Friday, January 13, 2012
Slow Cooker, Easy Cooked Chicken & Stock
Becca here with a super easy and inexpensive way to cook a whole chicken. I used a 'small young' whole chicken that was just under 5 pounds, and ended up with 4 cups of cooked chicken, as well as 4 quarts of chicken stock, with the addition of a couple of carrots and onions, all for less than the price of 2 quarts of chicken stock from the store! I usually freeze the stock, and remove the fat that rises to the top before using it. While it does really need to cook for a while to get the best flavor, the hands-on time is very minimal. I usually start the chicken roasting in the morning, then add the stock ingredients and cook it all night so it's all finished the next morning for a great head start on dinner.
Slow Cooker Easy Cooked Chicken + Stock
1 whole chicken, defrosted if frozen
4 large carrots, washed
2 onions, outer skin only removed
salt & pepper to taste, optional
Place carrots flat on the bottom of your slow cooker (at least 6 quart size), trimming ends if necessary. You're making a platform for your chicken to sit on and roast, so alternating tops & bottoms will probably make the best surface. If you have to trim any of the edges, don't throw them away, be sure & toss them in also!
Place chicken on top of carrot platform. (FYI, You're raising the chicken up out of the broth so that it will get roasted more than boiled initially, for a better flavor).
Cook on high 6-8 hours, or until skin is starting to get golden brown.
Add at least 4 quarts of water, and 2 onions, each chopped into half. Make sure that the chicken and onions are under the water level. Cover, turn heat down to low, and cook for an additional 8-12 hours.
Remove chicken to a plate cool.
Strain stock (I pour through my mesh colander), let cool, and pour into containers to store. I learned the hard way that glass canning jars aren't the best idea for freezing liquids in, so I make sure the stock is cool before pouring it in, and then use plastic containers.
The chicken will be so tender that it will pretty literally fall off of the bone, making it easy to separate.