A few years ago, I created a recipe for slow roasted garlic chicken which quickly became a favorite in our household. I usually make the chicken dinner on Sunday because it requires about 2 hours of prep time, but is worth every minute. Plus, the required prep work is broken down into smaller tasks that can be accomplished throughout the day.
Cooking time for the slow roasted garlic chicken can be reduced by increasing the crock-pot temperature or by roasting in the oven. The chicken can also be grilled, but the butter should be eliminated to reduce potential for grill flare-ups.
The best thing about the Sunday chicken dinner menu is you can alter it to suit your needs. The goal is to have a fresh garden salad, two side dishes, roasted chicken, gravy, and bread or rolls. Sometimes we add a light dessert or go all out, death-by-chocolate-style for special occasions.
The chicken dinner menu uses seasonal vegetables and can be adapted throughout the year. When possible, purchase produce from local Farmer’s markets or join a food co-op. If you prefer organic produce considering joining Local Harvest; a co-op offering fresh organics delivered to your home.
Sunday Dinner / Special Occasion Menu
Slow Roasted Garlic Chicken
Starch side dish
Vegetable side dish
Bread or Rolls
Fresh Garden Salad
We love a fresh, crisp garden salad to kick off Sunday dinner. My favorite recipe is to combine head and Romaine lettuce with carrots, celery, cucumber, red onion, radishes, and tomatoes. I also like spring lettuce with bleu cheese crumbles. I always make extra salad to have on hand for the next day’s lunch or dinner.
If you’re in need of salad inspiration, go to FoodBuzz.com. In fact, you could locate recipes for the entire Sunday dinner menu at their website. FoodBuzz is the largest online food community and all recipes are submitted by passionate food bloggers and foodies.
We usually have fresh steamed green beans, corn, cauliflower, or broccoli as the vegetable side dish. The garlic chicken marries well with eggplant, spaghetti squash, baked beets, and steamed asparagus.
Starch dishes are some form of potatoes, noodles, or rice. Mashed potatoes are a perfect match, but a classic chicken risotto adds the gourmet touch. Including gravy is a personal preference. Homemade gravy is best and isn’t hard to make.
If you’ve never made gravy, type in “how to make gravy” in the video section of your favorite search engine. If you have no interest in learning how to make gravy, buy high-quality organic chicken gravy.
One of my favorite sources for side dish recipes is SimplyRecipes.com. They have a nice assortment of seasonal vegetable side dishes. My personal preferences include the roasted vegetable recipes and the white bean and cherry tomato salad.
Bread or Rolls
Bread and roll selections can encompass endless possibilities. Most grocery stores offer specialty breads. Although more expensive than those sitting in the bread aisle, it is okay to splurge on artisan breads for Sunday chicken dinner.
It’s best to serve light breads and rolls when including sides of potatoes, noodles, or rice. A good alternative is flatbreads. It is easy to gourmet-up plain flatbread. It can be topped with cheeses, meats, vegetables, sauces, and herbs. One of my favorite combinations is baby spinach, sundried tomatoes, and melted brie cheese with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Pita bread is another good option; particularly in summer months. Pita bread can be served alone or with toppings. It can be heated in the oven, baked, pan fried or deep fried; although the latter two cooking techniques are usually reserved for pita appetizers and desserts.
Pita bread manufacturer, Kangaroo, publishes a nice variety of recipes at PitaBreadRecipes.com. This website provides a link to Pocket Diet recipes; a weight management division of Kangaroo. The Pocket Diet is a unique portion control diet plan which allows you to consume nearly anything you want as long as it fits in the pocket. The recipes sound delicious and include options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Slow Roasted Garlic Chicken Recipe
The slow roasted garlic chicken is the star of the Sunday dinner menu. I stuff the cavity with any leftover vegetables in the crisper. Most common selections include: one whole onion, two carrots, two celery stalks, and one lemon. Cut the lemon in half and place one half inside the cavity; add remaining vegetables; than seal the cavity with the remaining lemon half.
1 whole Roasting Chicken (6 to 7 pounds)
1/2 stick unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2-inch thick triangles
6 cloves Garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Beau Monde Seasoning
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1. Remove organs from cavity and dispose or use for gravy. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel.
2. Stuff cavity with vegetables, if desired.
3. Place chicken in slow cooker. Separate skin from meat in the breast area. Place 3 to 4 butter pads under the skin on each side of the breast. Using a paring knife, make small slits at the leg joint. Place 2 to 3 pads of butter under skin.
4. Place 2 to 3 garlic cloves under skin in breast and leg areas.
5. Wash hands, than mix seasonings together.
6. Drizzle olive oil over entire bird and lightly rub oil to cover the surface.
7. Evenly distribute spices and lightly pat.
8. Cover and cook over high heat for 3 hours.
9. Baste with juices, cover and reduce heat to low for 3 to 4 hours.
10. Remove chicken from slow cooker and let rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes.
11. Remove vegetables from cavity and discard.
12. Gently pull chicken legs and wings from the body.
13. Slice breast meat crosswise into 1-inch slices.
14. Transfer to serving platter and serve immediately.
I hope you enjoy my family slow roasted garlic chicken dinner menu and that is will become a favorite family meal for you. Use leftover chicken to make quesadillas, chicken tacos, chicken tortilla soup, shredded BBQ chicken, or use as a salad topping.
LocalHarvest.org – Farm fresh organic produce
FoodBuzz.com – Largest online food community
SimplyRecipes.com – Side dish recipes
PitaBreadRecipes – Division of Kangaroo; pita bread manufacturer
ThePocketDiet.com – Portion control diet plan using pita bread