Hey there!! Thanks for joining me today. I want to kick off the "cooking" space on my blog with a super simple method of cooking a whole chicken!! I'll also add in ideas of what to do to NOT waste anything!!
(Sorry Veggie buddies you'll want to opt out of this one, unless you need to prepare it for non veggie family member)
Anywho, I learned this trick several years ago and it's been a life saver! Cooking a whole chicken has led to many #dishspirations along the way too!
Let me start with this...before I worked full time from home, I worked long 12 hour Nursing shifts at the hospital. Leaving NO time or energy to prepare a home cooked meal at night. This left me feeling bummed and I started looking for hacks to over come this issue.
In steps my beloved Crockpot. Be looking for future Crockpot meals, but today it's all about making the most of a whole chicken!!! Now before I found this crockpot trick, I used to by the whole roasters (already cooked) at whole foods. Occasionally I roasted it in the oven, but ain't nobody got time for that...and more importantly I loathe being hot, and hot ovens for extended periods are NOT my friend!! The store bought however, serves the same purpose and if you find yourself in a pinch, that's what I recommend. I made the same recipes with that chicken, but there's just something about a house aroma of slow cooking meals! Plus, you can choose the size of your bird too!
With my fully cooked chicken I am able to make the following: Waldorf salad, Chicken pot pie soup, Chicken fettuccine, and Chicken with homemade gravy. PLUS I use the carcass to make fresh homemade stock!! Yes please!!! You can choose what you'll do with yours, and boy are the possibilities endless!!!
Now for the spice rub, veggies, and assembly...
I love using 1/2 tbsp of the following; Smoked Paprika, Thyme, Rosemary, White Pepper, Salt, Black Pepper, Onion power, and 6 cloves of fresh garlic (not a must to use all but I like a flavorful bird, go with the tastes your family likes...also you can use less of each too, this part is up to you) Mix in a small bowl and set aside.
Fresh veggies; Rough chopped Celery (3 ribs) , Carrots (3), Onion (1 large), Lemon (1), 2 Avocado seeds (optional)
Oils: EV Avocado Oil (if you haven't discovered this yet, do your homework...it's amazing)
1/2 cup of water
-Start with your Organic Whole Chicken (I do 5lbs, adjust for your family or crock pot), rinse well and remove any additional packaged items inside the bird (you can use this part for gravy, but I don't. I set aside and use to make stock later)
-After rinsing pat dry with paper towels and lay on a flat surface.
-Generously rub bird with Avocado oil, all over. This gives the spices something to stick to. Even get under the skin.
-Next, portion your spice rub all over chicken (both sides and inside)
-Turn Crockpot to High; add Water, Veggies, Garlic cloves, Avocado seeds and Lemon to the bottom (you can put half lemon and onion inside the bird if you have a small crockpot, but not a must)
-Then place bird in with legs up
-Cover and let cook for 5 on high, then turn to low and cook 3 hours
-Once cooked let cool and pull all the meat you can grab off the chicken, I like to separate dark from light, but that's optional.
So what's up with the Avocado seeds???
Did you know that the seeds themselves contain 70% of the antioxidants in the Avocado??! Yep.
So I cook them with the chicken and later in my stock to pull out those antioxidant goodies!!
Next time you eat an Avocado...think before you throw away that seed. There are so many ways you can use them!! (Google it, I promise.)
With the remainder of the bird I make yummy homemade chicken stock and use it for a number of dishes! One batch makes about 16 cups! (May need to freeze some of you can't use it up quickly)
I especially like to cook my rice and quinoa in it. Makes for some delicious extra fresh homemade flavor.
I realize this is a bit time intensive...but stay tuned for recipes coming up on how to prepare all this extra chicken you've come across!
Hope you enjoy!!!