Are you afraid to cook whole chicken? Or, are you looking for some great whole chicken recipes? Cooking whole chicken is not only a great way to save money at the grocery store, it is very tasty and a lot easier than you may think.
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Cris here. One of the things I often hear from readers is that they are sometimes intimidated by the whole chickens in the grocery store. These are some of my favorite notes to receive because once I share how easy it can be, folks are elated to find that they can create such a delicious, economical meal with very little effort.
If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen when we caught whole chickens on sale last week. Whole chickens are generally cheaper than chicken cuts on a regular day, but on a sale day, they are the bargain of bargains!
So, with a sale that good, I picked up a couple because I knew that they would be great as a meal for dinner one night– but also– the leftovers can be shredded up and turned into any number of recipes (including a new one I plan on sharing with you this coming week) for a whole new flavor with very little time or effort on my part.
Mikey even made you a video about how easy this is!
How to Cook Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot
- When you are ready to cook your chicken, place it in a large bowl to cut it from the package and drain the juices. This will help you from getting the chicken juice everywhere. Check the inside of the bird for any packets that may be included. The packets not be there at all or it could be a packet of gravy or a package of lesser used chicken pieces (i.e. neck meat) that has been included. Regardless, whatever might be in there, you don’t want to find it AFTER the chicken is done.
- Some packages of whole chickens say to rinse your chicken and pat dry before cooking. I have always been taught not to rinse it as to not spread the chicken juices (and the bacteria it may carry) all over my kitchen and sink. If you choose to rinse your chicken, I would use my bowl again to rinse it and then discard of the juices. Once your chicken makes its way to the crock pot, just make sure to wipe down all kitchen surfaces that came in contact with the chicken and its juices and wash your hands well.
- Most chickens will fit into a 4 qt or larger slow cooker. If you have a larger bird, you may need to use a 6 qt crock pot or larger. My advice would be to purchase your chicken to fit your slow cooker. My 5 lb chickens fit in my 4 qt slow cooker perfectly.
- You will want to cook your chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165. At 165, your chicken will be done, but still pretty firm in texture. (If you are uncertain, I highly recommend getting a good meat thermometer. This is one of my favorites.) I usually cook mine until the chicken is so tender it falls a part but is not dry. For my 5 lb birds– in my unit– that took about 7 hours.
Whole Chicken Recipes
Today we are sharing a new recipe with you, our Whole Chicken and Veggies (see recipe below). However, we use whole chickens a lot here on Recipes That Crock so we thought you might appreciate several different options!
- Whole Chicken with Veggies (recipe at the bottom of this post)
- Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken
- Crock Pot BBQ Beer Chicken
- Crock Pot Stuffed Chicken
- Crock Pot Cajun Chicken
- Chinese 5 Spice Chicken
- Crispy Slow Cooker Chicken
- We used onions, carrots and celery in our recipe, however, you could add/substitute potatoes or other veggies that you love.
- We used rosemary, but you could use thyme or savory or even just a sprinkle or two of poultry seasoning to get a similar flavor.
- I am often asked what steak seasoning is… It is usually a mixture of salt and other spices and herbs. You can usually find it in your spice aisle at the grocery store. Amazon also sells all different kinds.
- You do not need to add any liquid to this recipe. The chicken will produce its own juices.
- 5.5 lb chicken
- 2 large onions quartered and separated
- 5 stalks of celery cut into large pieces
- 6 carrots peeled and cut into large pieces
- steak seasoning to taste
- 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Place onions in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Top with remaining veggies.
- Place chicken breast side down into the slow cooker.
- Sprinkle liberally with steak seasoning.
- Top with rosemary and cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken is at least 165 degree and reaches the preferred tenderness.