DIY Recipes

Best Ways to Use a Whole Chicken in a Crock-Pot

As much as I love the convenience of boneless skinless chicken breasts, I always prefer to buy whole chickens. Whole chickens are significantly cheaper than chicken breasts or thighs, and you truly get so much more for your money. With just one chicken, I can typically make 2-3 meals and several cups of homemade chicken broth!

I am going to show you my favorite way to prepare whole chickens and truly get the most for your money (and if you have to handle raw meat – blech, it has to be worth it, right?). Best of all, it’s all done in the crock-pot so it takes very little time!

The first thing I do with my chicken is make Crock-Pot Roast Sticky Chicken (recipe below). This recipe only requires about 5 minutes of prep and then the crockpot does the rest. This chicken is so delicious, everyone in our family loves it. It really is not spicy despite the spices used, but if  you’re concerned, you can omit any spices you don’t want. I’ve left out spices before due to not having them on hand, and the chicken still turned out delicious.

After the chicken is done, you have a few options. You can serve the chicken as a main course for dinner, or you can stretch the meat and incorporate it into several meals like casseroles or soups. We typically serve it as a main course and then use what is left to make another meal like soup on another day. Our way makes only two meals for a family of four, but you could possibly make three meals if use all of it for soups and casseroles.

You’ll want to get all the meat off the bones, so wait until the chicken cools and then use your fingers to get all the meat. You then refrigerate your meat and let it fully cool. Then shred the chicken and freeze it. You can also set it aside until you are ready to use it in your recipe. Leave the bones and everything else in your crockpot. Now you’re going to make chicken broth!

If you use only veggie scraps, your homemade broth essentially costs you nothing! Makes you wonder why they charge so much for the canned stuff, doesn’t it? Plus, you don’t have to worry about preservatives, MSG, or BPA when you make your own.

I love making homemade chicken noodle soup using crock-pot roast sticky chicken and homemade chicken stock. It’s frugal, healthy, and delicious!

Once you’ve made this chicken and chicken stock a few times and realize how easy and frugal it is, you will have a hard time paying so much for boneless chicken breast!


  1. Dana Atchison via Facebook

    It has become cheaper to buy the roasted ones in the deli – they are a couple dollars less and cooked – I just debone it, vacuum seal and freeze.


  2. Sounds so good. Definitely itely going to try it. In regards to giblets and neck. Have never tried with chicken but ALWAYS used with Turkey. I thought e everyone did. LOL. Seriously, put your rinsed giblets and neck bone in about 2 1/2 to 3 C. Water and add a little chopped onion, salt and pepper and cook at a simmer until done.Also add about 1 teaspoon sage( I use a few fresh grown leaves from my deck). After simmering discard neck and all giblets except li er which. I chop and add to broth. You now have homemade stock to add to dry stuffing mix for dressing. Of course you could amend this to the crockpot . BUT I draw the line at feet!LOL.


  3. Pingback: The Motherload » Freebie Friday: November 11, 2011

  4. This sounds so good, Stephanie! I love roasting chickens in the slow cooker. I am linking up to this for Freebie Friday! I hope you are having a great day!! xo


  5. As much as I cook, I have never cooked a whole chicken to make stock or to use for recipes and was unsure where to start. I would love to have homemade broth and am always looking for crockpot recipes. Thanks bunches for what appears to be a very easy recipe!


    • I was really nervous the first time I cooked a whole chicken (I really hate touching raw meat!) but once I made it that first time, I was hooked. I couldn’t believe how easy it was (and still can’t) and how much money I was saving by buying whole chickens.


  6. I can’t wait to try your “sticky” chicken recipe – the spices sound yummy.

    I have been making my own chicken broth for years. It’s not only FREE it’s delicious! I also use my turkey carcass or if I happen to buy a rotisserie chicken, I use that.

    If you add the giblets and neck (the parts we usually throw away), it really boots the flavor of the broth. I know it’s gross – just try it!

    You can also use the bones of thighs, legs or breasts if you happen to bake them in the oven .


  7. This looks great. Question though-why do you call it sticky chicken? It almost sounds like an Asian cooking term so I’ve been rereading the recipe to see if there is sugar or something else I missed . I think I”m going to try this next time I see a cheap chicken!


    • I have no idea. LOL. I got the recipe from someone else years ago and can’t remember who. Even though I don’t know why it’s called sticky chicken, I’ve just stuck with the name because I’m so used to calling it that!


      • So I was shopping today and I saw a whole chicken,4lbs for about $4. I picked it up with this recipe in mind. I just made the spice mixture and plan on massaging it into my bird tonight and starting it in the pot in the morning. Really looking forward to this, yum!


  8. Once a month I head over to Sam’s and get a bag of Carrots and Celery, which is twice as much as the name-brand stores for the same price. I immediately take half, cut it up and freeze it for soups, casseroles and add-ins. This stock would be a great use of the straps from the process. It’s like being frugal on being frugal while trying to be frugal. ^___^ Going to try that chicken recipe next week as well!


  9. This looks great! When you say ‘large roasting chicken’, about how many pounds is that? What’s a good price for buying a whole chicken? (I’ve never cooked a whole one before). Thank you so much 🙂


    • The size really doesn’t matter, I just mean “large” as in, don’t go for the smallest you can find. You don’t have to get a HUGE one – unless you have a large family.

      A good price will really vary by where you live. I’ve been able to get chickens as low as $0.69 per pound, but I’d say shoot for under $1 per pound. Even if you don’t get a rock-bottom price, it’s still going to be frugal compared to boneless chicken breast. 😉


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