Guide to Slow Cooking Chicken & Poultry
Poultry is one of the most inclusive culinary terms. It not only
refers to staple meats, like turkey and chicken, but to all other forms
of fowl, including duck and goose. The great thing about poultry meat is
that it is widely available, inexpensive, versatile, and especially lean
and healthy. This makes it a great choice for slow cooked meals.
Cooking with poultry has always been popular, but it is gaining even
more acclaim now due to the availability of healthier poultry options.
In fact, some of the best food you can put into your body is poultry
that is free-range, corn fed, and organic. These birds are allowed to
grow naturally in open-air conditions. They are not given any artificial
growth accelerators or fed unsanitary food products. This ultimately
gives them a fuller flavour and more nutritional value.
Slow Cooking the Whole Chicken
Whole poultry is great for pot roasting in a slow cooker. Small birds
can easily fit in an average size appliance and be easily prepared with
minimal preparation. Preparing whole birds this way leads to tender,
moist results and a delicious healthy meal. In general, a one to two
pound bird will serve two to three people. It is important to note,
though, that whole duck should not be prepared in a slow cooker. Even
though a small duck may fit in the pot, the bird will not cook well due
to its shape and fat content. Instead, use the slow cooker for smaller
cuts, like duck breast. Similarly, geese are rather large, fatty birds
and are best prepared in an oven instead of a slow cooker.
Whole poultry cut prior to cooking to be poached, roasted, stewed, or
braised in the slow cooker. This is a great option for larger roasting
hens and other poultry too large to cook as a single piece. Poultry
still on the bone is also great for preparing fresh soups. When using
whole pieces, you do not need to use pre-made broth. Rather, you can use
the bird to make your own using water, herbs, and vegetables. Whole legs
from large birds, specifically turkey’s, are also great for pot roasting
or braising. These joints are generally large enough to feed several
people and you can save the rest of the bird for other dishes.