You need to start this dish the night before you plan to serve it, because the chicken is dry-cured with salt first, a method I learned from reading cookbooks, particularly The Zuni Café Cookbook, a wonderful compendium of recipes written by the dearly departed Judy Rodgers. Dry curing, due to the simple fact that salt draws out liquid, removes a lot of moisture from the skin and results in a wonderful texture once the chicken is cooked. It is a great method, and one you should try.

Slow cooker size: 6+ quarts

Serves 4

  • 1 Tbsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), giblets removed
  • 8 shallots, quartered
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 pound small carrots, unpeeled but washed well, greens removed and reserved
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves

    Prep time: Overnight brine
    Cook time: 3 hours plus 20 minutes for finishing

    In a small bowl, combine the sea salt, paprika, coriander and fennel and mix well. Pat the chicken as dry as possible with paper towels. Liberally sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the chicken, then truss it. Place the chicken in a baking dish and chill it in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

    Put the shallots in a slow cooker, and add the vinegar and the broth. Add the chicken to the slow cooker, breast-side up, using the shallots as a makeshift rack. Cover the cooker with the lid and cook on the high setting for 2 hours. Then add the carrots and the raisins to the cooker, re-cover it and cook for 1 more hour.

    When the chicken is done (it should reach 165°F at its thickest point—check it with a meat thermometer), preheat the broiler to high. Carefully transfer the chicken to a broiler-safe pan, setting it breast-side up, and broil it on the lowest rack for 10 minutes to brown the skin. Remove the chicken from the broiler and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

    Finely chop enough of the reserved carrot greens to make 1/4 cup.

    Place the chicken on a platter and arrange the cooked shallots, carrots and raisins around it. Pour the remaining slow cooker juices over the chicken as a sauce. Garnish with the mint and carrot greens and serve.

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