Learning how to cook a whole chicken is a great skill to have in your back pocket, especially if you’re trying to eat clean or meal prep! This boiled chicken is delicious, juicy, and can easily be turned into a one-pot meal.
Not only is cooked chicken healthy, juicy and delicious, but you can use it in many different ways. Try it in any recipe that calls for shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken. If you’re looking for another great way to prepare your chicken, try this Shredded Chicken in the Instant Pot!
The best cooked chicken
Let’s talk about boiled chicken. If you think it comes out rubbery and tasteless, think again. Boiling chicken is actually one of my favorite ways to prepare it! Every time I use this recipe, the chicken turns out juicy, tender and absolutely delicious.
So why cook a whole chicken instead of just chicken breasts or thighs? There are several reasons. First, when you cook a whole chicken, the bones, skin and connective tissue give the soup amazing flavors. The result is a broth bursting with flavor, which in turn adds a delicious touch to any vegetable you cook. Second, the skin and bones act as a natural barrier that locks in all the moisture, making your chicken tastier and more tender. and three, just look at that presentation!
Ingredients you will need
In addition to the whole chicken and spices, feel free to throw in whatever vegetables you have in the fridge! They become so delicious when cooked in natural chicken stock. For exact measurements, see recipe card below.
- Whole chicken with bones: The chicken I used was about 6 pounds. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly depending on the size of chicken you are using.
- yellow onion: Chopped yellow onion is a mandatory addition to any hearty dish.
- whole carrots: Cut into 2 inch pieces. Is there anything better than chopped carrots cooked in broth? They are so tender and delicious!
- Celery stalks: They also get nice and soft when cooked. Stews and roasts are the best way to get your daily dose of vegetables.
- A whole clove of garlic: For a punch of salty taste.
- fresh herbs: Adding fresh herbs is easy. They give the best taste and aroma! I used fresh parsley, thyme and rosemary.
- salt: Help improve the taste of cooked chicken.
- Whole peppercorns: Adding these is another great way to flavor chicken.
How long to cook a whole chicken
Cooking a whole chicken is incredibly easy. Simply add all your ingredients to a large pot and let it do its thing! I love how unusual this recipe is. It gives you plenty of time to make a feature or just watch a few episodes of your favorite TV show!
- Add the chicken to the pot, cover with herbs and vegetables: Place the chicken in the bottom of a large pot. Then add the rest of the ingredients on top and around the chicken.
- Cover with water, boil: Cover everything completely with water, then boil over high heat.
- Cook: When the water boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 hours. Cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken. When done, the internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To serve: Carefully remove the whole chicken from the pot. Then shred and debone the chicken and use as desired in recipes.
- Save your chicken stock: Strain the chicken stock and save it for later!
Get ready to enjoy juicy and versatile meat that is great for a variety of dishes. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite tips to make sure your chicken turns out perfectly!
- Use a large pot: Use a pot that can fit the whole chicken comfortably and leave room for the water to boil without overflowing. A large pot or dutch oven is a good option.
- Check readiness: To make sure the chicken is well done, you can use a meat thermometer. Check that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74°C).
- Use for: You can use this cooked chicken for any chicken recipe. Chop it up and use it for tacos, chicken salad, meal prep, protein bowls, soup or wraps, slice it up and use it for sandwiches, or leave the bones in and use it for chicken wings!
- Chicken Broth: Save the leftover cooking liquid, this is the best chicken stock for all your favorite recipes!
How long does cooked chicken last?
In an airtight container, your chicken will last about 4 days in the fridge. If you want it to last longer, keep it in the freezer in a freezer bag for 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Place the chicken in the bottom of a large pot. Add the rest of the ingredients on top and around the chicken.
Cover everything completely with water and cook on high heat.
When the water boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 hours. Cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Carefully remove the whole chicken from the pot. Shred and debone the chicken and use as desired for recipes.
Strain the chicken stock and save it for later!
Calories446kcal (22%)Carbohydrates8Mr (3%)Protein37Mr (74%)Fat29Mr (45%)Saturated fats8Mr (40%)Polyunsaturated fats6MrMonounsaturated fats12MrTrans fats0.2MrCholesterol143mg (48%)Sodium3648mg (152%)Potassium571mg (16%)Fibers3Mr (12%)Sugar3Mr (3%)vitamin A5571IU (111%)vitamin C12mg (15%)Calcium68mg (7%)Iron3mg (17%)
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is an estimate only. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measurement methods and household portion sizes.