How To Cook a Whole Chicken & Make 3 Dinners

How to cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker or instant potThe best way to avoid takeout and eat real food is to have a few kitchen tricks up your sleeve. Like knowing how to cook a whole chicken and make 3 dinners out of it!

Believe me, this isn’t a fussy-trussed-stuffed chicken.

This is a 3-second-throw-it-in-a-pot and walk away kind of chicken. You can do it in the morning before work or at night before bed.

What kind of pot?

Any slow cooker or pressure cooker will work. The only difference is the time required to cook. Either way, it’s hands-off time!

I love my multi-function 8-quart Instant Pot Duo. For this recipe, I usually use the slow cook function. Pop the chicken in at 8am and it’s ready when I’m about to prepare dinner.

And the result?

Perfectly moist chicken, ready to eat and use any number of ways. Plus, the bones go right back in to make bone broth. You don’t even have to wash the pot in between.

I like to use half the meat for one meal, half the meat for another, and then make soup with the broth.

That’s 3 meals out of 1 chicken!

I bet your brain is already spinning, but to help you out I’ve collected 15 meal ideas to use this pre-cooked chicken…including 4 fast dishes I make all the time: Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, Garlic Chicken, Salsa Chicken and Waldorf Chicken Chopped Salad

So are you ready to learn my favorite kitchen trick of all time?

Here’s how you do it.

First, get your hands on a quality bird.

Don’t worry about spending more on a pastured, organic or biodynamic chicken because you are totally going to get your money’s worth. But any chicken will do!

Next, unwrap that sucker.

Pull out the giblets if they are stuck inside. (I refrigerate these and use them for broth later.)

No need to rinse your chicken or pat it dry. Seriously, you aren’t even supposed to rinse a chicken. Just take that bird, as is, and…

Stick in in your slow cooker or pressure cooker.

That’s it. No seasonings. No nothing. The chicken will release juices as it cooks so you don’t even have to add a cooking liquid.

Set your cooking time and walk away.

For the slow cooker: Low for 8-10 hours, or High for 4-6.
For the Instant Pot: Manual high setting for 30 minutes, use natural pressure release

How to cook a whole chicken and make 3 dinners

Once the chicken is done…

Allow it to cool enough to touch with your fingers. Pull the meat away from the bones and discard the skin.

Place bones back into your pot for bone broth. Use the meat right away, or refrigerate.

How will you use your chicken?

Slow cooker chickens are a weekly thing at my house because…who has time to cook elaborate meals?

I hope you get as much use out of this kitchen trick as I do!