A whole chicken can be a dollar stretcher. With the shredded meat and jars of broth that result, the recipe possibilities are endless! I'm going to share what I like to do with a chicken from start to finish...
I start by slow cooking the whole chicken overnight, on low, seasoned only with salt and pepper. First thing in the morning, I turn off the crock pot, let the chicken cool, and de-bone it. The bones go back in the crockpot with the juices, salt, pepper, a whole onion, 2-3 heads of crushed garlic, and celery. I let this simmer until afternoon. It smells SOOOOOO good.
Next, I cool the broth in the crockpot for a bit. To strain it, I place a colander over a larger mixing bowl to catch the bones and vegetables. The strained broth is then poured into jars to cool. I save mayo and peanut butter containers for this purpose.
Now I have about 8 cups of shredded meat and 4-6 quarts of broth. (Sometimes I do 2 chickens in my large roaster, which doubles all of this goodness!)
My absolute favorite thing to do with a fresh batch of meat and broth is...
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Look at the all the healthy colors!
2 quarts chicken broth
1 or 2 cups shredded chicken (your preference)
1 can Rotel OR plain diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1 can or 2 cups black beans
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Place all ingredients in slow cooker. You may add water to increase the liquid and stretch the soup. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. At serving time, add fresh cilantro, and lime zest if you like. : ) Ladel soup into bowls and garnish with cheddar or jack cheese and tortilla chips.
Chicken and Bacon Wild Rice Soup
Get the recipe HERE. I have made it and It. Is. Wonderful.
Chicken and Dumplings (Cracker Barrel Style)
I have made this recipe from Tasty Kitchen and loved it.
There is nothing more satisfying than a a bowl of
chicken and dumplings.
Cheesy Tortilla Soup
I know this seems like a repeat of the first recipe, but it's not! This is a cheesy mexican soup, similar to the Chili's recipe. I revised a recipe from Taste of Home. We have had this for Christmas dinner 2 years in a row. There is no photo. Just trust me and MAKE IT.
1 envelope chicken fajita seasoning mix
1-2 cups shredded chicken
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter cubed
1/3 cup all purpose flour (I have also used Masa corn flour)
28 oz. chicken broth
1/3 cup Rotel
1 cup cubed Velveeta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded jack cheese
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Add the tomatoes, Velveeta, and 1 cup jack cheese. Cook and stir until cheese is melted.
Stir in cream and chicken; heath through (do not boil). Sprinkle with cheddar and remaining jack cheese. Serve with crushed tortilla chips on top.
The broth is simmering as I write this, and Tortilla Soup is for dinner tomorrow... my mouth is watering!