Payne’s Pantry: Crock-Pot Chicken with Cloves and Cinnamon

Published 11:29 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018

By Anne Payne

The Orange Leader

A few columns back, I revealed that I do not like onions at all.  Well, this dish I found in a Celtic cookbook made me love cooked onions with mild spices!

Since my husband and I are both of Scotch-Irish heritage, I thought it would be fun to try a recipe from the Emerald Isles.  This recipe uses some unusual combinations on chicken, such as honey, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon, along with apples and onions.  I chose to make this in a crock-pot, a favorite tool for cooking when I was working.  The recipe can also be cooked in a 325 degree oven for about 2 hours, frequently basting.  Trust me, a crock-pot really does the trick for “fall-off-the bone” meat and soft onions and apples.  Onions are now my dear friends.  This is an easy recipe, so don’t be afraid to tackle it.




1 –  5 lb. roasting chicken

Salt and pepper to taste

1 – large or 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and quartered

1 – large yellow onion, quartered, then quartered again

3 shakes of ground cloves

6 to 8 shakes of ground cinnamon

4 Tbs. butter, melted

4 Tbs. honey, divided


Take neck, giblets, heart, and liver out of chicken cavity.  Save for later to throw away.  Salt and pepper the chicken inside the cavity and on both sides as you prefer.  Set the large roasting chicken in the crock-pot.  Peel the apple(s) and onion, removing seeds and stem from apple(s), quartering the apple(s) and onion with knife in a large bowl.  Add the shakes of ground cloves and cinnamon to the bowl in which you peeled and sliced apple(s) and onion.  Mix well.


Stuff the chicken cavity with the coated apple(s) and onion.  Melt butter in microwave for about 40 seconds on high.  Spoon the 4 Tbs. butter onto top of chicken.  Then, spoon only 2 Tbs. of the honey on top of the chicken.  Turn the crock-pot on High and cook for 4 hours.  Next, lift the lid and spoon remaining honey, more if desired, on the top of chicken.  Replace lid and continue cooking

for 2 more hours, remaining on High.


Chicken, onions, and apples will be so tender and juicy, and the meat will fall off the chicken bones without a knife.  This dish is a keeper, and my husband is anxiously waiting to have it again soon.  Serve hot, of course, with broiled, grilled, or microwaved additional vegetables, if desired, such as asparagus and butternut squash.  This makes a healthy dinner, in my opinion.  Happy eating!


Recipe courtesy of Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala, 2003, Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN, with personal revisions by Anne Payne.