Whole Chicken and Chicken Stock in the Crockpot

I get asked about this recipe quite often.  It was handed down to me from a friend when Hubby and I first got married and were strapped for cash and really needing to make the most of every dollar in our grocery budget.

It is simple.  It is fairly inexpensive.  It is oh so tasty.

Pretty much right up my ally.

You will need a large crock pot for this recipe.

Whole Chicken in a Crockpot

Ingredients:

1 3-5 lb. whole chicken fryer

any herbs and spices you’d like

1 cup of water

Directions:

At night before going to bed (Or early morning after you wake up), take chicken out of plastic wrap and place into crock pot.  Pour 1 cup of water into crockpot with chicken.  Sprinkle any herbs or spices you’d like over the top and into water.  (I usually use a combo of black pepper, oregano,  majorum, basil, parsley, garlic powder, and onion powder.) Turn crockpot on Low setting and let cook for 10-12 hours.

Thats it!  You will have a whole chicken cooked by morning.  The following is how I usually handle the chicken after it is cooked, but you could start this at 7am and use it for dinner at 5pm, but I prefer to use the meat diced up in soups and casseroles, etc.

In the morning, after 10-12 hours cooking time on low, turn crock pot off and take lid off, allowing to cool.  Take half the chicken out and place on a large plate or dish and separate the meat from the bones and skin.  Place the leftover bones and skin in a dish because you will use these to make another batch of chicken stock.  Repeat with the second half of chicken.  Place the meat on a cutting board and dice up to be used in casseroles, soups, stir fry, chicken salads, etc.  I usually freeze in small plastic baggies in one cup portions.

In a bowl place a strainer and pour the liquid from the crockpot into the bowl, straining out the leftover pieces of chicken.  Place the liquid which is now chicken stock, into the refrigerator. (keep reading for further instruction)

To make the second batch of chicken stock:

Place the leftover bones and skin back into the crockpot and cover with fresh water.  Add 1 tbps. vinegar and any more herbs or spices you’d like.  Cook for 24 hrs. on low.  Repeat the straining and cooling process.

Once the broth is cooled the fat will rise to the top and you can scrap it off with a spoon and store it in an air tight container for up to two weeks (or longer in the freezer) to be used for sauteing veggies or as a base for soups (It works GREAT as a substitute for chicken bullion, since it has such a condensed chicken flavor.) Also you will notice that once cooled, the stock will become some what gelatinous…or like jello.  This is normal and actually means its REALLY good for you so do not be nervous.

The stock can be frozen in 1 cup portions to be used in recipes.  I freeze it in two cup portions in glass jars, leaving a good 1-2 inches freezing room at the top.

And there you have it.  This is about as frugal as it gets friend!

Enjoy!

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