I like to buy organic when I can, but it is not always the cheapest option. When we make our weekly trip to Costco, my husband always cringes as I walk by the ‘regular’ chicken and go straight for the organic chicken. It is usually always double the price per pound. After looking at all the options, we came to a compromise and now get the whole chickens that come in a two pack. It’s a great way to save a little if you want to buy organic. We can usually get a few meals out of a whole chicken. I will usually cook one for dinner on a Sunday or Monday. I will save enough for the boys to have for lunch for the rest of the school week. Whatever is leftover will get turned into another weeknight dinner. Usually a chicken salad, chicken noodle soup, or some kind of chicken and pasta, rice or quinoa. We really do get our money’s worth out of one chicken.
When I cook my whole chicken, I either roast it in the oven or throw it in a crockpot. I always throw in veggies too. That way you get a whole dinner without having to put much effort in, and I’m all about a quick, easy, effortless meal. They are both super easy and both turn out great. Today, I’ll be showing you the crockpot version.
First, I cut up whatever veggies I have in the fridge which is usually carrots, onions, potatoes, celery, and/or garlic. I almost always have those ingredients in my fridge. So, just chop up whatever you have. Root vegetables work best in the crockpot. If adding zucchinis or squashes, I would wait until about 30 minutes of cook time left before throwing softer vegetables in.
I then clean out and season my chicken. To be honest, my husband usually cleans out the chicken for me. Something about sticking my hand in a whole raw chicken and pulling the insides out just kind of freaks me out. I know, all of those insides can be great flavor and can also be some great nutrition for those who can stomach eating them, but that’s not me so those usually get tossed. After the chicken is clean, I pat it dry with some paper towels and season it. You can use any of your favorite spices here. We tend to go with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. I usually just sprinkle the seasoning on top until covered and then sprinkle a little bit more. There’s nothing worse than an underseasoned chicken so when you think you have enough, sprinkle just a little bit more. Then, I place the chicken in the crockpot.
I then stuff the veggies all around the sides of the chicken and on top if I run out of space. This pot was stuffed full!
Now, I just set the crockpot on low for about six hours. Crockpots can vary so it’s always good to keep an eye on your chicken. I like to stick a meat thermometer in just to check the progress to make sure I don’t overcook it. The internal temperature in the breast of the chicken should be 163 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t check, you’ll more than likely come out with a dry chicken.
Once done, your chicken should just fall off the bone. You can then carve, plate, and serve. Make sure to save the juices left in the bottom of the pot. That is where all the flavor is. Strain the stock and save it for homemade chicken noodle soup or make a gravy out of it for your chicken and veggies.
Crockpot Whole Chicken and Veggies
- one whole chicken (about 5 lbs)
- 6 carrots, chopped
- 4 red potatoes, quartered
- 2 small onions, quartered
- garlic powder, about two tbsp
- Italian seasoning, about four tbsp
- Salt and pepper to taste, about a tbsp or so
Chop your veggies. Clean your chicken and pat dry. Coat your chicken with spices. Place chicken in the pot. Stuff veggies around sides of chicken and on top if you run out of room. Cook on high about four hours or low about six. Keep an eye on chicken and check the internal temp with a meat thermometer until 163 degrees Fahrenheit is reached in the breast. Carve or shred off the bone, plate and serve with veggies.