Roasted Chicken in the Crock Pot + Chicken Broth + 20 Uses for Leftover Chicken!

image: salsachica (stock.xchng)

I can actually remember the first time I bought a “whole roasting chicken” at the grocery store. It only took 28 years of my life to build up the courage. I felt so mature and culinary, scooching the whole thing in a plastic bag in front of everybody. I remember having a bit of confusion later about how to deal with the raw, naked chicken. After a brief phone call to my mom, I sorted that all out.

That was when I was officially a grown-up, the day I fished plastic-sealed gizzards out of a raw chicken. I had arrived. {ps. WHY do they include shrink-wrapped gizzards in chickens??? Raise your hand if you ever in your life plan on using them. Hmmm. That’s what I thought!!!}

But while dealing with the “whole roaster” does have about 3.5 minutes of definite grossness, It Is Well Worth It.

It impresses. It makes the house smell incredible. It’s frugal. It is a blank slate for a million dinners and just as many leftover lunches. And, it is super, super easy (minus the gizzard issue, but we’ll get to that.)

Roasted Chicken in the Crockpot Recipe:

This is so easy! All you have to do is take the chicken out of its plastic wrap, take out the gizzards if they are included in the inside (the gross part is ending soon!). Then, plop the chicken in the crockpot and cover with spices. My favorite spices to use are a generous sprinkling of salt, cracked pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and parsley. You can use whatever spices you enjoy!

Then turn your crockpot on to cook on low for 7-8 hours.

When your chicken is finished, you might be tempted to toss the skin & bones in the trash. For the love of everything good, DON’T!!!! It’s the gift that keeps on giving! Because….You can make homemade chicken broth!!

I estimate that homemade chicken broth saves you $10+ a month. Plus it has lower-sodium, with no-MSG or weird ingredients.

Here’s how I make chicken broth:

ingredients. not pictured: chicken carcass. (you’re welcome.)

  • Take all the meat off the whole chicken. Put everything else back in a huge pot. Bones, skin -  everything. Fill the really big pot up with water. Then, add a few carrots, celery, and a large onion, all roughly chopped. Add a bay leaf, a good amount of salt, ground pepper, dried thyme, and some cloves of garlic, roughly chopped. Do you love how my instructions are so incredibly specific?
  • Bring your pot to a boil. Then, lower to a simmer and let it just hang out for 1-2 hours.
  • Take the pan off the heat and let it cool off a while. When it’s warm but not hot, put a strainer on top of a giant bowl and pour your broth over. And ta-da, CHICKEN BROTH! I store mine in containers like these:

I usually end up with about 4 containers of these of broth. Soooo, from just one little chicken, you now have one delicious dinner, leftover chicken meat, chicken broth, and so many possibilities! (super-obvious note: Not saying you can make 20 meals from one chicken. Here are your 20 meal ideas for chicken meat and/or broth! If there is a favorite recipe I use, I linked to it.

  1. Roast chicken in the crockpot (see above recipe). Of course, you could also cook your whole chicken in the oven, in which case you would want to use this recipe. But the thing is, no matter how wonderful a cook the Barefoot Contessa is, she is not standing in your kitchen with you, and thus, cannot help you determine if the poultry is fully cooked. I will leave it at that, and not tell you about the time I hosted my sister and brother-in-law to serve them roast chicken. I just won’t tell you about that time. So I recommend the crockpot method. It is literally foolproof. As long as you don’t forget to turn the crockpot on in the morning.  I recommend serving this with some homemade mashed potatoes, apple sauce, and a spinach salad. Or french fries and biscuits. You choose. So now here are 20 more recipes to use up your chicken broth and/or leftover chicken!
  2. chicken enchiladas
  3. white chicken chili
  4. roasted chicken paninis (ask my cousin Molly for a recipe, and I bet she got it from Giada deLaurentis.)
  5. buffalo chicken pizza
  6. Chicken, avocado, bacon, tomato, lettuce, and lime mayonnaise sandwiches (I made that up. Very tricky. Just add all the ingredients I just listed.)
  7. chicken pot pie  – the world’s most perfect comfort food
  8. chicken enchilada soup
  9. chicken mexican casserole (surprisingly really good, even without the cheese)
  10. chicken fried rice (no one in the whole world makes it as good as my sister Julie. Recipe, Julie??)
  11. Baked Chicken Taquitos
  12. Carmelized Onion and Chicken Tostadas
  13. Black Bean soup
  14. Risotto
  15. French Onion soup
  16. Ham and Bean soup
  17. Potato Corn Chowder (thanks to my friend Katie for this suggestion)
  18. Katie’s Mexican Stew (hey, thanks for that one, too, Kate!)
  19. Southwestern Chicken Salad with cilantro vinegarette
  20. Simple, sweet, and spicy chicken wraps

Whew! I am chickened out! You’re welcome!! :)

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Comments

  1. Wish I could share my chicken fried rice but I’ve never written it down! I’ll do that next time….

    And even if the chicken had to go back in the oven twice… you were a great host:)

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