I have wanted a slow cooker for a really long time and there was recently a big sale at Canadian tire and Rob and I got one!! Yay. The one we got is a Hamilton Beach brand and it is pretty large and comes with a thermometer so you can check the internal temperature of the meat.
From our freezer packs from our fav butcher you get a whole chicken. We weren’t really sure what to do with it since we didn’t have the proper baking dish to make it in the oven. So once we got the slow cooker it was the first thing we made! We had to thaw it for like 2 days but luckily we planned ahead.
We just went really simple for the recipe. I made Rob skin the chicken because it really grosses me out but he did a great job hehe…I put a chopped onion in the pot, and made a “bed” of carrots to keep the chicken off the bottom. Basiclly just seasoned it with salt, pepper, rosemary, chives, and inside the “cavity” (lol) I put halved lemon and garlic cloves.
Since we have the meat probe and I’ve never used this machine before I wasn’t sure how long to time it so we used that setting to ensure it was cooked through. I set it on low, and set it to cook until the internal temp was 165. We debated adding liquid into the pot because we both initially thought we should but the recipe didn’t call for it and upon some further research I found that chicken will produce it’s own liquids and adding it isn’t needed. We started this around noon and it cooked for a good 5-6 hours.
Once the temp was reached, it switches to warm and you can come home to a cooked bird!! It made me a bit nervous to leave a hot cooking device on at home for like 6 hours while leaving the house but that’s what it’s made for so just have to trust it….
For dinner we had chicken of course, which was fall off the bone delicious. We also had the carrots from the bottom as well as cauli fried rice. The crock pot was now almost half full of drippings and I was very excited about this because I have been wanting to make stock and switch out the store bought stuff for home made.
So after dinner I cleaned the chicken by taking all the good meat off and storing it for later. I then put all the bones back into the pot, added more onion, almost an entire bundle of celery, and enough water to cover the bones. I added some apple cider vinegar because I’ve read this is helpful for extracting the nutrients in the bones. Set it to low and timed it for 12 hours!!! Seems like a really long time but that’s what I read to do. We let it cook over night and it smelled so yummy.
I’ve been reading about the health benefits of bone broth. If you’re interested in reading further this blog has a pretty good break down of bones! The nutritional facts, the whys, and the hows. Some surprising benefits to be found. http://paleoleap.com/eat-this-bone-broth/
In the morning when the broth was ready, I strained out the soft veg and bones so that I had a large pot of bone broth.
Basically I used it all to make soup. I did put a small portion into the freezer for future use but knew I wanted to make chicken soup!
Back on the stove I added cabbage, some of the chicken meat I had left over from the original cooked chicken, mushrooms, rosemary, fresh basil, green onion. That’s it. I would have added carrots or celery if I hadn’t used them all in the stock process but that’s fine. You can basically add anything that you want to eat in a soup. If you want noodles, add them, if you want barley add it. I really didn’t add very much seasoning or salt because I wanted to taste the broth for itself but you certainly can.
For dinner we had soup! Into each bowl I added a bunch of zoodles and then poured the hot soup over them. I didn’t add them right to the pot because I didn’t want them to get mushy. Topped with some Parmesan and fresh basil.
Chicken zoodle soup 🙂
Delish!! And makes quite a bit so we had lots of leftovers and enjoyed it over multiple days. The sweet thing is that the crock pot does most of the work, so even though in total it took like 24 hours for the chicken and then the stock to cook, I was not at the stove for any of that time. The only thing that was required us was prepping the chicken, eating it, cleaning the meat from the bones, adding it back into the stock and then adding veg to the stock for soup. All in all took like 1 hour over 2 days. Really easy and really worth it