- Cooker I’ve ever seen. It’s actually a multi-cooker! Check it out HERE.
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