You're going to think I'm horribly simple when I tell you what I do to cook chickens.
This is definitely not gourmet.
This method is so simple and handy — it requires almost no effort but yields tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone chicken for sandwiches, soups, casseroles, and skillet dishes. It results in a good amount of chicken (because I cook 2 at a time) to put away for future meals.
How to Cook 2 Whole Chickens in the Crockpot
This method is shared in more detail in our online class Fundamentals — both through a video demonstration and a detailed print tutorial.
Start with 2 pastured organic chickens. Rinse and put in a large crockpot. (You can also put them upside down so the breasts self-baste in their own dripppings.) I can get 2 to fit in a 6 to 6-1/2 quart crockpot. Both birds fit, really!
No need to add liquid; as the chicken cooks, its own liquids will fill up the crock about halfway and it will simmer away, staying tender.
Turn the crockpot on to high for an hour or so to get good and hot. Then I turn down to low for the rest of the day. (For a total of 8 to 10 hours.) If you're a bit behind, keep the crockpot on high from late morning until dinner time, for a total of 6 to 8 hours or so.
The chicken is done when it is falling apart.
Take out of the crockpot. Let it cool. Then take all the meat off the bones. Freeze or refrigerate what you're not using for that night's dinner. Use the drippings for the sauce of your meal or another meal (it will gel right up in the fridge if the bones contained lots of gelatin), or leave them in the crockpot to start stock right away with the bones.
To Start Stock
Put the bones right back in the crockpot, with or without the dripppings, and add water and a splash of vinegar, then cover and turn on low for 12 to 24 hours. You can also add onions, garlic, and herbs. Here's more info: Perpetual Stock or Broth in the Crockpot.
Check out our online class Fundamentals for more details video and print instructions for both cooking the chickens and making the stock.
What's your favorite way to cook chicken?
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