Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Healthy comfort food?! Roast chicken with veggies

With the weather turning cooler here in Wisconsin, I’ve been craving warm delicious comfort food.  However, I still want to keep it healthy and I don’t have a whole lot of time (or motivation) in the evenings to cook an elaborate meal.  When I told a friend that I was having roast chicken for dinner, she stared at me and asked how I would have time to cook that on a Wednesday.

Anyone who owns a crockpot knows it really is a saving grace.  You can cook anything in them.  I’ve been really trying to grocery shop with what’s on sale as opposed to what’s on my list.  There are a few staple items that I purchase weekly, like yogurt, bananas, sweet potatoes – that type of thing, but normally try to keep the food simple but healthy and the costs low.

While grocery shopping this week, I was happy to find that whole organic, free range chickens were on sale.  I scooped one up and circled back to the produce section, grabbed some carrots (also on sale) and decided to use up a leftover onion and celery from my CSA. 

Enter the crockpot roast chicken.  I came home from work and the gym, and dinner was all ready to be plated.  Also, an added bonus is that the whole house smelled comforting and delicious! 

Try this out – it was amazing, and as long as you don’t add any gravy or sauces, it’s also pretty low calorie and the perfect weeknight, chilly weather warmup meal.  I served roasted broccoli on the side as well, for some vitamin E.

- 1 whole chicken
- 4 - 5 red potatoes, depending on size
- 1 onion (I used yellow because that’s what I had available)
- 2 stalks celery
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt (reg. salt is fine, I just used what I had on hand)
- olive oil

Chop carrots, potatoes, celery and half the onion.  Shake in Ziploc bag with oil and 2 tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp paprika.  You can refrigerate overnight or use right away. 

Slice other half of onion and peel the fresh garlic.  Push the onion slices and fresh garlic inside the chicken – the end which should be obvious. :)  Mix remaining spices and rub all over outside of chicken.  Place chopped veggies in the bottom of the crockpot, and add the chicken on top.  Cover, and cook for 8-10 hours on low, depending on the heat range of your crockpot.  Remove chicken and slice.  Use the remaining crockpot veggies as a side.  Enjoy! 

Simple, hearty and perfect for a chilly fall evening!

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