Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Using a Whole Chicken

A while ago I posted about cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot. And I was SO excited! It smelled good, and tasted good, and it was so simple!!

Well, this time I decided to go even further with the chicken! After cooking it for about 8 hours in the slow cooker (making the house smell scrumptious!) I let it cool for just a bit. Then starting pulling off all the meat.

I put some of the meat into a soup that was on the stove-top waiting. I also had some more meat left over that will go great on a salad with the fresh lettuce from our garden!
Then I took everything else, everything that was left after I got the meat I wanted. Kinda gross, but my husband did this part, so that made it a little easier for me. All of that went into a pot, along with a bunch of celery leaves and a few stalks, a couple of whole (including the skins) onions, a couple of bay leaves, and water. I would have put in some carrots (unpeeled) but didn't have any left after my carrot mac and cheese and making baby food.

I brought all this to a boil, then turned it down and let it simmer for an hour or two (don't totally remember, didn't set a timer, just checked on it occasionally and then eventually decided it had been long enough).
Then poured it through a strainer so all the pieces and veggies and such would stay separate, of course! And poured and poured until I got all the broth out I could get.
I have these containers in the fridge for now. I will go back and scrape off the top (fatty part), then used some to make some homemade pea soup for my little one, some will go in the freezer for a later date, and some will stay in the fridge to have on hand.

SO, I got (A) meat for a soup (B) meat for salad (C) broth for pea soup (D) broth for the freezer (E) broth for now and (F) a wonderful feeling knowing that I did it all myself (with husband's help, of course) and made the best use of a whole chicken that I could! And the cost of all of this? The whole chicken was $3, the celery leave and inside stalks I probably would have thrown away otherwise, a few cents for the far under $5 for all of this!!

I'll post more about the pea soup later. For now, this is what works for me, head over to We Are THAT Family for more great ideas!


  1. Paula, glad i can inspire someone. And as much as i like to think of myself as "organized" i know i have much to learn and you inspire me! thanks for all your great tips!

  2. I need to find bigger chickens, the ones I get here are SO TINY! It's enough for two meals for two people at the MOST.

  3. I found mine at a food lion, near all the other chicken, on markdown. Don't know if that helps.

  4. I use the whole chicken also and love the way the house smells. I make chicken stock every Monday. I use it to cook brown rice instead of water. My kids won't eat green beans cooked in anything but homemade stock. I keep a tupperware in my freezer for vegetable scraps ex: carrot peels, broccoli stalks, potato skins...I then add it to my chicken stock. When we have a carcass I wrap it up and freeze till I'm ready to use it. I get such a kick when I strain the stock and see what I have created from something a few years ago I would have thrown away.

  5. Melissa,
    awesome info! wouldn't have thought about freezing the carcass and veggie scraps. seems like you can find a use for just about anything:)