My kids love chicken, but baking it without a slew of sauce leaves it dry and tasteless–especially when using the boneless, skinless breasts most commonly sold in supermarkets. A whole chicken baked in a slow cooker, on the other hand, turns out tender, moist, and full of flavor. It also makes purchasing organic chicken affordable since whole chickens are much cheaper per pound than individual cuts.
Slow-cooker chicken can be as simple as placing a whole chicken in your crock pot in the morning, setting it on low for 6 hours, then enjoying it for dinner. But the real beauty in this method is the fact that it can become a whole meal–not just the meat–by simply adding your favorite flavorings and veggies to the pot along with the chicken.
- 3.5-4.5 pound chicken
- 1-2 Tbsp of cooking sherry
- unrefined sea salt
- chopped garlic and/or onions
- Place chicken in 6-quart crock pot. Pour cooking sherry over the chicken.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chopped garlic and/or onions.
- Stuff veggies down alongside the chicken in the bottom of the pot.
- Place the lid on top and turn the pot on low for 6 hours to perform its magic! The chicken can also be cooked on high for 4 hours.
Now here’s for the bonus broth:
- Once you’ve cooked and consumed your chicken, you can place the bones and any remaining skin, meat, and fat back into your crock pot along with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, any veggie scraps you have lying around (beet tails, celery leaves, etc.), plus about a teaspoon each of salt, pepper, and any other spices you like (I often add coriander).
- Fill the pot up with water to about an inch from your lid. Let stand 30 minutes to an hour. Turn it back on low for 8-24 hours to make your own chicken broth. When you can dedicate about 15 minutes, turn off the pot, pour the liquid/bones/veggies/etc. through a colander to separate out the broth, then pour it into glass jars for future use (a canning funnel is extremely helpful during this step).
- Whenever a recipe calls for a cup or two of chicken broth, pull it out of the fridge (it will last about a week here) or freezer (it will last up to a year here – use freezer-safe glass if you freeze in glass) rather than using the nasty, preservative and sodium-laden stuff they sell at the supermarket.
- I also use mine in place of plain water whenever I boil rice, lentils, or beans. The grains and legumes will absorb the nutrients from the broth as they simmer, enriching your meals with extra vitamins and minerals. When someone is sick, heat up some broth for a soothing, nutrient-filled drink or simmer some chicken and noodles in it for homemade chicken noodle soup.