Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot
We eat a lot of chicken, and when I first switched to pasture raised chicken it was quite the shock to our wallet. One of the best ways to offset the cost of expensive pasture raised organic chicken is to buy the whole chicken. I was once a “white meat only” kinda girl back when I was afraid of fat. Well, now that I have broken free from the restraints of conventional nutrition, I enjoy all pieces of the chicken! Not only does it cost less for our family to buy a whole chicken than just chicken breasts or thighs alone, but we then use the bones to make a delicious and super nutritious bone broth. I then use the bone broth to make soups or as a base in other recipes, and can then justify spending 11-13 dollars on a chicken (depending on the size)
I rotate veggies and spices from time to time to change things up but my family can count on a whole chicken for dinner each week. I have even made a whole chicken on a Monday for lunch, then deboned and divided up the rest of the meat for future lunches for the week. Then the bones were available to make broth. Here is the recipe we use pretty much weekly.
- 1 whole chicken
- 4 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp garlic or 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- veggies of choice (my favorite are broccoli and carrots)
- coconut oil for greasing crockpot(I buy Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from tropical traditions < affiliated link *see note below)However, if you are trying coconut oil for the first time and are looking for a less expensive brand you may want to try this brand. Tropical Traditions is by far my favorite brand though.
1. Grease inside of crockpot with coconut oil.
2. Mix spices in small bowl.
3. Place whole chicken in crockpot.
4. Sprinkle spices all over and in the chicken and rub them into the chicken’s skin.
5. Place veggies in the crock pot all around the chicken. I usually cut 3-5 carrots up and then add either 2 bags of frozen broccoli or cauliflower. (You can use fresh veggies too of course but I only do that if it’s in season at our farmers market.)
NOTE: If you don’t want mushy veggies use fresh veggies rather than frozen OR when using frozen, run them under water in a colander to defrost them and then place them in the crockpot after the chicken has been cooking about an hour already.
I like to fill the crock pot with veggies. Even if we don’t eat them all it’s great to have veggie leftovers for the next day.
6. Set crock on HIGH and cook for at least 3.5 hours (more if it’s a larger chicken). You could also set it on LOW and cook 7 hour or so, but I rarely get my chicken in the crock pot early enough to cook it this long.
7. Use a meat thermometer to check the chickens temperature to see when it’s done. According to The Food Network the USDA recommends you cook chicken till the breast reads 165. I usually am happy when the thermometer reads 160 but can’t safely recommend that to my readers of course. 😉 My husband would eat it at 150 if I let him. He likes the chicken when it’s pretty much still raw. You can usually tell the chicken is done when the juices run clear when you cut it.
Here is my chicken with about 30 minutes left to cook. As you can see the veggies cook down a bit.
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