Yesterday morning, Kev and I put a couple of roasts into the crockpot & let ‘em cook all day. We had it over egg noodles for dinner, and it was really good. Really good. Ask Kev... he’s told me about 5 or 6 times so far how good it was. And he's taking some more (the last of it) into work with him tonight, so I'm pretty sure I'll hear it again from him, at least one more time.
I will tell you how we made it, but first I have to tell you about baking chickens. It’s possible I’ve already done a post about the baked chicken recipe I always use, because it’s wonderful. This is a recipe I got from Sandy, from whom I get all my best recipes! I remember that it’s called “Poulet Provence,” but I long ago lost my sheet of paper it was on & go just from memory now. My kids call it baked chicken. As in make baked chicken please. They love it.
I always bake 2 whole chickens at once, and I use one of my big, oval roasting pans. Clean the chickens well & lay them breast down in the pan. Pour some olive oil over top of each, drizzling it all over, about a quarter cup or so per bird. Now for the garlic. Yum. I usually use the chopped stuff in jars, and I take a couple of large spoonfuls per bird and sprinkle it all over. Then generously sprinkle with Fines Herbs, which is an herb blend consisting of parsley, chives, chervil & tarragon. I’ve also used Herbs de Provence blends, & the last one I bought had chervil, basil, rosemary, tarragon, garlic, lavender, marjoram, savory, thyme and parsley in it. That one was very nice, but I prefer the simple Fines Herbs. Cover the pan and bake at about 325 degrees F. for about 4 hours or so. Can adjust temperature and cooking time, as you prefer. Bake at least 2.5 hours, though. This isn’t something you want to rush. I usually take the cover off the last half hour. The meat will fall off the bones, and it will be some of the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth chicken you’ve ever had.
After dinner is over, and the birds are cooled, I always pull all the good meat off the carcasses, and we eat it for the next day or 2 (if it lasts 2 days). I also put all the yukky stuff aside, like the skin, fatty parts, etc., carefully removing all the bones (especially those little, hard to find ones), and we give some of that stuff to Barney & Betty for the next couple of days, too. They love it.
In the pan with the chickens will be a lot of juice. This is The Good Stuff. We usually pour a little over our chicken. There is always more juice than we use on the chickens, and I save the leftover. I put it in an old Tupperware container and pop it in the freezer. It is good for so many things. Like in cooking roast beef in the crockpot.
This is how we made our roast beef yesterday. When we got the roasts out of the freezer the night before, I also took the container of chicken juice out. Kev trimmed the thawed roasts and cut them into chunks, probably quartering the roasts or so... big pieces. While he did that, I dumped 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup & 1 can of cream of chicken soup into the crockpot. Then I added some milk, probably about 2 cups or more. Maybe 3... I wasn’t measuring, just pouring. Then I took the container of The Good Stuff... the grease and oils had separated from the chicken juice, and I scraped as much of that out as I could. The chicken juice, thawed, is the consistency of jello, so I popped in the mic for a couple of minutes to liquify it, poured the liquid into the crockpot, nuked it again, and so on, until it was all liquid again and in the crockpot. I didn’t want to nuke it too long, for one thing, it would ruin my old Tupperware container. It was about a quart of chicken juice, slightly less. I stirred the contents up well and tossed in the roast, covered the pot and turned it on high. Left it to cook for about 6 hours, then took the lid off, stirred it, and let it continue cooking for a couple more hours. Leaving the lid off while it cooked on high reduced the sauce a little more. Before serving, I took the chunks of roast out, carefully because they were falling apart, and I tore & cut them into bite size pieces, sorting out the fatty portions as I went (Barney & Betty were happy with those). I put all the meat back into the gravy, and served it over cooked egg noodles, with freshly ground pepper. Heaven.
In lieu of the chicken juice, I suppose you could use a couple of cans of chicken broth, then add garlic and herbs into the crockpot... (But it won't be the same as using The Good Stuff.)
And there ya go... 2 easy & heavenly recipes for the price of 1... so don’t say I never gave you nothin’.