SLOW-COOKER CHICKEN WITH 40 PEACES OF GARLIC
1 whole chicken
salt and pepper to taste
1 small bunch each of chervil, tarragon, parsley and thyme
2 bay leaves
1 large fennel bulb
4 tablespoons olive oil
40 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted
40 grams butter
Put slow cooker on high to preheat for 20 minutes while you prepare the chicken.
Wash and pat dry the chicken. Season all over. Put a few springs of each herb, along with one of the bay leaves in the chicken cavity and set aside. Tie the remaining herbs together with a clean piece of string.
Trim the fennel, then cut into thin slices and place in a large bowl. Gently mix in 3 tablespoons of the oil, the garlic cloves and toasted fennel seeds. Season well.
Heat the butter with the remaining oil in a large frying pan until hot and bubbling. Put the chicken in the pan, breast-side down, so that it sits on one side. Cook for 2 minutes until lightly golden, then cook on the other side for a further 2 minutes.
Put half the fennel and the garlic mixture in the slow cooker dish, Drain the chicken, reserving the juices, and place on top. Spoon over the remaining fennel mixture and make sure the lid fits. Spoon over the reserved pan juices and lay the bunch of herbs on top the the chicken.
Cover the top of the dish with a layer of foil, shiny-side down, and then cover with the lid. Cook for about 3 hours, or until the juices run clear (the internal temperature should read 80ºC using a food probe). Carefully remove the lid and foil, then drain the chicken and stand on a warm serving platter. Cover with foil and stand for 15 minutes. Drain the vegetables and keep warm. Discard the herbs.
Serve with the garlic and fennel. Accompany with toasted French bread.
Note: The garlic cooks to molten paste which is very tasty smeared onto the toasted bread.
If not all the herbs can be found fresh, replace with dry herbs.
I have replaced the fennel with onion when I could not find fennel.
Recipe Nicolette Papas