Monday, April 16, 2012

Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot

Life has become very hectic lately and I found myself in search of less time consuming recipes. While we love Roasted Chicken, I just didn't have the two hours to make it for dinner. But that whole chicken in my freezer needed to be used, so instead of the oven, I reached for my crock pot. It is super easy and when I came home from work that day, dinner was ready.

The instructions are simple:

Remove the whole chicken from its packaging and remove the bag in innards inside the chicken cavity. Place the innards in a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator. Rinse and pat dry the chicken with a paper towel. Sprinkle the inside with salt and pepper and place the whole chicken inside the crock pot.

Sprinkle the outside with your favorite seasonings. I slid some peeled, whole garlic cloves under the chicken skin and put a few inside the chicken cavity. I also sprinkled the outside with kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Put the lid on the crock pot and turn on low for 7 - 7 1/2 hours. My chicken had a popup thermometer, but you could insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the cut of meat without touching the bone to check for doneness. The chicken is considered done at 180 degrees.

Viola! Dinner is ready. Really, could it be any easier?

When the chicken is done, allow it to rest for 15 minutes before cutting into it to prevent the chicken from drying out.

Also, DON'T THROW OUT THE BONES AND STOCK! It's time to make homemade chicken stock.

Keep the broth from the chicken in the crock pot. Add the bones and skin.

You can also add:
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 carrots, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, outer papery layer removed and cut in half horizontally
  • handful of parsley sprigs,
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  •  the innards (this is totally optional, but if you do include the innards, exclude the liver which makes the stock bitter)
Fill the crock pot with water. Put the lid on and and turn on low overnight.

The next day.

Allow the stock to cool. Strain the stock through a sieve into a large bowl.

You may use the stock immediately or allow to cool completely and store in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, skim any fat that has risen to the top. Pour into freezer containers to keep in the freezer. I like to store in 32 oz, 16 oz and 8 oz portions.

The crock pot stock technique can also be done with the leftovers from roasted chicken, roasted turkey, and I have even done it with the rotesserie chickens from the grocery store.

Have you ever cooked a whole chicken in a crock pot? What are your favorite spices for chicken? Do you make your own chicken stock? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. It looks like you put some liquid in your crock pot to cook the chicken in? (or did that seep out of the cooked chicken?)

  2. Denisines - I didn't put any liquid in the crock pot. That liquid was made during the cooking process. Don't throw it away, keep it in the crock pot and use it to make more chicken broth per the directions above.

    Thanks for commenting!


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