I'm not exaggerating when I say it has changed my life. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating. But it does make me happy, and I love having chicken meat ready in the fridge. And homemade stock - yum!
There are oh-so-many recipes online for roasting a chicken in the crockpot. Just Google it if you need good instructions. I usually roast 2 chickens at a time for lots of extra meat. I get the organic whole chickens from Costco. (Although I do feel slightly guilty about that... how can Costco have access to so many organic chickens?!? Makes me wonder about the humanness of the operations. But that's where I get them because it's easy. Maybe I'll look into a better option this summer. Maybe Matt will let us move to a farm where we can raise our own chickens to eat. Probably not.) Anyway, I stuff both chickens with onions, stuff them into the crockpot, sprinkle with salt and pepper (or maybe some herbs if I'm feeling wild & crazy!), turn on the crockpot and let those chicks cook. After 6+ hours, that meat practically falls off the bone! (Should be noted that roasting a chicken in the crockpot does not provide a beautiful, crisp-skin, roasted chicken like the oven does. This is about meat, not presentation)
We usually have the chicken with whatever sides for dinner that night. Then, I pick off all the extra meat to use over the next week. I put the carcasses back in the crockpot with some carrots and celery (if I have them on hand), turn the crockpot back on, and let that all stew overnight (sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to the smell of simmering stock - yum!). The next day, I drain the stock using a colander, let it cool in the fridge, skim the fat, and either use (it's usually so thick that I use 1:1 or 1:2 ratio of stock to water) or freeze.
So that's how I get the chicken meat, but sometimes I feel at a loss what to do with all that meat. So this is a list of chicken ideas for lunch or dinner. Mostly for myself to reference when I can't think straight (i.e. most of the time). I'm planning on adding to it as I discover new ideas.
- BBQ chicken sandwiches (no recipe - I just use my favorite BBQ sauce from The Saltlick)
- Rosemary chicken salad
- Creamy chicken taquitos (from our friend Lauren - these freeze really well!)
- Side with Big Island Orzo Salad
- Chili Blanco
- Chicken Barley Soup (Kate loves this!)
- Spinach Chicken Noodle Soup
- Tortilla Soup
- Mixed in with Runner's Fettuccine
- Chick-Chick Stew
- Chicken N' Dumplings
- Side with Nona's White Bean Soup
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Chicken Tetrazzini
- Chicken Quesadillas
So that's what I can think of so far from my repetoire... I am always open to suggestions!