Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the easiest chicken ever and chicken stock

Take a whole chicken (3-4 pound fryer). Take the skin off. Put it in the crockpot. Cook it (about 4 hours on high; 8 hours on low - but depends on how hot your crockpot runs - check its doneness close to the bone). Enjoy!

Seriously, it's that easy.

I buy chickens on sale at Whole Foods and freeze them - it takes a couple of days to really thaw. I don't worry about getting every little piece of skin off, but I take off most of it.

The slow cooker needs no liquid - just plop the chicken in. I recommend breast-side down so the juices keep the breasts moist.

There are many ways to fancy the chicken up - I originally made lemon/rosemary/garlic chicken from here (which I highly recommend!). But then the leftover chicken & stock all has that particular flavor, and I like to throw to use the leftover chicken in other dishes so plain is good, too (and the cooked chicken freezes well).

The lemon-rosemary chicken is a great dish to serve to company - they'll be awed and amazed. You can also take the juices from cooking to make a rice/pilaf to accompany and they will be blown away.

When the chicken is done, I take it out (keep the juices!) and when it's cool I strip it of meat. I throw the bones back into the pot (with the remaining juices) and cover with filtered water, throwing in stock vegetables such as carrots & celery if I wish. Then I simmer on low the rest of the day or overnight, strain the stock, and use it in soups or freeze for use later.

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