We just finished our last batch of farm pasture raised chickens. It's the best feeling when I open up my freezer and see it full of our own farm-raised chickens. I know I'm feeding my family some of the best nutrition available!
Does cooking a whole chicken feel a bit intimidating? It did me, too, until I found some tried and true recipes. Here are three easy recipes for you.
Whole Chicken in a Crockpot
Ingredients: 1 Whole Meadowlark Heritage Farm Chicken 1 Packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning 3/4 cup Water 3/4 cup White Wine 4 Carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks 1 large onion, cut into wedges Directions: 1. Spray inside of crock pot with cooking spray (I use avocado spray). Place chicken in crock pot. Salt the chicken well.
2. Mix seasoning packet with water and wine. Pour over chicken.
3. Cook on low approximately 6 hours. (I will also put it in frozen. Add 2 extra hours.) About 90 minutes before the chicken is done, add carrots and onions.
4. When done, take chicken out and let rest on a cutting board 15 minutes.
5. Take vegetables out of the sauce; strain the sauce and thicken as desired.
6. Serve with a fresh salad and some mashed potatoes!
Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot
Ingredients: 1 Whole Meadowlark Heritage Farm Chicken (4-5 lbs) 1 cup chicken broth or water 2 tsp smoked paparika 2 tsp sea salt (I use Redmond Salt) 1 tsp pepper 2 tsp garlic salt 3 tsp Italian seasoning 1 lemon, cut into wedges 3 Tbsp Olive Oil Directions:
1. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning and mix.
2. Rub seasoning mix on the chicken and I also rub some of the seasoning under the skin on the breast side of the chicken.
3. Let Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker to Saute and add the olive oil.
4. Add the whole chicken to the pot and sear on each side for 4-5 minutes.
5. Turn off the Instant Pot and remove the chicken.
6. Add water or chicken broth and scrape up any stuck bits off bottom of pot. Add lemon wedges inside the chicken.
7. Place chicken breast side up on trivet and place chicken back in Instant Pot.
8. Set Instant Pot to 6 minutes per pound of chicken and allow for a 15 minute natural pressure release.
9. Remove chicken and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Whole Chicken in the Oven
Ingredients: 1 Whole Meadowlark Heritage Farm Chicken (4-5 lbs) Butter Salt & Pepper Thyme & Oregano Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Note the weight of your chicken to determine cooking time.
3. Set the chicken in a shallow roasting pan. Some people like the breast side up; others like to roast it upside down.
4. Brush chicken with butter and season with salt, pepper and herbs.
5. Roast 2 hours. Always check the doneness of roast chicken by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 170 degrees. For an accurate read, you can insert the oven-going thermometer in the thigh before you start roasting (it stays in the whole time).
6. Before serving, let the chicken rest for 15 minutes.
Our chickens are a staple for us and can also be for you and your family. Be serious about eating healthy and saving money. Did you realize that one chicken can be used to make THREE meals? Stretch your budget without sacrificing valuable nutrition for your family. I do this every time I make a whole chicken.
Using a whole chicken to make multiple meals has been a great way for me to save money and save time! I will cook a whole chicken and stretch it out for three meals. Now if my older children were still at home, I'd cook two chickens at a time. But at this stage of life, one chicken is just fine.
The first meal is to roast your whole chicken. Use the oven, crockpot, or even the instant pressure cooker. I like to make this meal with several sides to stretch the chicken even further. So I serve the chicken with roasted vegetables, and potatoes. My boys like bread, too, so I will try to have rolls for them.
Next, I debone the chicken and refrigerate (or freeze if I'm not making another chicken meal immediately). And then I start my chicken broth by covering the carcass with water, adding garlic, onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. I have used my crock pot and let the chicken broth cook down for at least 24 hours.
But, recently, I used my instant pressure cooker. Wow! It was done within two hours and I didn't have to smell chicken broth in the middle of the night. I mean, it smells delicious but I really don't like smelling it at 2 am. I also add apple cider vinegar to my chicken broth to draw out more of the minerals from the bones.
The second meal using the leftover chicken that I either refrigerated or froze. This meal uses chicken as part of the recipe but isn't the main star like a roasted chicken is. So I will make chicken tacos (add beans to the chicken and use taco seasoning), taco soup, chicken fried rice, chicken enchiladas, chicken pot pie... you get the idea.
One of my quick and easy go-to recipes is Chicken Broccoli and Rice. Cook rice and mix with the cooked chicken, broccoli (sometimes I'll add carrots for the youngest who loves carrots these days!). Season it with salt, pepper and thyme. I also top it with melted cheese. Everything is better with cheese on it, according to my children.
Use that bone broth and make a delicious soup from it! You can make a chicken and noodle soup (or rice if you want to avoid gluten), white chicken chili, chicken tortilla soup... pick your favorite and go for it.
There you go! Three meals from one chicken.
Superior nutrition from our farm & pastured raised chickens who were supplemented with nonGMO feed and no antibiotics given!