I have been getting a lot of whole chickens from my CSA so far and I'm loving it! Whole chickens are pretty inexpensive in the store ($0.89/lb at Giant Eagle) and you can make them stretch pretty far. Here's a great way to cook up your whole chicken!
Crockpot Whole Chicken
- Whole chicken or two (about 5 lbs each)
- Old veggies that need used up (think onions, carrots, celery, etc)
- Herbs (I threw in a few sprigs of fresh thyme from my "garden")
- Other flavorings are optional (lemon is good, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, etc.)
When your chicken falls apart when you look at it, it's done. :) Seriously, I have to fish parts of it out with a slotted spoon. Pick all the fabulous meat off the bones (once it cools down a little!) and discard the bones. Discard the veggies and large herbs. Left in your pot is a fabulous, golden liquid that is the base of fantastic soup. This stuff is worth it's weight in gold... almost.
One whole, 5 lbs-ish chicken can stretch to 3-4 meals. Think chicken stir fry, chicken soup, chicken casserole, etc. Because it's so expensive, we don't just eat a helping of meat. It's usually part of a bigger dish.
I love doing my chickens this way because it saves me a step. I don't have to boil the bones separately for stock, the crockpot's already done it for me! Refrigerate the stock and use within a few days or freeze it. Warning: the stock will get gelatinous, because it's made from the bones. Broth is made from boiling just the meat, so it doesn't get gelatinous. Learned that one from Alton Brown. :)
Check out Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table for other great inspiration! Also, you’ll find all kinds of new recipes this weekend at Heavenly Homemakers Recipe Parade!!