Crock Pot Method to Cook a Whole Chicken and Make Chicken Stock
Watch the video above or keep scrolling for step by step instructions with pictures!
How to Cook a Pastured Chicken in the Crock Pot
The night before, remove the chicken from the freezer and leave at room temperature over night. I place mine in the crockpot in case the plastic bag leaks juice while thawing.
The next morning, remove packaging and place the chicken in the crockpot.
Add 1 cup water and sprinkle with 1 tsp of your favorite seasoning blend (I like Kirkland’s No Salt Seasoning mix.)
Cook on high for about 6 hours (you could also cook it on low but it will take a few hours longer).
To see if it is done, pull off a leg or wing. If it doesn’t come off, it needs to be cooked longer. Just don’t cook it so long that the chicken is completely falling apart or the meat can get a little mushy.
Remove the chicken from the crock pot and place in another dish to cool.
After it has cooled, begin separating the meat from the chicken. I divide the chicken up like this:
The meat goes in a large container or ziploc bag, then in the frig or freezer. I use this for soups, casseroles, chickens salad, and more.
The skin goes in a small container in the frig to make crispy baked chicken skins later (recipe here).
The bones, tendons, and ALL the rest of the scraps go back into the crockpot immediately to make stock.
HOW I MAKE CHICKEN STOCK
Place the bones, tendons, and all the rest of the scraps back in the crock pot with the cooking juice.
Add about 2 more cups of water (enough to just cover the bones) and 2 T apple cider vinegar (the addition of ACV draws out the minerals from the bones and yields a richer stock) to the crock pot.
Turn the crock pot on (high or low both work) and cook for 12-24 hours. The longer you cook it the richer the stock will be.
When the stock is finished, let it cool, then strain the solids out. Tada! You now have your own nourishing, mineral-rich chicken stock!
It can be stored in the frig for several days or frozen for several months.
Unlike many store-bought chicken broths, this homemade stock may congeal and become solid like Jello once cooled. This is due to the gelatin in the stock.