Do you want to know the trick to making juicy crock-pot chicken? Buy a Freedom Ranger whole chicken. No kidding! Our farm has been raising Cornish-Cross meat chickens for decades. This year we decided to raise Freedom Rangers in one of our batches. Freedom Ranger chickens are bred to be good pasture finishing chickens and also to have more succulent dark meat.
I have to say we have been pretty pleased with these chickens. Unlike Cornish-Crosses, they don’t get very heavy in the breasts. This allows them to be better grazers on pasture and not fall victim to the heat. Freedom Rangers are supposed to take about 3-4 weeks longer to raise to full size, but we found they took only about one week longer, even with a week of extreme heat.
The best part is their meat is very succulent. Freedom Ranger chicken meat is darker all around, even in the breasts. It has a more robust flavor and doesn’t require many seasonings when roasting. I have roasted two chickens for far. One was in the oven, and the other was in the crockpot. Both turned out wonderfully without much fuss.
Here is my easy crock-pot whole chicken recipe
Easy Crock-pot Whole Chicken Recipe
- One Zweber Farms whole chicken
- 1/4 cup lemon juice or white wine
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Optional: 1 tablespoon fresh herbs of choice (rosemary, sage, basil, etc)
Place chicken in crockpot. You can use either a thawed or frozen chicken. Frozen chicken will take 1-2 hours more in the crockpot.
Sprinkle lemon juice on outside and inside of the chicken. It is very important to get some of the lemon juice in the chicken’s cavity.
Rub salt, pepper and any herbs on the outside of the chicken.
Cook on low from 6-8 hours (8-10hours for frozen chicken).
The meat will be falling off the bone when it is done.
This chicken was sooo good. I served it with roasted smashed potatoes, green beans sauted with almonds and of course a big glass of Organic Valley milk.