Bird hunting season is upon us! Whether you are searching for a great recipe for your pheasants, chukar, or quail, or even just looking for a new way to spice up your chicken or turkey, look no further! This lemony garlic and herb crockpot chicken is tender, juicy and PACKED with flavor that the whole family will love! (For real, though… my whole family loved it! Even the kids!!!)
This year, I am hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner and will be cooking a turkey for the first time. I decided to test out some different flavor combos to season my bird, and this recipe was the winner! I couldn’t find any fresh turkey this time of year, so I actually tried this out on a couple of cornish hens. It was delicious!!!
I’m SUPER excited about using the crockpot method to cook my Thanksgiving turkey! There are so many other dishes that I want to make, and doing the turkey in the crockpot will not only free up my oven, but will also free up my time to focus on other things.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “You can’t fit a turkey in a crockpot!!!” This is a true statement… IF you leave the turkey in one piece!
Even if you plan to cook your bird in the oven, breaking it down first will help it to cook faster and more evenly. When cooked as a whole, often times the breast meat will dry out by the time the thigh meat is cooked through.
For a small to medium size bird, you can most likely fit it into one or two crockpots after you break it down. If you get a giant bird, maybe try this method with a roaster oven, though I have never tried that myself, so I’m not sure if it would keep the bird as moist.
Now that that’s settled, let’s get back to the recipe. This super yummy dinner has a few steps before getting it into the crockpot. You DO NOT want to skip these steps!!! They are crucial to the success of the dish!
First, cover the bottom of a sauce pan with olive oil and add your garlic, lemon juice, rosemary and thyme. Cook over low heat for about 5-7 minutes or until the flavors all combine. Pour the oil mixture into a bowl and set aside.
Next, cover the bottom of the same sauce pan with olive oil and turn the heat to medium high. VERY GENEROUSLY season the chicken or other poultry with kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper. I mean, REALLY cake it on there all over that bird! Don’t be stingy!
Place the poultry into the hot pan and sear on all sides. You want to get a really nice crispy crust on it to lock in all that salt and pepper flavor. It will also prevent the skin from getting soggy in the crockpot.
Once your bird is seared on all sides, transfer it to the crockpot and pour the lemon and herb oil mixture (that you had previously set aside) over the top of the meat and sprinkle with lemon zest.
That’s it! Just set the crockpot on low for 8 hours (or on high for 4 hours), and you will end up with a super flavorful, juicy and delicious meal! I served this family style on a cutting board tonight, and it was literally falling off the bone! We didn’t even need a knife to cut it!
For more detailed instructions and measurements, see the full recipe below.😊
This flavor profile would be great for chicken, turkey, pheasant, quail, or any other poultry you desire!
- 1 chicken or other small poultry cut in half down the breastbone (For turkey, cut into several pieces that will fit into a Crockpot.)
- 1 lemon (juice and zest)
- olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of your skillet twice)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 sprig rosemary (fresh or dried)
- 1 sprig thyme (fresh or dried)
- kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper (enough to cover the meat all over with a thick coating of it.)
Put a few tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of your skillet or saucepan and heat over low heat.
Add your garlic, lemon juice, rosemary and thyme to the pan and stir to combine.
While that mixture cooks, completely crust your chicken on all sides with the kosher salt and black pepper. BE GENEROUS!!! REALLY PACK IT ON THERE!
When your herb oil mixture has had around 5 minutes or so to simmer for all the flavors to come together, pour it out into a bowl and set it aside. BE SURE TO REMOVE ALL THE GARLIC BITS FROM THE PAN BEFORE CONTINUING, OR THEY WILL BURN!!!
In the same pan, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and raise the heat to medium high.
Sear your chicken on all sides. Make sure you get a nice, firm crust on each side before turning it. This will lock the flavor into the skin and help the skin to stay crispy as it cooks in the crockpot.
Place seared chicken into the crockpot and pour the oil mixture over the top of it. Arrange the rosemary and thyme so that they are sitting on the top of the meat, and sprinkle the lemon zest over the top of the whole dish.
Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
Although I mention chicken in this recipe, it can also be used for any type of poultry, such as pheasant, quail, chukar, grouse, or even turkey. (You may have to cut the turkey into smaller chunks to fit it into the crockpot.)
I hope you and your families truly enjoy this recipe! As always, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions that you may have. 😊