about a month ago, my friend jenn and i were overloading a shopping cart at costco, and i threw in a 3-pack of whole chickens. she thought the whole chicken thing sounded too complicated, so i educated her and then mentally berated myself for being a know-it-all. the self-berating stopped the instant she threw cartons of pre-made chicken broth into the shopping cart, and i resolved at that moment to document the process of making a chicken & stock for her. i may not be a know-it-all, but i DO like to help! ps: the camera on my iPod touch is definitely not high-quality, but i didn’t want my lovely DSLR anywhere near my chicken fingers!
scrunch up a length of aluminium foil, and coil it inside the bottom of your crockpot.
lay out some paper towel to rest the bird on after you’ve given him a little rinse.
untuck his legs, and fill the cavity with a peeled and quartered onion. i think this is where some people would do stuffing, but i prefer to just add a bit of flavour with onion and work on the side dishes later. don’t throw out your onion peels!!
my chicken has friends. this time i sprayed the chicken to give the spice something to stick to, and to make the crust a little crispy. totally not required though. the magic is in the montreal chicken spice. completely coat the bird.
plunk the chicken down on top of your foil coil, and you could stop there! i didn’t though, i added some potatoes to roast along with it for my half-irish husband. here’s the bird and potatoes after sitting in the crockpot for most of the day:
make it a super-easy compete meal by adding some berries and a bag of salad (and any dressing works, but mango-chipotle or creamy poppyseed are fantastic!)
now you’d think this was the end. but it’s SOOOO not! one bird equals many more meals than this one! here’s where you go once the plates are emptied and the bellies have been given satisfied pats. we have this leftover after 2 adults and two kids have eaten their fill:
1. remember your onion peels that i told you to save earlier? please tell me that you did, because you need them now!
and add the limp celery from the bottom of your veggie drawer (but cut off the muddy bottom!):
cover it with water, turn that crock back on and let it sit for a while. how long? i dunno… 2 hours on high should be good. i’ve been known to start it late and let it sit on low overnight. when it’s done, grab a large stock pot and a mesh sieve.
pour the entire contents of the crockpot into this setup:
then take a ladle and use the scoop to press the juices out of that sieve.
here’s what you end up with in the stock pot:
if you have room in your fridge, you can go ahead and just throw the pot into it overnight and make chicken noodle soup for lunch tomorrow. (tip: if you let the stock cool in the fridge then you can scrape off the coagulated layer of fat that would otherwise be mixed in with your broth).
next day, use the little bits of chicken that you had leftover + the stock + carrots, celery, onions & egg noodles to make this:
easily enough soup for 6 people to eat their fill, and we STILL had chicken left over!
the leftover chicken breast that didn’t make it into the soup got turned into two of these (but it could have been three if i hadn’t ravenously attacked the container of chicken while making derek’s lunch). it’s also worth noting that the lettuce on that sandwich is leftover salad from the bag i mentioned earlier:
annnnnnnnnd now, we’re at the end. finally. one bird gave us all of that food with the added benefit that there was no monosodiumconglujimacation or sodiumliciousoxide in the ingredients. plus it was about 600 times tastier than KFC or soup made with a carton of broth. honestly, it took more effort to sort the photos and type all of this out than it did to make any of the food!
looking forward to your undying gratitude for this one, jenn!
Entry filed under: cooking.