Applewood Cider Slow Cooker Chicken – Lazy days are just as much a part of life as busy days. Slow cooking is a perfect choice for a lazy day in the kitchen. When I’ve got lots of irons in the fire, and I’m juggling everyone’s schedule, that usually means I don’t get to spend quite as much time putting together our meal as I would like. I almost always make my own dry rubs, and in fact, I prefer to concoct my own creations. However, like most home cooks some days I find myself too busy and I turn to a prepared rub to simplify my life you know, on those “don’t sweat the small stuff” kind of days.
The rub I used for this slow cooker chicken was a seasoning blend with smokey undertones. Paprika, garlic, granulated onion and a hint of Applewood flavoring, along with other spices for added flavor. We love garlic, so, I added a couple of cloves of fresh minced garlic to the seasoned butter to give it an edge. The simple brine really infuses the chicken with moisture, and the subtle apple flavor that we love. Slow cooking the chicken makes it fall off the bone tender. Slow cooking is a moist cooking environment so, be aware that the skin won’t become crispy as it would when you roast a chicken in a conventional oven. To get the golden brown color broil for a few minutes in the oven just before serving to crisp the skin and then drizzle with the pan juices just before serving.
See it at Whatcha Crockin’? here
Applewood Cider Slow Cooker Chicken
- 1  lb whole chicken
- 5 cups apple cider divided [or Apple juice]
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 Tbsp applewood rub plus add'l for sprinkling [i.e. Grill Mates]
- 4 Tbsp softened butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- The night before: Mix together 4 cups of apple cider or apple juice with 1/4 cup of salt. Stir until the salt dissolves.
- Wash the chicken, removing the giblets, then pour the brine over the chicken and refrigerate. Turn occasionally.
- To prepare: Spray the inside of a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray and set on low. Remove the chicken from the brine, and pat dry.
- Mix together 2 tablespoons of applewood rub, two cloves of minced garlic and 4 tablespoons of butter. Rub all over the chicken. Loosen the skin around the breast and leg portions and tuck some of the mixture under the skin, too.
- Sprinkle the top with additional seasoning and center in your slow cooker.
- Pour 1 cup of apple cider or apple juice around the chicken and place the lid firmly on top.
- Cook on low for 6 hours then check for doneness. Depending on how your slow cooker cooks, and the size of the chicken, it may take a little longer likewise if smaller less cooking time.
- To crisp the skin, carefully move to a baking pan. Broil, in the oven for 3-5 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving
- Drizzle with the pan juices just before serving.