Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot

When it comes to cooking meat, I'm honestly a bit of a baby. I hate the feel and look of raw meat and I hate the drippiness of it. Before I had Little C, Papa Bear and I cooked together most of the time and I usually deferred meat prepping to him. However, now that I'm home and do weeknight cooking on my own, I've had to suck it up and deal with the meat.

And for the most part I've kept it safe and simple up til now - chicken breasts, pork loins, ground meat and sausages, with a stray pork shoulder thrown in once or twice. But when I saw whole chickens on sale for $0.99/lb again, I decided to be brave and tackle a whole chicken! The task didn't seem as intimidating because I'd found this recipe for whole chicken in the crock pot which seemed...well, simple! As a bonus, I could use the cooking liquid and chicken carcass to make my homemade chicken stock. And so I took out my crock pot and off I went!

Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle or cayenne (add more if you like spice!)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • 1 onion
  • Whole chicken (I used a 9-lb chicken and it just fit in the crock pot, feel free to use a smaller bird!)
  1. Coarsely chop the onion and place in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Mix seasonings in a small bowl.
  3. Remove giblets from chicken (and pop-up timer if your chicken has one). Rub the seasoning mix all over the outside of the chicken, and inside the cavity and under the skin if you'd like. Place chicken on top of onions in slow cooker.*
  4. Cook for 4-8 hours on HIGH (cook time will depend on the size of the chicken, mine was perfect in about 7 hours) or until the chicken falls off the bone.
  5. Separate all the meat from the bones and use in your favorite recipes. We used some to make quesadillas for dinner.
  6. If you'd like to continue on to make chicken stock, put all the bones and skin back into the slow cooker. Add any or all of the following: another chopped onion, a roughly chopped carrot and celery stalk, a couple bay leaves and a sprig each of fresh thyme and parsley. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. (I set my crock pot for 8 hours after which it will automatically switch to Keep Warm for the rest of the night until I turn it off in the morning - keeping my fingers crossed!)

*No liquid is needed to cook the chicken but you will be amazed at the amount of liquid that comes out of the chicken!)

Recipe adapted from 100 Days of Real Food

Other recipes which can use the cooked chicken:
Chicken Cornbread Casserole
Chunky Cream of Chicken Soup


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