A Southern Grace: the circle of life

January 21, 2013

the circle of life


Remember how I mentioned that my brother had decided to raise chickens? And how I foolishly decided to name them? I think Myrtle just ended up in my crockpot.

Yes, my brother dispatched of his first and second rounds of broilers and gave me one for Christmas. It was a 5.6-pounder, and if I didn't have a big crockpot, it wouldn't have fit!

Serendipitously, I had just received four (four!) cookbooks in the mail from Southern Living, and one had a recipe for slow-cooked barbecue chicken that sounded delicious. Southern Living Fix It & Freeze It/Heat It & Eat It: A quick-cook guide to over 200 make-ahead dishesis a must-have for people who subsist on make-ahead meals, heat-to-serve soups (like Roasted Chicken Noodle), and simple desserts (such as Orange Cream Pie). The book (and my crock-pot) didn't let me down with this easy preparation--the resulting chicken was moist and flavorful; the hardest part was washing the crock-pot.

I found an equally-appealing recipe for cole slaw (for what is chicken barbecue without cole slaw?!) in another of those cookbooks--Southern Living What's for Supper. In addition to a bunch of great ideas for quick side dishes, this book also contains lots of nutritious and delicious entrees like Onion-Topped Sausage 'n' Mashed Potato Casserole and Caribbean Pork with Butter Bean Toss. The cole slaw was great--tangy and creamy and the perfect contrast to my saucy chicken barbecue.

Get these cookbooks, get some chickens, and get fed!

Slow-Cooked Barbecue Chicken
Reprinted with permission from Southern Living Fix It & Freeze It/Heat It & Eat It: A quick-cook guide to over 200 make-ahead dishes
Makes 6 servings


  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (3 to 3-1/2 pounds) cut-up whole chicken
  • 2/3 cup cola soft drink
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, sliced
1. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over chicken. Place chicken in a single layer in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker.
2. Whisk together cola soft drink and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Slowly pour mixture between chicken pieces (to avoid removing spices from chicken). Place lemon slices in a single layer on top of chicken.
3. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 hours (or on LOW 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 hours) or until done.
4. Transfer chicken pieces (removing bones, if needed) to a serving platter; discard lemon slices. Skim fat from pan juices in slow cooker. Pour pan juices over chicken; serve immediately.
Cool chicken completely. Freeze in a labeled airtight container up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight.

Onion-and-Herb Coleslaw
Reprinted with permission from Southern Living What's for Supper

Whisk together 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon salt-free onion-and-herb seasoning blend, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until well blended. Pour mayonnaise mixture over 1 (16-oz.) package shredded coleslaw mix;
toss well. Chill until ready to serve.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a terrific sandwich! That is something I love...



Beth said...

Four new cookbooks? What a treat! And your chicken looks fantastic.

chowwithchow said...

Long live Myrtle! Thanks for the awesome crockpot chicken idea!

Pam said...

How sad... poor little Myrtle. At least she made fantastic pulled chicken sandwiches!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Now this is comfort food in one handful.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Myrtle - I mean BBQ chicken - looks delicious!

Jackie@Syrup and Biscuits said...

Well Myrtle......did you ever worrying about the crock pot when you were young and carefree? A frying pan probably gave you anxiety. A roasting pan surely caused nightmares. But in the end, it was a crockpot. Whodothunnkit?

Nice job, Grace! Your sandwich looks smashing. I didn't mean that in terms violence. I meant in terms of taste. :)

Sue/the view from great island said...

I love the two completely different photo styles in this post, Grace! Your did Myrtle proud!

Barbara said...

Yikes! You actually have photos of Myrtle???? My mother always said: don't name something we're going to eat!
You did good with the recipes, Grace. I'll shed a tear AFTER I eat. :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I made something quite similar although Mexican themed (ok that doesn't sound similar at all does it) and it was so delicious. This burger looks luscious and divine!

scrambledhenfruit said...

All of my chickens are named too, which is why I get mine at the store. I do remember one Thanksgiving at home though, when Pedro was the main course. Naming fowl bound for consumption is just not a great idea. At least that sweet little hen is now "imMyrtleized" here on your blog. :) The barbecue looks great!

Joanne said...

Well at least you made good use of the chicken!! This is one rockstar sandwich.

cakewhiz said...

lucky you getting such fresh chicken to work into your recipes though it must be a little sad eating it after naming them...lol.
your burger looks fantastic and so comforting :)

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

Your chicken looks brilliant my friend, and this whole burger has my vegetarian stomach growling :)

Choc Chip Uru

Savor The Baking said...

I've had chicken barbecue before and I love it. This recipe sounds great Grace.

Food Gal said...

That has me hankering for summer. Bring it on! LOL

Velva said...

I order fresh broiler chickens from a local farmer-it is amazing. It is difficult to go back to store bought. Once I name a chicken, I know then I can't eat it (smile).

This is a beautiful bbq chickens sandwich-cole slaw too. Thanks for sharing.


Erica said...

Poor Myrtle, but the sandwich looks amazing.:).Love crock pot recipes!I love,love, cole-salw cole-slaw that one looks delicious,Grace

Blond Duck said...

Grace, I love you. I laughed so hard I snorted sweet potato up my nose.

Dianne @ Sweet Journey Home said...

Both look scrumptious! I wish I could get motivated to cook for myself (I can't seem to) but I will definitely make this when I have my daughter and her family over for Sunday dinner! Thanks for sharing. I love Southern Living Cookbooks - I have more than my fair share! ;-)

Nic said...

Aw... you did Myrtle proud with this recipe!

lisa is cooking said...

Oh no, Myrtle! That's so funny. But, the sandwiches look fantastic with the slaw. They're making me hungry!

Gloria Baker said...

yeah is better dont put name to your food LOL
oh dear but this sandwich look fantastic, really deliciousxo

I Wilkerson said...

Raising chickens--nice trait in a brother!

kellypea said...

I'll wash your crockpot if I can sink my teeth into one of those puppies. Love a good cole slaw on a Sammie like this. Circle of life indeed :D

Laura said...

That is the best opening to a post EVER! I love it! And Myrtle looks like he turned out fantastically. Also, haven't watched yet but SO excited for The Americans...

Letters from a Mermaid said...

nom nom nom! this looks truly wonderful. you are quite the finder!