We ate a lot of whole chickens around here this summer — we got one every Saturday in our CSA box. Beer can chicken is great, but sometimes you want to eat other things. A great way to have chicken handy for salads, casseroles, or anything, really, is to cook the chicken in the slow cooker, then pick all the meat off. This has the added benefit of making some really tasty, gelatinous, healthy broth.
This is also the easiest thing ever. Put one chicken (or you can even do two, if you have a six-quart or larger slow cooker) in the slow cooker.
Add one cup of water and one bay leaf per chicken. Turn it on low. Walk away. Easy, right?
Eight to ten (or even twelve) hours later, come back to awesome-smelling chicken. Take the chicken out of the liquid goodness (don’t throw that away!) so it will cool faster. Pick all the meat off it.
We like to freeze our chicken in two-cup quantities, which are the perfect size for the two of us to eat in a meal and have lunch leftovers the next day.
Next up: what to do with the liquid and bones?