This was probably the cheapest and most "usable" things I've made in a long time.
I cooked a whole chicken in the crock pot. Not pieces, the entire chicken. So I had dinner that evening, plus picked enough chicken off the bones for another two dinners, then cooked off the bones for stock to freeze. The best part? It was SO easy.
1 whole chicken
spices(whatever sounds good to you)
4 cloves garlic
First I cleaned out the giblets (eww!). I've never ever done this before and it was just as gross as I've imagined it being. Moving on... I then loosened the skin up, just pulling it away from the meat a bit (kinda gross too now that I think about it). I took my spice mix and rubbed it on the meat under the skin. I just used spices I had on hand, some salt & pepper, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder and a little paprika.
After I got it all rubbed down with spicy goodness, I cut up two onions into quarters and stuffed them in the bird. I also threw in some crushed garlic cloves. I put a little water in the bottom which you don't have to do. The bird will create enough juices, but I wanted extra. I cooked it on low for about 6.5 hours, and by the time I checked it then the popper popped, so it was probably done before that point. I wouldn't know, I don't sit around staring at my crock pot doing it's job. Unless I'm home, then sometimes I do. I didn't take any after pictures - I was too hungry apparently! After we ate I picked all the meat off the bones to save. I threw all the bones and skin back into the crock pot, along with some more water(I filled it about an inch from the top), then let that simmer on low overnight. In the morning I strained out the bones/skin and put the liquid into a big bowl. An easy way to strain it - I just poured it in my colander and let the stuff I didn't want gather in there. I put my big bowl of stock in the fridge all day and skimmed the fat off the top. I'll probably let it in there for another day and re-skim tomorrow, then package in smaller containers to freeze. I feel like I really utilized the chicken. I got three dinners and a boatload of frozen stock. I'm amazed at that. The chickens were cheap, and buy one get one free. So I really made out. Oh, and your house will smell like a chicken cookin' factory for a few days!
Yum, floating fat, how appetizing!