This might be the easiest slow cooker recipe I know! It makes the most succulent and juicy chicken, which is perfect for salads, such as my curried chicken salad. This method is also awesome because with minimal effort, you get a whole cooked chicken and delicious stock all in one pot. Win-win!
Over the weekend, while I was dicing up the chicken, my brother asked what it exactly means to poach. In case you were wondering the same thing… poaching, simmering and boiling are similar cooking methods, with varying temperature degrees. Poaching is the most gentle technique, requiring for the food to be fully submerged in a liquid that is kept at a temperature of between 160-180 degrees. When using a slow cooker, it is hard to know exactly what the temperature is. I have read that my Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker, runs at around 170 degrees, when set on low.
This is a great recipe to toss in before you head to work. It only takes a few minutes to prep, and you will come home to a cooked chicken that you can use for a variety of Paleo meals!
Easy Slow Cooker Poached Chicken
1 whole chicken
Vegetable scraps (optional – just to add more flavor to the broth)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I use this brand)
If your bird, came with a bundle of giblets stuffed in the cavity, remove the bundle before cooking. You can toss the giblets (minus the liver) into the stock to give it a richer flavor. The liver can give the stock a bitter flavor, so set that aside for another use.
Place your chicken in the slow cooker. Leave the skin on, as this will help you make a more gelatinous broth. Fill up your slow cooker with enough water so the chicken is mostly submerged. Depending on the the size of your chicken, you may not be able to completely cover it, but cover it best you can. If adding any vegetable scraps, you can also toss those in now. I just added some leek greens that I had in the freezer. They add great flavor to stocks and broths. Also add the apple cider vinegar now. This helps to extract the minerals from the bones.
If I am home, I set it on high for 2 hours and then I reduce the slow cooker to low for 3 to 4 hours. I do this to speed up the process, but still give the chicken a chance to cook low and slow. If you are not going to be around, set it on low for 8 hours.
Remove the chicken from the broth and allow it to sit, until it is cool enough to handle.
It is easiest to pull apart the chicken with your fingers. The meat will essentially just fall off the bones. Separate the meat from the skin and tendons. Strain the broth and set it aside for another use.
This chicken makes a great filling for a traditional chicken salad, chicken soup, casserole or a Mexican style meal!
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