Roast chicken is the yum, but I get lazy about actually making it and default to those Costco rotisserie chickens all the time. However, they ran out (horror of horrors!) and I was forced to buy a two-pack of raw chicken and figure it out for myself.
I love roasting chicken in the oven because it makes the house smell amazing, but you have to sort of watch it and the roasting pan tends to be a pain to clean. So, I experimented and did one chicken in the oven and one chicken in the slow cooker to see if there was really a difference. I stuffed both chickens with half a lemon, a bunch of thyme, and half a bulb of garlic. I also salted the inside of the chicken for the one that roasted in the oven, but not the crock pot chicken.
I surrounded the chickens with a mixture of baby carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, and white onion tossed in olive oil. I then dried the outside of the chickens and sprinkled salt and pepper on them. I basted each chicken with melted butter and topped it with thyme. The crock pot chicken was in the slow cooker on high for about four and a half hours. The oven chicken roasted at 425 degrees for an hour and a half. Here’s the result:
Prep: it was sort of a draw as far as prep goes. I had to stuff and dress each chicken in the same way and cleaned/sliced the vegetables the same way as well.
Cooking: the slow cooker chicken wins just because I was able to set the timer and forget about it, whereas the oven chicken needed to be watched and checked toward the end. They both made the house smell amazing!
Cooked: the oven chicken wins by a mile on looks. Crispy chicken with that beautiful color, versus the slow cooker chicken (which was white and a little greasy looking).
Taste: I think the oven chicken wins by just a bit and the oven veggies were super sweet (yum!). Kyle actually preferred the slow cooker chicken because it was more moist and the slow cooker veggies because they had a buttery taste from cooking in the chicken juices.
Verdict: I think I still lean towards oven chickens, but the slow cooker chicken would be awesome when I’m pressed for time. Extra bonus: I was able to leave the carcass in the slow cooker, add water, and let it simmer all night for some yummy homemade chicken broth. You just have to strain the carcass out using a cheese cloth and let the fat separate in the fridge.