Let me start off by saying that this is not perfect chicken. I know, I’m a liar. This is not beautiful, golden brown, roasted chicken that Ina Garten bought at her local poultry shop and dressed to perfection. I have made that chicken and although it is gorgeous and really sets up the tablescape it’s not so great for weekly meal prep.
And I know what you’re thinking. JB, why are you using a whole chicken? Why aren’t you talking about chicken breasts that come boneless and skinless and ready for all sorts of healthy meals? Well I have a really good answer for that. I am a girl on a budget. A package of 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts at Kroger can cost around $5.32 per pound without a sale or coupon. The whole chicken with skin and bones that I purchased was $5.88 total or $0.99 per pound. Now, before I learned how to cook a chicken in this easy manner I’m about to show you, this price difference was ok for me because baking chicken breasts was way easier than roasting a chicken. But as it turns out, I don’t need to roast the chicken to get what I want out of it – juicy, fully cooked chicken that’s ready to be shredded and added to salads, soups or mixed with mayo for a less waist friendly option.
Let’s go through what you’ll need, shall we? You need a crock pot. And not just for this recipe. You need one. Don’t question it. Just own one and use it and thank me helping you succeed in life. I happen to have two of them. I have a 4 quart pot which did not fit the whole chicken the first time I attempted this recipe, so I had to order this 7 quart beauty off of Amazon. If I’m being honest, I phoned my mom with my predicament and she ordered it before we were off the phone. I bought her the same one for Christmas so I think it all evens out.
Anyway, I love this one because you can set it for 2-10 hours on warm, low, or high. Once it’s done it will switch itself over to warm automatically which my other pot doesn’t do so believe me when I tell you it is incredibly helpful. Sometimes I remember to use a liner so that I don’t have to clean the pot itself, but I did not this time around. It goes in the dishwasher though, so how much work did I really do?
In terms of preparing the chicken you will need, at least, salt and pepper. Yeah, that’s it. I, however, like a little bit more of a flavor profile so I have upped the ante to s&p, soy sauce, and garlic powder.
Basically, this recipe is 3 main steps:
1. Defrost the chicken, remove giblets, and place in crock pot
2. Cover the chicken in salt and pepper
3. Cook on high for 4 hours
I’m gonna give you a little bit more detail, cause I love ya. I cover the chicken in some soy sauce first, even if I don’t plan on using it in an Asian style meal. I think it adds a nice salty flavor that’s deeper than plain old salt.