This is a super quick, super cheap way of cooking chicken to have on hand for all kinds of awesome recipes. Buying a whole chicken, rather than the boneless skinless packages, is amazingly cheaper. I can get a package of two whole chickens from Sam’s Club for about $7, and each chicken individually will give me enough meat for at least four meals, plus you can make your own chicken stock out of the leftover skin and bones.
I usually cook these up and shred the meat, putting them in freezer bags for future use. Same for the stock, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Fancy looking, eh? Yes, that chicken is frozen. I throw it in the crock pot, add seasonings, turn it on low for about 8 hours, and you have awesome, super juicy chicken. No added water, and your house will smell super yummy.
To make the broth, just leave the bones and skin in the crock pot after you (or your awesome hubby) tears apart the chicken for you, add 4-5 cups of water and cook on low for another 8 hours or so, or just overnight. Then you will want to strain the broth from the bones and goobers left behind. I use a mesh strainer and pour it all into an ice cream bucket. (Those suckers get used for all sorts of things in this house! And in case you are wondering, if the buckets ever get used for a barfy kid, they get pitched. I’m all for recycling and all, but, blech.)
If you then refrigerate the broth, you can later easily scoop up the hardened fat. Yum.
I put the broth in freezer bags in measured amounts for cooking and then throw them in the freezer. If you season your chicken without salt, then you now have a salt free stock. See how easy that was?
There are bajillions of uses for shredded chicken. In this house we are partial to quesadillas, fajitas, and chicken salad. Those are the three most popular uses in mi casa, but there are tons of casseroles and other yummy things to be made as well. I just love the feeling of having yummy, ready to use, cooked chicken that I can pull out and use for a quick meal. It’s a good thing.