Crockpot Whole Chicken

Yipes, I'm neglecting my food blog like crazy. I apologize. I haven't been cooking anything new lately- and the new stuff (a couple of desserts) have disappointedly failed. One batch of cookies was salvaged by crushing into crumbs and using the crumbs to make a pie crust, but even that was embarrassing, because I ended up with a multi-colored pie crust (they were easter-egg cookies...). Last night, I finally had a dessert success with a batch of chocolate cookies. More on that later.

Today: Crockpot solutions!

I've mentioned before, I have a huge crockpot, so cooking for two in my crockpot is not an option. I've tried, and I end up with a dried-up mess. What it IS useful for, however, is cooking for parties, or cooking for leftovers. Cooking for leftovers? Let me explain.

If I drag out my crockpot to cook a meal for my husband and I, I plan a recipe that can be preserved (like freezing soups or chili) or used up in a reasonable amount of time. This week, my solution was "roast chicken".

I started with a whole chicken, 69-cent-a-pound at Aldi. I leave it in the fridge a couple days to thaw, then, the night before I plan to cook it, put it in a bowl and rub it with salt and italian dressing. The next morning, I get out the crockpot, put 5 foil balls on the bottom of the pot (to keep the chicken from sitting in all the juices), and put my chicken inside. It cooks on low 8-10 hours. This is the perfect timing for when I get home from work! A side-note: For us working folks, I need recipes that go 8-10 hours. The 4-6 or 6-8 hour recipes just aren't feasible, since I'm gone from home at least 9 hours a day.

So, I get home and have a fully-cooked chicken. I strip the bones of the meat and save the bones to make broth. What now?

Lots of chicken meals! With so little effort! So that we don't get sick of it, I freeze the meat so these meals don't have to be consecutive. These are the ideas I've had
  • Roast chicken, veggies & rice on the side. (I do this the first night, with teh largest pieces I get off the bird. Carving a bird is not one of my gifts.)
  • Chicken, broccoli & cheese casserole
  • Chicken Quesadillas (mix meat with some salsa or taco seasoning) with refried beans or rice
  • Chicken & rice casserole
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Chicken fried rice
I expect one bird feeding 2 people to last through at least 4 of these meal options- we've eaten on it for 2 meals so far, with plenty left in the freezer.

What other chicken meals do you make when you have a whole chicken on hand?


larissa said...

Warning: My comment is about to be really nerdy.

For our turtle tank, we plug the UV light into a timer that's plugged into the wall. It's really easy to set the timer and it allows the light to "turn on and off" at time times we've set it without us turning it on and off. We originally got it for when we are out of town and now we use it all the time so the turtle can have consistency.

I bet you could use a timer for your Crockpot so you CAN use the 4-6 hour recipes.


Beth @ The Natural Mommy said...

Oooh, get ready to share those leftover roast chicken recipes... that's one of my ideas yet to come on Recipe Swap. :-)

I like your foil ball solution... and I just plain like the crock pot roast chicken idea. That way we can have it after church and not have to worry about the oven being on the whole time we're gone.

Since, you know, we're kinda prone to kitchen fires.

And, Larissa, we use a timer on our turtle's cage when we leave, too!!

Anonymous said...

yesterday I put 3 roaster drumsticks (meaning large) in the crockpot, topped with about 1 1/2 cups spaghettie sauce, added Italian seasoning, garlic powder, 3 chopped green onions and a chopped pepper. Cooked for 5 hours on high, then stirred in 1 1/2 cups elbows, cooked for another 30 min. Really tasty comfort food.

Of course, I do the cream of soup with chicken pieces - changing the seasonings so not to be too boring. Serve over rice or pasta or with mashed potatoes.


Lisa said...

Chicken pot pie.


Chicketti (like turkey tetrazinni.)

Chicken egg rolls (ok, not so quick and easy there.)

Chicken salad, with feta cheese of course:


Chicken, rice, feta cheese, and some vegetables also makes some pretty tasty Mediterranean wraps.

Daniel & Teresa said...

I read about the foil ball idea on some recipe site, but wasn't sure, so I haven't tried it yet. I'm glad to hear that it's a success, I will def. try it next time! Extra chicken is a great thing to have on hand. I especially like chicken salad sandwiches (chicken, mayo, curry, onions, green olives, salt, pepper). :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the foil balls idea- I had been resisting crock-pot chicken, and now i won't have to, which will be mightly useful during the summer!!
A few ideas for your leftovers: chicken pot pie-
shredded chicken in gravy (for topping rice/noodles/mashed potatoes)-just add frozen peas to it!
chicken enchaladas (small bits of chicken, add onion, cilantro, spinach, whatever you've got + some cheese...)
Good luck with the experimentation!
- Illoura

Benedicta said...

I like your suggestion about crock pot...

Amy said...

I posted my version of crockpot roast chicken for the frugal foods series on my cooking blog, also-- I guess great minds think alike! :) Mine involves seasoned salt, garlic, and onions. I'm going to have to try yours, too!

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Thanks so much for linking to this for the "Frugal Food Series: Chicken".

I too love using my crock pot to cook up chicken ahead of time!