Slow Cooker Chicken & Homemade Chicken Broth

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 / Chicken Broth

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

(Recipe source: 100 Days of Real Food)

Ingredients:

  • 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!!

Whole Chicken

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).

Shredded Chicken
Shredded Chicken

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

Ingredients:

  • Leftover chicken bones/carcass
  • 1 rib of organic celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 organic carrot, chopped
  • Water

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.

Chicken Broth

And check out at all this chicken broth ready to go into the freezer!

Chicken Broth

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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25 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Chicken & Homemade Chicken Broth

  1. I love doing this! Also you can do it with juices from a beef roast (beef broth) or veggie scraps (vegetable broth). Same concept – add some herbs, salt, and fill crock pot with water! Just used my last batch of broth from the freezer to make my non-vegetarian vegetarian chili. 😉

    1. I have done it both ways! If you freeze it in a wide mouth jar, just make sure to leave the lid off until it’s frozen, then attach the lid.

    2. Hi Morgan! Yes, I freeze the broth in my Tupperware and glass storage containers, though I’m sure baggies would work just as well. I like the ease of measuring specific amounts of broth into hard-sided containers and then moving those right into the freezer after I’ve labeled them. (Plus, I try to avoid using plastic baggies as much as I can just to avoid “wasting” them.)

  2. I tried this last month and it was awesome! I can’t believe I haven’t done something like this before. The chicken was fall off the bone moist and I made a really good chicken soup the next night with the broth. Not to mention, my house smelled fantastic when I woke up in the morning:)

  3. Love the ease of the crockpot method. I usually roast a chicken and get some “broth” from my method. Wondering if when we’ve striped our roasted chicken I can go to your Crockpot method for making broth? What do you think. It would be a few days later after we’ve had our way with the chicken. 😉

    1. I think it would work, KC! I don’t know why it wouldn’t, anyway. You would probably want to add a new onion to the bottom. Also, any drippings you get when you roast it, maybe try saving those in the fridge until you’re ready to use the crockpot…and then add everything back in so you don’t miss out on any flavoring. 🙂 Let me know if it works for you!

  4. Chicken, beef, or pork stock, for chicken use a carcass, for beef, use a 3-4 soup bones, for pork, get some short ribs or just scrap pork bones from a local butcher, put that in a slow cooker, add a carrot that is chopped just a little, an onion cut into quarters, couple of celery ribs, palmful of peppercorns, fill the pot with water to near the top, cover and cook on low overnight or about 10 hours max, done deal.

    For seafood stock, next time you are cleaning shrimp, keep the heads and tails, freeze them if need be until you have a pound or so, if cleaning crabs, keep those shells as well. Add everything to a slow cooker, fill with water, add a quarted onion and palmful of peppercorns, cook on low for about 8-10 hours 🙂

      1. When we make Thai soups, think Chicken in Coconut Milk, and Pork Rib Soups for starters, for chicken soup, the chicken legs and thighs are boiled, skin on and bone in, there is your stock (then simply remove the skin), same for the pork rib soup, boil the ribs first with plenty of garlic and shallots, there is your stock, then add the vegetables, done 🙂

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