There is something oddly satisfying about making a whole chicken, do you agree? I know many people think its gross to handle a whole chicken, but I really don’t know what the big deal is, where do you think those chicken breasts, wings, legs etc come from? I’d rather have my chicken pieces come from one chicken than several as is how it comes when you buy just one part. The other reason I like to make a whole chicken is because it is far more economical, and who doesn’t want to save a few bucks especially when that can go towards unnecessary green beauty products (because you know, I just don’t have enough of that yet…*sigh*).
The one thing nobody wants when it comes to chicken is one that is dry, so we really want to cook it on slow for hours in the slow cooker and if you follow this method, you will not be left with a dried out chicken. The second amazing reason to make a slow cooker whole chicken is that you can then use the bones and carcass to make the most healing and nutritious bone broth. So really it is a two for one deal when you choose to make a whole chicken.
Why would you want to make bone broth?
Bursting with good for you nutrients, vitamins and minerals, bone broth is absolutely healing for not only your insides (think repairing your gut) but also is a beauty food as well. This is because of the protein rich minerals you will get directly from the broth and of course the collagen contained in it as well. Bone broth is rich in collagen (the cooked form is referred to as gelatin) and this is obtained easily from pasture raised (organic, good qaulity) meat sources. But even more interesting than the gelatin aspect is the wonders it can also do for your gut and your digestion. What does this have to do with our skin though? Everything! I have written about the importance of gut health (here and here) and the impact this will have on your skins appearance in my ebook as well.
But I’ll break it down one more time just for you:
- Your digestive system is responsible for absorbing nutrients: the nutrients in bone broth are great for the skin, however, if your body can’t absorb them due to a compromised gut, then all those nutrients are kind of going to waste. They say you are what you eat (and what it eats too), but also, you are what you absorb. So, it is vital for you to work on healing your gut and repairing it (if needed) and you can do that by including bone broth as a start. The gelatin also helps to soothe the GI tract.
- The nutrients in bone broth are easy to absorb: Because you are getting the collagen directly from a recognized source in the form that our bodies best understand, they are better able to absorb them. As I have written about before in my ebook, sure you can slather on all the most expensive creams, lotions or potions on your skin in hopes of tackling wrinkles, but the best way to target them is with the foods you eat. And your body best recognizes the nutrients and the protein from sources like bone broth and therefore is able to utilize them.
Besides the skin and gut benefits, it is also incredibly healing, fights inflammation and supports your immune function as well. So that age-old tale that chicken soup is good for the common cold is actually true.
For even more resources on the healing power of bone broth, check out Dr. Kellyann’s website and search bone broth, she has tons of info on the subject!
I hope that I have convinced you how easy, delicious and economical making a whole chicken can be. All it takes is a little prep time and and an afternoon of cooking (without you actually doing anything) to have an amazingly healing, nutritious meal.
Today you are getting a three-for-one special, as I have a recipe for the chicken, the bone broth and some delicious fingerling potatoes that I made but didn’t snap a pic of.
For the herbamare, I use this one.
You can use the bone broth in a variety of ways, for me it was chicken noodle soup and given that I was sick with a cold, it absolutely helped make me feel better. Note, that if you add a purple carrot to it, it will turn the broth purple!
- 1 5 lb. whole chicken (cleaned and giblets removed, most come like this)
- 1 ½ tsp paprika (I used smoked paprika)
- 1 tsp thyme (dried)
- 1 tsp oregano dried
- ¼ tsp herbamare
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- zest of one small lemon
- 1/2 tsp avocado oil
- 1 lemon (sliced thin)
- 2-3 garlic cloves (left whole with the skin off and smashed with a knife)
- Can also add other herbs inside the chicken like thyme (if you wish).
- Place the whole chicken on a cutting board and dry with paper towels. You don't need to wash your chicken in the sink, this just adds more bacteria everywhere.
- Use ½ tsp avocado oil and then sprinkle some sea salt and pepper all over it on both sides.
- Mix up the seasonings above in a small bowl and spread over the chicken (on all sides), use your hands to ensure that the chicken is coated.
- Then stuff the inside with the sliced lemon and garlic and optional herbs.
- Place the chicken in your slow cooker breast side down for about 6 to 6 1/2 hours on low.
- I have cooked the chicken for longer (7 hours) and it was a little too much. Aim for 6 to 6 1/2 hours and it should be perfect.
- You can also add an onion (chopped in half) to the bottom of the slow cooker so the chicken doesn't get too dry.
- Bones and carcass from your 5 lb. chicken
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped onions
- 2 celery sticks (roughly chopped)
- 2 carrots (roughly chopped)
- 2 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
- Filtered water (enough for covering the bones- about 6 cups)
- Add the chicken bones, carcass and the veggies to your slow cooker. You can leave some of the meat on the bones, but try and take off most of it.
- Add the veggies and raw apple cider vinegar and water to your slow cooker.
- If you want to add any spices to it, you can add extra thyme, rosemary, sea salt and pepper, it is up to you and how you will be using it.
- If you are adding fresh herbs to the slow cooker, add them in during the last 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Cook for 8 hours on low.
- When it is finished cooking, use a sieve to strain out the bones and cooked veggies.
- Pour into a large mason jar or container using a ladle and a sieve over the top of it to strain out anything else.
- Let it cool slightly before putting it in the fridge.
- This will last about 5-6 days in the fridge and a few months in the freezer.
- 1 bunch of fingerling potatoes (about 22-25) cut lengthwise.
- Avocado oil for drizzling
- Pinch of sea salt, herbamare, chili flakes
- 2 stems of fresh rosemary (chopped)
- 3 cloves of garlic (left whole, with the skin on)
- 2. tbsp fresh chives (chopped finely)
- 1 tbsp. melted butter or ghee
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Cut the potatoes lengthwise and place in a large baking dish.
- Add a pinch of sea salt, herbamare and chili flakes.
- Then add the chopped rosemary.
- Place the garlic cloves (with the skin on) in the dish.
- Roast at 400 for 32-35 minutes total.
- Remove from the oven and take out the garlic and mince it (the skin will just pop off).
- Add the garlic to the potatoes along with 1 tbsp. butter and swirl it around until everything is coated and the butter is melted.
- Serve with the finely chopped chives on top.