Cooking a Whole Chicken in a Crockpot and Its Many Uses

April 11, 2012 11:18 am · 18 comments

whole-chicken-pic

I’ve come to learn that you can pretty much cook anything in a crockpot. One of my favorite simple recipes is cooking a whole chicken in one. Who would have thought that you could wash a chicken, throw it in a crockpot with some spices and be good to go. But it really is that simple.

And then when the chicken is all done, it literally falls off the bone to the point that you can barely scoop it out of the crockpot. As if that wasn’t enough, you can throw the bones back in, add a little water (and some spices/veggies if you want) and make your own homemade chicken broth.

When it comes to cooking the chicken, I keep mine very basic with just adding a little salt and pepper and maybe some garlic and here’s why. I often cook up a whole chicken, save some for a few meals that week and then freeze up pieces for later use. I don’t want the chicken to take on any one particular flavor since I like to use it in several dishes. Here are some of the ways that I use the chicken that I’ve cooked in the crockpot:


You should end up with a container of super moist chicken like this one which you can pull apart for…


Chicken Salad Toppers


Throw it in with pasta for extra protein


Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza – (I recommend the pizza crusts and Organicville BBQ Sauce they have on Vitacost. They still have the $10 credit if you haven’t signed-up yet. They also have a Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Mix. All great ways to make quick pizza at home.)


And of course, you can make the chicken broth afterwards.

Other uses:
~Chicken Tacos
~Chicken Burritos/Wraps
~Chicken Sandwiches with Cheese Melted on Top
~Added to Stir-Fry Recipes

Here are the basic instructions:
1) Wash the chicken and remove any giblets inside.
2) Put chicken in crockpot. Spice it like you would one you cook in the oven. I simple sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Maybe adding some garlic.
3) Turn the crockpot on High for 4 hours. (Probably 8 hours on low, but I’ve never tried it.)
4) Either way, make sure it meets the proper temperature for chicken before you remove it.
5) When it’s done, you are going to have to be super careful getting it out of there. The thing will crumble fast! I use Oxo Good Grips Tongs and a fork to get it out and take off the meat. (after it’s cooled some!)
6) As I’m taking off the meat, I’m throwing any bones back into the crockpot, including the carcass.
7) Add water (and any spices/veggies–typically things like onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, etc.) like you would making any broth. Mine takes about 5 cups of water Yours may vary.
8 ) Heat overnight on low or for several hours on high until you get a consistency you want.
9) Cool and freeze/refrigerate broth appropriately after it’s cooled.
10) Freeze any chicken meat you might not use that week.

If you want a recipe with more spices/details, just Google “Whole Chicken Crockpot” and you’ll get several recipes, enough reading for days, probably!

Hoping that you’ll be able to use this as a way to avoid convenience foods and get some quick meals on the table (and broth stored for homemade soup!) Just be sure that you use proper cooking and handling procedures when making this!

How do you make your chicken in a crockpot? What kinds of spices do you add? In what ways have you found to use in it meals? I’d love to hear all your tips!

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