Updated: Nov 21
Don't let a whole chicken scare you!
Pasture raised whole chickens are an easy meal option and result in multiple dishes with the leftover chicken. We know all too well just how precious time is, and love having a convenient fast way to cook a whole chicken.
Not only is time valuable to us but saving money is important as well. When you buy a whole chicken you save money, as you are no longer paying someone else to do the job of cutting the bird in to pieces.
Avoid buying chicken stock from the store and use a whole chicken to make it your self...way healthier for you! This stock is used in dishes that require chicken broth, and in place of water when cooking frozen vegetables.
The leftover bones and the backbone from the chicken can be used to make nourishing bone broth. Click the link for Purely Pastured Farm's Bone Broth recipe.
Keep reading to find out the different ways to cook a whole chicken.
Roast in oven: roasting a whole chicken in the oven makes for an easy one pot dish. The chicken drippings and juice will flavor the vegetables along with keeping the chicken moist.
Place a whole chicken in a Dutch oven or pan along with vegetables and seasonings. Click the link for our pasture raised oven roasted chicken recipe.
Crock Pot: if you know you have a busy afternoon, plan ahead and place a whole chicken in the crock pot to have ready later.
Place vegetables in the bottom of the pot, then lay the whole chicken on top (no liquid is needed, as the chicken will produce its own drippings). Season the whole chicken and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. If you are wanting that crisp skin like a rotisserie chicken, place in a pan and in the oven until the skin is golden brown.
Spatchcock chicken: this method can be done on the grill or in the oven and results in a more evenly cooked chicken.
To spatchcock a chicken you will cut the backbone out, flip the chicken over (breast side up) and firmly press down between the breasts until you hear a crack. This allows the chicken to lay flat, allowing the bird to cook more evenly. Next add seasonings of choice and place on the grill or in a dish to roast in the oven. Check out the video below where we show you how to spatchcock a chicken.
Grill: grilling chicken is one of our favorite ways to cook a whole chicken. We have heard many people say "grilling dries my chicken out", but when you use a pasture raised chicken from Purely Pastured Farm, it is nothing but moist delicious chicken for you to enjoy.
Heat grill to 375 degrees and place chicken on grill, breast side up. Allow the chicken to cook for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Instant Pot: life gets busy and we forget to plan ahead for dinner. The instant pot can be a lifesaver when these days happen. In under an hour you can have a whole frozen chicken cooked.
Rinse the frozen chicken and rub with oil of choice along with seasonings. Place in an instant pot and pour one cup of water in the bottom. Pressure cook the chicken about 10 minutes per pound (example: 3 lb chicken equals 30 minutes). Once it has finished let the instant pot natural release instead of a quick release.
Cut up: breaking down a chicken might sound a little intimidating, but it gets easier with practice. Cutting the chicken into pieces can save money and result in a more even cook.
Remove the wings, leg quarters (thigh & leg kept together), & backbone (save the backbone for stock). To make it easier for me, I keep the breast skin-on and bone-in. Place each piece in a skillet and brown the skin. Place skillet in oven and continue to cook until the chicken is fully cooked.
We always have left over chicken when we cook a whole chicken, which turns into another meal…WIN FOR MOM! I have found that if you debone the chicken before placing it in the refrigerator it is easier to handle.
With this leftover chicken the options are endless. Here are a few ways we like to reuse shredded chicken:
chicken pot pie
chicken to place on a salad
chicken and rice
chicken BBQ pizza