When my son was a toddler, my daughter was in first grade and in an afterschool dance class that met once a week. I have a website business, and my then-husband was often working late hours. These factors combined to make making dinner a stressful time – especially on dance class days when we needed to be able to eat basically as soon as we got home, so the meal needed to be ready right away (and take-out each week wasn’t an option.) So, of course, I embraced slow-cooker meals. But, I only really used my crockpot the for chili and pot roast.
When I was rocking my son to sleep at night, I would wander around Pinterest, looking for recipes that were different and seemed like something the kids would eat. I came across a recipe for making your own chicken broth in a crockpot, and it referenced cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot and using the remains to make the broth. Mind. Blown. I had no idea I could cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker, but I couldn’t wait to try it. And it is seriously one of the easiest things to do, and has become the basis for a nearly weekly recipe chain for me and the kiddos.
- 1 whole roasting chicken
- onion, celery, or garlic for flavor, if desired
- salt & pepper, if desired
- I like to spray the inside of my slow cooker crock with some non-stick spray because it makes clean-up a bit easier.
- If you want to flavor your chicken with some onion, cut up a small to medium onion in eights/wedges and put them in the bottom of the crock.
- Remove the bits inside the chicken. You can add them to the crockpot if you like that sort of thing. I do not like that sort of thing, so they go in the trash in our house.
- Rinse the chicken, inside and out, and add it to the slow cooker
- Salt and Pepper the chicken if desired
- Cook on low 6-8 hours.
That’s it. You don’t have to add broth or water or anything. So much liquid cooks out of the chicken that it keeps everything from getting dry. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggies or your favorite side dishes.
As I mentioned earlier, we tend to make this a lot in the fall/winter months. I love smelling dinner cooking all day in the slow cooker. When we make this easy crockpot chicken for the three of us, there’s usually plenty left over for these recipes below. (If your family is larger, your chicken may not go as far.)
- Homemade Chicken Broth in a Crockpot
- Patty’s Simple Chicken Pot Pie
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup