Using every bit of a whole chicken is a great money saving option.
Step 1 – cut out the breasts of a whole chicken. Use for any recipe calling for boneless/skinless chicken breast. My favorite – pesto chicken. Generously coat the chicken breast with pesto and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for 8-10 minutes until the top is brown and bubbly. Flip the breast over and repeat.
Step 2 – slow cook the rest of the chicken. Add about a tablespoon of rosemary and 2-3 bay leaves in the cavity. Place in a crock pot with about a cup of water. Sprinkle the outside with salt, pepper and more rosemary. Cook on low 5-7 hours. (5 hrs is enough for a 3-4 lb chicken, go 7 hrs for 5 lbs and up). Pulll all the meat off the bones. Save all the bones and skin for the next step. Use the shredded chicken for anything calling for shredded chicken – tacos, burritos, enchiladas, stir fry, soups and salads. Here is one of my favorites:
Chinese Chicken Salad
1 Head of cabbage – shredded
1 Red Bell Pepper – diced very small
1 Bunch of green onions chopped – white and green parts
1 cup chopped/shredded chicken
Mix above items together well. Top with:
Toasted sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup coconut aminos
Combine in a pint size mason jar or other sealed container and shake well.
Step 3 – put the bones and skin back in the crock pot. Add the ends of onions, carrots, celery that you’ve saved in the fridge. Also add any small tomatos that are getting shriveled and 2-3 garlic cloves smashed. Leave garlic and onion skins on! Fill the crock put with cold water and cook on low for 72 hours. (Note: your whole house will smell like chicken during this process. Using an Instant Pot type cooker that has a sealing lid will keep eliminate the chicken smell). Discard the bones and skin, strain and freeze the broth. Use to saute or for any recipes calling for chicken broth. Chicken bone broth is also a great for gut health. Here is one of my favorite soup recipies:
Dairy Free Cream of Green Chile Chicken Soup
1/2 c grassfed butter
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chopped green chile
6-7 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped/shredded chicken
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon salt – you may want to add more after you taste
2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
1 package white mushrooms, chopped and sauteed in butter
Saute the onion, celery and carrots in the butter until completely soft. Add the garlic and green chile and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is very fragrant. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and using a submersion blender, blend until smooth. Add the shredded chicken and the rest of the chicken broth and bring just to the boiling point. Put the coconut milk and arrowroot powder into a container that seals and shake well. Slowly add the cocout mike/arrowroot powder mixture to the soup while stirring the soup well. Add the salt, sherry and sauteed mushrooms. Simmer to the desired consistency. Freezes well.