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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Soup

An easy and healthy recipe for a delicious Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Soup. A bowl of this soup is all you need to bring you true comfort and a smile to your face. Mom’s recipe that is loved by the whole family.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, comfort food, gluten-free, paleo, soup, Whole30
Servings: 8 (4 quarts)
Author: Lora

Ingredients

  • 1 4- to 5-pound whole chicken, neck and giblets removed from the cavity
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt - plus additional to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper - plus additional to taste
  • 1 small yellow onion peeled and left whole
  • 4 medium carrots peeled and cut in half
  • 4 medium celery stalks left whole
  • 2 parsnips peeled and cut in half
  • 1 to mato cut in half (or handful of cherry tomatoes)
  • 8 cups 2 quarts water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Instructions

  • Place the whole chicken on a clean work surface. Remove the innards and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with salt and pepper (inside and outside).
  • There are two ways to make the soup. With a boil first stove top, or letting it completely cook in slow cooker.
  • Stove top prep:
  • I like to do it first in a soup pan stove top and skim off fat. If you would like to do that way, start with this step. Place chicken in large soup pot with cover (I used my 7 quart nonstick Dutch oven). Add enough water to cover the chicken.
  • Add in the onion, carrots and celery and the chicken. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a low boil and begin to skim the fat (lots of foam should be floating to the top) off. Do this until most of the foam has been removed (should take 10 minutes or so).
  • Very carefully transfer the chicken in the water with the vegetables into your 6-quart or larger slow cooker.
  • Slow cooker (no stove top prep):
  • Place the vegetables in the slow cooker. Add the chicken on top of the vegetables and the water. Add in your bouillon paste or cube, if using. IF you don’t have any bouillon paste or cube, add less water and add a box of your favorite stock or broth.
  • Add in the bay leaves.
  • Cover with the lid and set the slow cooker to HIGH and cook for about 6 hours (could be ready in less since you bring to a boil on top of the stove). Or cook for about 8 hours on the LOW setting. until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. The cooking time can vary greatly depending on your slow cooker model, so check the thickest part of the chicken to see if it's done early to ensure it does not overcook.
  • During the 30 minutes of cooking, add in a bunch of fresh parsley and dill (not chopped).
  • Turn the Crock-Pot off, discard the bay leaf, parsley and dill bunch, and carefully remove chicken from the crock onto a cutting board (it will be falling apart). Let the chicken cool for 10-15 minutes, then shred chicken, discarding skin, bones, and cartilage.
  • Skim any accumulated fat off of the soup and return the shredded meat back to the soup (I usually use a mesh strainer to remove unwanted particles from the broth before serving, cheesecloth also works to strain.
  • Cut carrots and celery (if you’re serving with celery)and cut into small pieces.
  • Taste soup and add additional salt, pepper, fresh parsley if desired, then serve.

Notes

Meal prep-When using a larger chicken, you can reserve some of the cooked shredded meat for another dinner later-great for meal prep! As for the actual chicken, as I mention in the post, I used a Kosher chicken (the Murray organic Kosher), BUT you could use whatever whole chicken you find on sale and that you like.
You could use chicken pieces.
You could use chicken breasts (they will cook much quicker than the whole chicken).
Storage- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.