Let’s kill two birds with one stone! I mean, cook two birds in one pot! You may only be able to cook one at a time, depending on your crock pot. I have a gigantic slow cooker, 7 quart, and can hold two nicely. This is the easiest thing you have ever done. Before the process let me tell you why! First of all, I needed a way to cook chicken during the hot summer months without having my oven on for hours! Yes, I love a freshly roasted chicken as much as the next gal, but really? Not in the summer time…if ever! Second of all, store-bought rotisserie chickens have a ton of sodium. This method allows me to control exactly what is or is not in my chicken. Third of all, I am able to cook a ton of chicken, freeze it, and defrost it on the day I need it for a ton of different recipes! Ok, here is the big bangin’ “fourth of all”, it allows me to conveniently make my “bone broth” (or chicken broth if you prefer) right there in the same pot. Only one dish to clean, only one full day of your house smelling like chicken!
COOKING THE CHICKEN:
That was the why, this is the how. 3 very easy steps:
- First, you will need 2 Free Range Organic Roasting Chickens (Trader Joe’s has them for $2.49 a pound!). Please note, if you choose to not eat/buy organic food, you really should consider buying free range chickens. Too many reasons not to eat regular chickens to list. Remove the inner parts (set aside for bone broth or give to your dog!).
- Second, pat dry and fit into crock pot.
- Third, rub with salt, pepper, paprika, or any other seasonings you prefer. I usually do just s&p. Add water to fill the crock pot half full. Cover and turn on low. Cook for 8 hours. (Note: My crock pot seems to cook nicely at 7 hours, so check on yours between 6-8 hours depending on its power).
That’s it! Juicy and tender! Please note that one Chicken only takes about 5 hours in my crock pot. Times may vary depending on your cooker. If you look really closely in the next picture you can see that it made so much liquid while cooking. This is near the end of the process:
Take the lid off and let it cool for a bit (until you can touch it). Slip on some kitchen gloves and start taking that chicken off the bone! I end up with about 12 cups of cooked chicken. I put them in quart size freezer bag (4 cups at a time) and freeze until I need them (to keep them fresh but they do go fast!). As you are pulling the chicken off the bone, put the chicken in a separate dish and put the bones, skin, and anything else that falls off back in the crock pot (with the existing broth).
COOKING THE BONE BROTH:
- a few carrots (I use organic so I just wash and toss. If you do not use organic than you may want to peel)
- a whole onion (peel only the outer layer and cut into quarters)
- two bay leaves
- 2 celery stalks, washed and tossed in.
- a few sprigs of thyme (or any other herbs your heart desires)
- water to cover the mixture plus about 2 inches or more (I end up adding water to about the top)
- Some Apple cider vinegar to help draw minerals out of bones (a few tablespoons, this is optional).
- Cook on low for 12 hours (or overnight)! Please note this is a “taste thing”. You may like it cooked more or less. (The picture below is the stock before I cooked it and before I added the water. It looked so pretty I just had to take a pic).
- If you don’t want to make bone broth now, take the bones and throw them in a freezer bag in the freezer. When it comes time to make them just add water (or you can freeze the broth as well).
- I was using the fridge in the garage so I got to “utilize” my husbands workbench outside! If you know him you know how “special” that was 🙂
REVISION: Once frozen, scrape the fat off the top and store in the refrigerator for use (or keep frozen in the refrigerator for future use). This is a VERY good fat for you (like bacon grease) and used in cooking vegetables will help your body absorb minerals. You need a diet high in fat, believe it or not! For more on this click here.