How to Cook a Whole Chicken!
So if we are being honest here, the only whole chicken I ever dealt with before raising our own meat chickens was the whole, COOKED rotisserie chicken from Costco. It was pretty much a staple weekly and I loved how easy it was to get chicken for multiple meals from this one chicken!
Honestly, when we started selling meat chickens, I really didn’t know how we could compete with that Costco rotisserie chicken. Our chicken was way more expensive than Costco and it wasn’t even cooked yet! As a busy, working mom, I honestly saw that whole uncooked chicken as this scary burden. I didn’t know what to do with it.
So I eased into this. I enrolled in a broth academy course to learn from a master all the ways to cook chicken, make broth, and use chicken in delicious recipes. After watching, learning, googling, asking questions, and watching videos, I felt like I could do this!
I used the Juciest Chicken Recipe in a dutch oven the first time because I had time one Sunday and thought if it tasted good, there might be something to this whole chicken thing. It was pretty simple and it turned out so good!!! My family was impressed and there were hardly any leftovers because we all just kept eating it! Discovering that I could be a great cook with something that scared me gave me confidence to cook more healthy meals for my family.
Since that first whole chicken, I have cooked so many whole chickens in many ways and have always had great results! I have happily cooked them for our family, big family gatherings, potlucks, and friends. Everyone has always been very happy and full. I also credit my great kitchen success to our tasty and nutrient dense chickens. I don’t know if I would call myself a master chicken chef yet, but I might be on my way to becoming one
If a whole chicken intimidates you too, you are not alone! Like anything else in life that looks like a challenge, you’ll never get through it until you try. If you don’t have great success on your first try, I would be very surprised! It’s surprisingly easy. I want to help because it really has changed my life in how my family eats more nutritious meals almost every single day! Chicken and fresh veggies is a staple many nights of the week at our house.
If you have time and want to really impress your family and friends give the Juiciest Roasted Chicken Recipe. It works best with a dutch oven, but you can use a baking dish and aluminum foil if you don’t have a dutch oven. If you don’t like touching raw meat, you can just plop this into your baking vessel from the package and then season it without even touching it!
If you are a busy, the slow cooker is your friend with a whole chicken! I really like this recipe. All you need to do is cut up your favorite veggies. I like celery, onions, carrots, and some potatoes and line the bottom of your crock pot with them. They make a bed for your chicken to cook on while staying off the direct heat. Season with your favorite seasonings and set it for 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
You can even use this method with a frozen chicken if you forget to defrost it ahead of time. You just need to set it on low only and you will need to wait until it’s thawed slightly or once it’s cooked to season it as they won’t stick to the frozen chicken. If you use the slow cooker and like crispy skin, make sure to set the oven to broil near the end of the cooking time and just take the ceramic pot out of the crock pot and put it in the oven to crisp up the skin.
You can’t go wrong and a whole chicken will provide you meat for tonight’s dinner and leftovers for tomorrow night too (if your family doesn’t devour it the first night because it’s so tasty)!
So if you are afraid to handle a whole chicken, what if I told you that you can cook a whole, raw chicken without actually touching it. You will need to handle it when it’s cooked, but hopefully the taste and delicious smell makes that very easy. Here are the steps to do this:
1. Cut the package of your thawed chicken, just at a corner. You want enough to drain any juices without having your chicken fall out of the bag.
2. Hold onto the bag and chicken and pour any juices down the sink.
3. Cut the bag open the rest of the way and slide that chicken into a big bowl.
4. Season your chicken with any spices that you like and a little olive oil.
5. Using tongs, flip the chicken over in the bowl and season the other side.
6. Put it in the cooking vessel of your choosing and you’re done!
I hope this information gives you some confidence in cooking a whole chicken. Once you do it, you will love having that easy dinner every week! I really like cooking the bigger chickens so I can have leftovers, but the smaller ones are less intimidating to start with.It’s the best value because there is a lot of extra cost involved parting and packaging chicken. Plus, you can make amazing chicken stock using our chicken stock recipe and amazing bone broth from the leftover bones and cartilage using our bone broth recipe. You also get all the parts and can please your family members who love lean breast meat and those who like the darker thigh meat. Happy cooking and please reach out with any questions that you might have!!!