What to Make When – Whole Chicken

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on June 15, 2011

It’s time for another version of “what to make when.”  This week…it’s whole chickens.

Now the thought of buying a whole chicken might sound a little daunting, let me help show you that there’s nothing to be daunted about! ;)  Buying a whole chicken is certainly the cheapest option for chicken.  The easiest and most practical thing to do with a whole chicken is to drop it into the slow cooker with some spices and maybe some onions, carrots, celery and let it cook the day away.

Once it’s cooked, you can pull off the meat (it’s very tender and falls right off the bones from being slow cooked) and you can also strain the liquid from the slow cooker and you’ve got homemade chicken stock.

With the shredded chicken, you could make…

So next time you see whole chickens on sale for $.88/lb or less…buy one, or two, or three and make your own shredded chicken and chicken stock!

For the rest of the ingredients featured in previous posts, visit the main  “What to Make When” page!

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

@MandieD79 June 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Yay! This comes just in time for a .69@¢/lb chicken sale.. I was just telling my mom how easy slow cooked whole chicken is.. I’ll email her this link!

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Courtney June 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Do inner yucky things need to be removed before cooking? I’ve been terrified of buying a whole chicken fearing giblets.

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LisaE June 15, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Courtney….usually the yucky inner stuff comes in a baggie, simply grab the bag out and throw in another bag to throw in outside garbage. Be careful when pulling the baggie out as chicken blood usually comes with it.

Last year though I bought a few Tyson chickens and they did not have the inner yucks in baggies, I had to try and grab them with a paper towel or shake into sink then discard…that was GROSS.

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Terri June 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

The chickens I get always have the stuff in them. My trick it to put the chicken in the sink and run water through it. Most of the time that stuff will come out on it’s own. I still have to stick my hands in there sometimes though to get the neck out. Plus you also have to grab the stuff out of the sink and throw it away or you could just run the disposal if you have one.

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Sonshine June 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I can get whole chickens at Sam’s Club for 88 cents/lb everyday. :) There has been a couple of times when I was there that I got a 2 pk for 56 cents/lb. :) It has been a while since I have seen whole chickens at the 49 cents/lb price.

One of the things that I love to do that is a family favorite is sloppy chicken sandwiches. here is a link to the recipe…http://glimpseofsonshine.blogspot.com/2008/07/sloppy-chicken-joe-sandwiches.html

The other things I do with whole chickens is chicken pot pie or homemade KFC bowls(mashed potatoes topped with corn, chicken and gravy).

Thanks for sharing your recipes. Those burritos look yummy!

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Shannon June 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Where do you find them for that price? I would be stocking up no them.

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Shannon June 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm

“on” :)

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Kara June 15, 2011 at 7:02 pm

One of our favorite meals here is a whole chicken in the crock pot with baked potatoes.

Remove giblets from chicken and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika. Put in slower cooker (no liquid needed). Wash and poke with a fork multiple times whole potatoes or sweet potatoes and wrap them in aluminum foil. Place potatoes on top of chicken. Bake chicken and potatoes in slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.

The chicken is so moist and tastes just like a rotisserie chicken and potatoes are the perfect compliment! Add steamed veggies and it’s a quick meal that is ready within minutes in the evening!

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Chuck July 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Thanks Kara! I just read this and immediately started on it! I hope it turns out great!

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Denise June 15, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Huh, I’ve never gotten giblets in a chicken I’ve bought, and I’ve looked. I don’t miss them at all tho. I guess I do it a little different – I make a gravy from the drippings (which is an awesome base for a stew) and I make a lot of broth from the bones/scraps/etc. At $1/can, I save a ton of money that way:). I always buy my chicken on clearance and it works out to about 0.73 cents a pound. We use a little on salad with breadsticks the first night, then we put the salad leftovers/more chicken in soft taco shells..then it’s a hot dish with the rest. Yum!!

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LisaE June 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I just scored 4 whole chickens for $.79/lb at a store a little ways from our camper. I have not seen that price or anywhere near that price since last summer.

I often cook my chicken in crock pot as well, wrap some washed potatoes and throw them in the crock pot as well….dinner is almost finished with little effort. I made crock pot chicken last night and with leftover stock and chicken made chicken and dumplings soup for dinner tonight…was perfect since today was cool and rainy.

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Becky L. June 16, 2011 at 12:15 am

I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot today! We must be on the same wave length–ha! Anyway, we had chicken burritos and salad for dinner. There’s enough chicken left over for 2 meals and a bit of broth went into each container. Can make a soup out of it or a casserole! I do it often.

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Loy June 16, 2011 at 12:29 am

You might be interested in my post last Saturday for Simmered Chinese Chicken. This recipe lets you do a whole chicken in about an hour or less. You can also do it in a slow cooker. This makes very moist chicken meat with a slight teryaki flavor. It is great to use with the sauce as a first meal, then in fried rice, teryaki chicken sandwiches, or other oriental dishes. It is a very useful recipe. http://grandmaloyskitchen.blogspot.com/2011/06/simmered-chinese-chicken.html

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mary June 16, 2011 at 7:05 am

A slow cooker is just too limited to work with the four chickens I got at Kroger’s this week for $0.77 a pound, so I’ll use that trusty old kitchen gadget called the oven and roast all three at once with a little garlic, salt, pepper and lemon inside and out. Whole pieces of chicken for several meals, chopped or shredded chicken for others, and bones for a delicious broth/soup/stew. What’s not to love?

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Terri June 16, 2011 at 9:41 am

I love making whole chickens. We do that a lot here because the cost is so great.
I take mine and put them in a 13X9 inch. dish and rinse it and poke holes. Then I use olive oil to rub all over it and add some of my favorite spices. You can use lemon pepper, seasoning salt, salt and pepper. Just whatever you like. I love using Ranch dressing packages or Italian dressing (dry seasoning on both). Rub that stuff all over and pop it in the oven at 350 or 400 degrees. It takes about an hour to two hours to cook but it so good.
They end up being a lot like what you get at the store that is already cooked and seasoned.
YUMMY GOODNESS!!!

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Missy June 16, 2011 at 11:39 am

Whole roasted chickens are the top favorite at my house! Yum! I take the broth from the crockpot and freeze it in muffin pans (the one cup size). Then after frozen, pop them out and put them into a big plastic storage bag. They are so easy to take out for use in a recipe and they are already portioned. Plus they are easy to store in the freezer. I also boil whole chickens and keep the broth but since the broth from the crockpot is “stronger” and more concentrated then the boiling water, I make sure to mark them differently.

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Christan/MamaBearPing June 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm

That is genius. Really. I’m stealing this idea. Thanks!

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Sharon Sorrels June 17, 2011 at 6:05 am

I get bone-in breasts to cook since they have more meat and I can remove the skin. I stand them up in the crockpot after I’ve removed the skin. Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning and cook on low. They taste like rotiesserie chicken without the skin and the less meaty parts and bones!

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Lisa Le September 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Thanks for the article! My local grocery store has whole chickens on sale right now for 69 cents a pound! So I decided to research a little and see what I could do with a whole chicken since I have never bought one before. After reading this, I think I will go stock up! Thanks again!

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