I use this make ahead chicken in my apple chicken salad (breast meat), chicken tacos, chicken stir fries, soups (combo breast and dark meat) and as a protein source in my salads (breast meat). It’s simple to prepare and great to have on-hand when I’m low on time for meal prep!
- 1 local/pastured or organic chicken. Be sure to remove the neck, gizzard, liver and heart from cavity of bird and save for later use
- 2 TBSP celery flakes or ½ cup diced celery, including celery leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 2 Lemons, sliced into quarters
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 large yellow onion, skin removed and quartered
- If you are lucky enough to have, 1 chicken neck
- Place all ingredients except the chicken in the bottom of your crockpot.
- Add the Chicken.
- Cover ¾ of the chicken with filtered water in the crockpot
- Cook on High for 3-5 hours, checking the internal temperature of the chicken. Once it reaches 165ºF, you want to pull it out to stop the cooking process.
- Remove chicken, place in a shallow baking dish and allow to cool.
- Add the remaining liquid and onions, seasonings, and lemons left in the crockpot to a saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Reduce to low and continue to cook and reduce for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Save the stock.
Once stock is cooled, strain and discard all solids and reserve the liquid. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. This stock will be filled with the benefits of bone broth and will be rich in collagen. If you don’t plan on using the stock within 1 week, freeze for later use. I love to use this stock in my cream of asparagus soup, as the lemon infused stock pairs really well with the asparagus. It’s also wonderful as is – a beautiful stock, rich in flavor and nutrients.
Back to the chicken!
Once the chicken is cooled, you’ll need to remove the skin and bones/cartilage from the chicken, reserving the bones (minus the skin) for future use in homemade chicken bone broth. I save the bones from 2-3 crockpot chickens in my freezer and then make the bone broth in my crockpot when I have enough.
I personally like to keep the breast and dark meat separate, but that’s up to you.
Portion out your chicken into airtight containers, label, and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for later use.