Saturday, March 2, 2013

Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot + Homemade Chicken Broth

Every weekend for the past month or so, I've been cooking whole chickens in the crock pot. It's such an economical way to buy chicken. Plus, you end up with flavorful chicken broth. I had never bought a whole chicken until recently. I was intimidated. I didn't know how to cook a whole chicken. It just seemed like a lot of work. I was the kind of person who went to the store and bought boneless, skinless chicken breast. On occasion, I would even buy boneless, skinless thighs. I would spend the $6.99 to buy the pre-cooked rotisserie chickens. I realize now what a rip-off they are. 

There's no reason to be intimidated by whole chickens. Besides, the Crock Pot does majority of the work. The more you make something, the easier it gets to put together. It takes me less than 15 minutes to throw all my ingredients into the Crock Pot. Here's my version of Crock Pot Chicken. 

Crock Pot Chicken
Paleo Rating: 10 Clubs

1 whole chicken, 3-4 pounds
3 carrots, cut into large pieces
4 celery stalks, cut into large pieces
1 onion, sliced
2 t. garlic powder
2 t. onion powder
2 t. poultry seasoning
Sea salt and fresh-ground pepper - I just sprinkle enough to cover the entire chicken
5 cups water

  1. Slice the onion and spread out on the bottom of the Crock Pot.
  2. Place the chicken breast side up on top of the onions. 
  3. Stuff half of the celery and carrot pieces into the chicken and put the remaining pieces around the chicken. 
  4. Sprinkle seasonings on top of the chicken and vegetables. 
  5. Add water to the Crock Pot. 
  6. Cook on high for 5 hours. You could probably cook on low for 8 hours, but I haven't tried this yet. Let me know if you cook it on low and how it goes. 
  7. After the 5 hours, carefully take the chicken out of the Crock Pot (I use tongs and it typically falls apart into a few pieces). Clean the chicken off the bones. Discard the skin. 
  8. Add bones back to the Crock Pot and add an additional cup or two of water. Put the lid back on and cook on low for at least 4 hours (can be cooked on low overnight). 
  9. Pour the broth through a strainer (set atop a large bowl). Let it cool for a little while. 
  10. Pour the strained broth into Mason jars and keep in the refrigerator, for up to a week. You could also freeze the broth in ice cube trays. Once frozen, put them into freezer bags. That way you can just add the cubes to dishes as needed. No need to thaw. 
There you have it. Crock Pot chicken and homemade chicken broth. The chicken is enough for a couple meals and chicken broth can be used as a base to a soup or stew. I use my homemade chicken broth in my Chicken Minestrone Soup and in my Chicken Noodle Soup

Question of the Day: How often do you use your crock pot? I've been using mine at least once per week. I love coming home from work to dinner being done (or mostly done). 

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