I decided to try something new last week! I’ve heard many times that buying a whole chicken is more economical and perhaps healthier than buying parts of chickens. I’ve also seen many times how people cut up a whole chicken. They make it look so easy!
Baby steps…last week one of our grocery stores had whole chickens on sale for 77 cents per pound. Since I’d never bought a whole chicken before, I didn’t know if that was really a good deal or not but decided to check it out. I looked up recipes online first, though, to make sure I could actually do something with a whole chicken. I found several recipes so I bravely went to the store (for those of you who don’t know, I truly despise going to the store) and ended up buying two whole chickens!
I put one in the freezer and decided to try this crock pot recipe with the other:
The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot (yes, that’s really the name of the recipe)
from 100 Days of Real Food
2 t paprika
1 t salt
1 t onion powder
1 t thyme
½ t garlic powder
¼ t cayenne (red) pepper (I used crushed red pepper flakes)
¼ t black pepper
1 large chicken
What To Do
Combine the dried spices in a small bowl.
Loosely chop the onion and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Remove the neck and any giblets from the chicken and then rub the spice mixture all over. You can even put some of the spices inside the cavity and under the skin covering the breasts.
Put prepared chicken on top of the onions in the slow cooker, cover it, and turn it on to high. There is no need to add any liquid.
Cook for 4 – 5 hours on high (for a 3 or 4 pound chicken) or until the chicken is falling off the bone.
My chicken was between 5 and 6 pounds.
Save the neck for making broth. It adds lots of flavor.
I rinsed my chicken off, inside and out, and then patted it dry with paper towels before rubbing any spices on it. It’s a good idea to prepare counter space and paper towels ahead of time.
I did not put any spices inside the cavity or under the skin covering the breasts.
I set my slow cooker on low, tested it with a themometer after 6 hours and it was done.
The cooked chicken really did fall off the bone!
I thought this method worked well. The house smelled great too! You can use the chicken in soups, casseroles, or just eat it with a side dish. I plan on trying an oven roasted chicken recipe with the other chicken. Then I can compare and see which I like better. Or maybe I’ll be feeling adventurous and will try cutting up the chicken like they do on TV. What do you think I should do? What would you rather read about? 🙂
Another reason buying and cooking a whole chicken is more economical than buying chicken parts is that you can also make your own chicken broth! Stay tuned for Part 2: Homemade Chicken Broth.