Before we switched to eating ‘real foods,’ I had never cooked an entire chicken before. It just intimidated me. As you may have noticed, I’ve become much braver during these last 9 months and have tried so many foods and cooking techniques that I never would have considered before. Cooking a whole chicken in a slow cooker was probably one of the first “real food” meals I made after I stopped buying processed foods…and it was so incredibly easy! I’ve since made this chicken “recipe” several times and it’s one of the easiest dinners to throw together. Plus, when I’m done cooking the chicken, I already have all of the ingredients I need to make homemade chicken broth. It’s basically one meal turned into several “free” cans of ‘organic, all natural’ chicken broth! Can’t beat that!
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
(Recipe source: 100 Days of Real Food)
- Approx. 3 lb whole chicken (local, free-range is best – I buy from Honored Prairie)
- 1 onion, chopped into 8 wedges
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
Combine the spices in a small bowl. Spray the bottom of a slow cooker with oil. (I use a Misto filled with olive oil.) Place the onion on the bottom and set the chicken on top. Rub the spice mixture all over it, cover, and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours. (There is no need to add any water.) The chicken will be (literally) falling-off-the-bones delicious!!
When the chicken is fully cooked, I pull out the larger pieces and let them sit on a cutting board to cool slightly. Then I pull all of the meat off the bones. This usually gives us enough chicken for a couple of meals (and sometimes I even freeze some to use in a future recipe).
While I’m shredding the chicken, I put the skin and bones right back into the slow cooker so I can prepare to make homemade chicken broth. It would be such a waste not to complete this next step!
Overnight Organic Chicken Broth
- Leftover chicken bones/carcass
- 1 rib of organic celery, roughly chopped
- 1 organic carrot, chopped
Add the celery and carrots to the chicken bones (keeping the onion from earlier) and then fill the slow cooker with water all the way to about 1/2 inch from the top. Cover and turn on low for 8-10 hours. (I usually let this cook overnight and it changes from low to warm when the time is up.) Ladle out the broth into a sieve to remove all of the bones and veggies. I like to measure mine into 15 ounce portions so I have ‘recipe-ready’ amounts to replace store-bought cans. You may also want to freeze some larger amounts or even some small amounts in ice cube trays. It really all just depends on the recipes you typically use. This is a great way to save a little money! I can’t imagine I’ll need to buy a can of chicken broth anytime soon.
And check out at all this chicken broth ready to go into the freezer!
See how easy that all was??? Now you try!
I often make homemade chicken noodle soup the next day, as well. We usually eat some for dinner one night (usually with a loaf of fresh baked bread) and then I portion the remaining amount into smaller containers to freeze. I often find myself pulling out a container when I’m either sick or just not in the mood to cook. It’s nice to have that as a backup so I don’t feel the need to rely on a can of Campbell’s soup (not that I keep any in my house, anyway). 🙂
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