This is a blog post that I’ve been wanting to write for a very long time. The Easiest Way to Cook a Whole Chicken is the recipe that I share most frequently share with my busy friends. Not only is it so easy a child can do it, it’s totally healthy, delicious and budget friendly.
The reason this is so awesome, in addition to tasting super yum, is that buying a whole chicken is the best bang for your buck. Healthy food isn’t cheap but buying a whole chicken is much more budget friendly than buying individual cuts of chicken.
When buying chicken, I only recommend Pasture Raised, preferably soy-free & local. It’s the healthiest for us to eat and the best living conditions for the animals. I know it’s more expensive and that’s why it’s imperative that you change the way you select the cuts of chicken you purchase, in order to save a money.
How buying a Whole Chicken Vs Chicken Breast Saves Money
Here’s an example from a local farm for soy-free, pasture raised chicken:
- Pasture raised boneless skinless chicken breast is $12 per pound, 1 pound yields 3 adult servings at $4 per serving
- A pasture raised whole chicken is $5 per pound, 1 whole chicken (roughly 4 pounds) is $20 On average 75% of a whole chicken weight is edible meat (4 pound chicken = 3 pound edible meat). 1-4 pound whole chicken yields 9 servings at $2.25 per serving
PLUS as a bonus you can make 1/2 gallon of nutrient dense bone broth!
By purchasing a whole chicken you’ll save $1.75 per serving AND you get 1/2 gallon of bone broth. I think it’s a no-brainer.
Even if your family prefers chicken breast, you can hide the dark meat in chicken salad, chicken soup, or toss it in hot sauce for a buffalo chicken lettuce wrap and they will never know!
Now that we’re all in agreement, Whole Chickens for the Win… I’m going to teach you the Easiest Way to Cook a Whole Chicken.
Easy, ya’ know… ‘Easy like Sunday Morning’, whatever that means. When I say easy I mean, so easy that you don’t even need to thaw your chicken, easy.
I make a chicken like this several times month and you will too.
Step #1: Place a Whole FROZEN Chicken in your slow-cooker and Season, liberally.
No I’m not kidding. Yes it’s totally safe. Trust me.
What size chicken? Whatever size chicken will fit in your slow-cooker, I use a 8 quart oval slow cooker that accommodates a pretty big chicken.
No, no water, No don’t add anything else. To keep it simple, just use seasoned salt, preferably my homemade. Can it get any easier?
Step #2: Cook on Low for 8+ hours.
Again, just let it the damn thing cook. Don’t complicate things. Go to work, run errands, do whatever. Let the chicken do it’s own magic while you’re busy for the day.
I started my chicken at 9 am and we ate dinner at 5 pm…
No seriously, after 8 hours your chicken will be cooked through. Don’t believe me? Stick in a temperature probe and check the temp by the bones, it will be over 160, totes cooked through.
Optional Step: For Crispy Skin
Chicken with soggy skin is gross, so I carefully lift my chicken out of the crock pot and broil it in my toaster over to get the skin all golden brown and delicious
I push these red handled chicken picker-upper-things around my kitchen, thinking that I really don’t need them but then I use them and remember they are pretty awesome. I don’t know what they are really called or where to get them, but I know my grandmother gave me these years ago.
Crispy, golden, deliciousness.
Who’d have thought that this whole chicken was completely frozen at 9 am this morning, only cost $20 and will yield 9+ servings of chicken PLUS we’re going to make bone broth too!
Serve as a whole chicken or pick the meat off the bones. Use the chicken for whatever your cute-little-heart desires.
Step 3: Don’t forget to Make Chicken Bone Broth!!!!
STOP!!! Don’t wash your crock pot, leave those beautiful juices in there and throw in all the bones and bits you don’t want to eat. Add celery, onions, garlic, sea salt, a splash of apple cider vinegar and fill your crock pot with water. Cook on low for 3 days.
Yes. 3 days. 72 hours.
Just let it do it’s thing cooking on low for 3 days, leave it alone. Tell your family to just trust you on this one… If the liquid reduces too far, add some more water.
After 3 days strain your broth and season it with additional sea salt, to taste.
If you don’t have a fine mesh strainer you MUST get one, like NOW. THIS is the strainer we have and it’s worth every penny.
Enjoy your homemade chicken bone broth enjoy it as is or use it in other dishes.. like to make rice or in for soup.
Bone Broth is one the most nutritious foods you can incorporate into your healthy diet, at a minimum have some once a week, better is every day!
Ok, so I know life happens and sometimes you can’t make broth right away, that’s ok. Just toss all those goodies in the freezer and make broth later. In fact, I keep a big bag of bones and odd bits in the freezer at all times and just keep adding to it.
- 1 medium frozen whole pasture raised chicken (that will fit in your slow-cooker)
- 2+ tablespoons Homemade Seasoned Salt <-- get my homemade recipe
- Liberally season your FROZEN chicken and shove it in your slow-cooker.
- Cover, cook on LOW for 8+ hours.
- Enjoy tender, juicy and delicious chicken.