Thursday, October 8, 2009

Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap - Whole Chicken Day 1

I purchase whole chickens quite often mainly because they are about the cheapest way to buy chicken and one of the easiest ways to prepare it. Not only that, but I can get two to three meals from one whole chicken. I can usually find them for anywhere between $.88 to $1.20 per pound and I like to buy the biggest one I can so I'll intentionally have leftovers. So here's what I do on Day 1 of a whole chicken.

After opening the packaging make sure to remove any pieces shoved into the cavity. Usually you'll find a neck, gizzard and maybe a liver in there. Surprise!

Then rinse off the inside and outside of the chicken.

Next you're going to make a bed for it in the bottom of your crockpot. Slice up any combination of the following: Onions, garlic, celery, lemon, lime, or orange. Today I had celery, onion and elephant garlic in the bottom of my crock.

Next rub the outside skin of your chicken with seasoning salt.

Then place breast side down on the bed of veggies.

Turn the crock on low and cook for 10 hours or until juices run clear. (some crocks take only about 8 hours but you really can't overcook this unless you leave it in for 24 hours or more.)

Day one is done and look how juicy that is! I didn't add any water. It makes such a moist chicken and we just carve it up while it's still in the pot. When you're done just leave the leftover bones, juices, veggies and meat in the bottom of your crockpot and store in the fridge for Day 2.

I'll fill you in on the details for Day 2 tomorrow

Would you like to share a recipe? Please link directly to your post, not your homepage and please include a link back to The Grocery Cart Challenge.


Susannah said...

Hi Gayle,

Whole chickens are a bargain, I agree. I like to buy them too and prepare them in a similar way. I never tire of chicken, especially stuffed.

Lately I've been cheating! Our local Safeway sells whole deli chickens for pennies, so I've been buying one a week, pre-cooked. :~D

Have a terrific weekend!

e-Mom @ Susannah's Aprons

Susan said...

ok, so my little family of 5 can polish off a whole chicken in no time flat. I have no idea how you can stretch a chicken for two or three meals with your family size, and the fact that you have a teenage boy. I suppose I could boil the carcass and have a soup the next day. Is that counting for another meal?

Gayle said...

I usually get a six pound chicken and we each eat a slice per person. I make sure and have large sides with it. Tonight I had two roasted heads of garlic parmesan cauliflower and two loaves of peasant bread. We even had a child guest for dinner.

Hoosier Homemade said...

I just roasted 2 chickens earlier this week. I got 4 meals out of them. Besides a great bargain, it's great to have meals done and in the freezer.
Thanks for hosting!

Colleen said...

I always wanted to try roasting a chicken in the crock pot, thanks for the instructions.

I brine my chickens before I cook them. It makes them super juicy and extra flavorful and it doesn't take much. And if you can plan to put the chicken in the crock pot in the morning you can pop it into a bag of brine the night before you cook it. And it's totally worth it.

I'll put a general recipe on my blog and link it to yours so everyone can try it.

Jenelle said...

I always add broth to my chicken when I cook them in the crock pot. I will have to give this method a shot because your bird looks beautiful.

Melissa said...

This isn't a link to my blog post, but this is the recipe I use the most often because it's a huge hit with my family. I roast the garlic cloves inside and then squeeze them into my mashed potatoes or over cauliflower or broccoli that I roast. I could make this once a week and my family would not complain.

Jackie said...

I love it! I usually roast chicken in the oven, but this was faster, easier, juicier, cleaner, and did I mention EASIER!? Thank you!


Susan said...

that makes sense. Thanks for posting this. It encourages me to go and buy whole chicken. It is cheaper and it would force me to make more chicken soup. My family loves chicken soup. Do you menu plan for a week at a time or more than that and do you make just a few dishes multiple times a month? I'm more of a different dinner every night with very few repeats, but am finding it to not be very economical.

Diane said...

Do you start with a frozen chicken, or do you thaw it first?

Gayle said...

As long as the innards are out, frozen is fine. I've done it both ways and set for high the first hour and cooked it the rest of the time on low.

Desirae said...

Would you suggest a high setting for half the time or would that dry it out?

Gayle said...

I've done it on high setting for about half the time when I've been late getting it started. So yeah, it's possible.

Tina said...

Thanks so much for posting this with step by step pictures. I am a whole chicken novice and I can't wait to try this out ASAP.

renee said...

I have been reading your old blog posts for about a week now - I am no domestic goddess, but with our new baby almost here I am trying!thanks so much for posting this!

I have a couple of questions, if you have time :) I put my (partially frozen) chicken in the crockpot (I guess it is about 3 qt) and 10 hours later it smelled and looked divine! when I went to get it out of the crock, it totally fell apart. I mean we are talking scoop it up with a spoon haha. The broth looked amazing (ive never had such golden broth -and there was A LOT of it). overcooked I guess? I didn't check it the whole time it was cooking... when should I check it - 8 hours or earlier, maybe 6?

I'm going to make broth with this chicken but also have been saving scraps and bones in the freezer for another batch. WHen I make the other batch I have some potato peelings set aside... for some reason I thought we shouldnt use them, but do you think they are ok (and actually good) to use? my broth always comes out cloudy (but gellied!) and I am hoping the crockpot and also letting it cool before refridgerating will clear it up.

thanks so much for your time!! I LOVE your blog!

Gayle said...


I would check my chicken after about 6 hours with a meat thermometer to see if it's done. I really don't mind if mine falls apart. I slice it in the crockpot and leave the bones in anyway for broth. If you want it to have a good presentation too then the meat thermometer and the watching is important.

Potato peelings are great in a broth just no vegetables that are cruciferous like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower. Root vegetables are the bsst. Cloudy broth is often times the result of too much stirring. Just let it cook and leave it. That might help.

renee said...

thank you gayle!

Cara said...

I just stumbled on this recipe just a couple of weeks ago...and I want to know where to find the rest of the recipes you did with this chicken! I'm trying the roast chicken today!

Cara said...

I just found this recipe a couple of weeks ago and I'm trying it tonight. I have been looking for your other menu plans that branch from this one, and haven't found them! Please help!