I apologize for the length between post. I know it took more than a week to post this, but it was a crazy week. Then spent 3 days working on the following post so that the whole process could be in one post!
I decided to make a whole chicken in the crockpot. This is a relatively new experience for me. I usually take the lazy way out and get boneless meat. Today made use of everything and by making it all in the crockpot it is definitely much less work, but not quite as tasty as roasted chicken!
Recipe 1: whole chicken
1 whole chicken
2 sweet onions
2-3 tablespoons seasoning combination of choice (I keep a premixed container of my rub for the balsamic beef which I used on the chicken along with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar)
Aluminium foil rolled into 4 3-5 inch balls
(I didn’t do these directions in the logical order I’m presenting as you can see in this picture I cut my onions first, set them aside in the crockpot, then took them back out once I was ready to put the chicken in!)
• reach into your chicken and remove all giblets (set aside in the fridge for the second recipe)
• rub seasoning and balsamic vinegar on your chicken and set in fridge overnight if you have time!
• Place your 4 aluminum foil balls relatively evenly spaced in the bottom of the crockpot
• Put chicken on top of the foil so that it is elevated off of the bottom of the crock.
• Cover chicken with onions
**if you don’t have time you can make this the lazy quick way by throwing everything on top of the chicken (including the balsamic and spices) it just won’t be nearly as flavorful!
Cook on low for about 8 hours
I then attempted to move the chicken onto a pan to cook for 6 minutes in the oven at 350° it is a super difficult step as the crockpot makes the chicken so moist it just fell apart as I moved it to the pan. I still found it necessary to make it have a more similar texture to a rotisserie chicken, but feel free to omit this step if you wish!
Recipe 2: simple crockpot chicken broth
I am making this following the chicken recipe so I’m using the ingredients from that to make this broth!
▪ giblets (the ones I set aside to save for later)
▪ bones (leftover from chicken dinner)
▪ 1 unpeeled quartered onion (I just used the onions that were already in the crockpot so I omited this)
▪ about 5 garlic cloves halved/unpeeled (I just used half of a head of garlic I had)
▪ 1/2 cup halved carrot sticks or 1 carrot cut into large pieces
▪ 1 rib celery if you have it
▪ 4 sprigs of fresh herbs of choice
▪ 1 tb apple cider vinegar
▪ any liquid left from chicken dinner
▪ water (enough to immerse all of your ingredients)
▪ feel free to add salt, peppercorns, or other spices to taste (as always I tend to limit spices as I cook for a minimum of 5 people with varying dietary requirements/taste)
Place your giblets and bones into the crockpot followed by your vegetables/herbs. Then add your vinegar and liquid from the chicken. Finally immerse your ingredients with water.
*since I made my broth right after the chicken it I simply added my ingredients and didn’t add much water. It made a super concentrated broth. If you’re making it later it is fine to just use plain water.
Cook on low for 12-24 hours (longer cooking allows for more nutrient to be absorbed)
I find overnight works well enough for me.
After cooking your broth strain it through a wire mesh strainer and throw out all solids.
Now if you want fat free broth you should refrigerate your container of broth for about 12 hours or until it is chilled completed before scraping off the layer of fat off of the top. I used a spatula to remove the fat more easily. I removed most, but didn’t worry about getting it all.
☆store your broth in the refrigerator if you plan on using it soon or freeze it for up to 6 months!
Recipe 3: Paleo chicken “noodle” soup
▪ homemade chicken broth (I added 2 cups of water to mine because it was super concentrated)
▪ zucchini “noodles”
▪ 1/2 a sweet onion
▪ chicken pieces (great use of any leftover pieces that aren’t quite enough for a meal)
▪ your prefered spices (I used some rosemary and basil)
▪ sea salt to taste (I just can’t to chicken noodle soup without any salt!)
Of course you could use regular noodles or some other prefered pasta substitute. Or use green beans, okra, or any other vegetables you wish. The vegetables I used were what I had on hand for my soup.
I started by cutting my onion into small pieces and my carrot sticks into small circles.
I put them into the broth, stirring occasionally while I waited for it to boil. Once it was boiling I added the chicken and my zucchini noodles.
I waited for my chicken and zucchini get warmed before serving.
This recipe isn’t perfect but it is a good starting off point and to help make the idea of cooking a whole chicken much less daunting!
☆next time I plan on making broth, freezing it, then making broth a second time for my soup. There wasn’t quite enough broth!
Let me know if this helped you or how you used it/what you would change!