8 Things You Can Do with a Whole Chicken (Besides Roasting It)

A whole chicken is like the blank canvas of the kitchen; just pick your flavor profile and cooking method. And along with being versatile, it’s cost-effective. (Compare its price next to boneless, skinless breasts next time you hit the store.) But that bird isn’t just for roasting, as much as Jeffrey Garten might protest. Here are eight other things you can make with a whole chicken that are just as delicious.

20 Side Dishes That Pair Perfectly with Chicken

While a roast chicken is undeniably chic, it’s also kind of a hassle. Instead of babysitting your bird by the oven for hours, try popping the whole thing in your slow-cooker. Without lifting a finger, you get the same juicy, flavorful results.

Cheater’s Grilled Whole Chicken And Vegetables

If you’re looking to impress without a ton of effort, grilling is the way to go—just look at those sear marks. All it takes is a little light butchery (ever heard of spatchcocking?), and about 45 minutes, and dinner is done.

Chicken Stock

Sure, you could buy stock at the store. But if you make your own, you’ll reap so many rewards. For one, there’s no waste—especially if you remove the meat and use it for leftovers. With a little lead time, you can stockpile scraps of aromatics in the freezer to prepare. And we don’t even need to mention the difference in taste. 

Instant Pot Chicken And Rice Soup

Who would have ever thought you could cook an entire chicken in, like, ten minutes? Because it’s essentially bathing in broth, the meat comes out moist and fall-off-the-bone tender—just the way we like it.

Beer Can Chicken

Crispy skin, juicy meat—once you try beer can chicken, you’ll realize what you were missing in life. (And psst: You can actually use any canned beverage...but why wouldn’t you use beer?)

Lemon-roasted Spatchcocked Chicken

OK, you caught us. This recipe is still *technically* roasted, but it’s also spatchcocked. Removing the backbone before cooking means each piece cooks more evenly (and in less time). Thanks, Gaby Dalkin.

Ginger-coconut Braised Chicken With Leeks And Tarragon

Buy a whole chicken, break it down into its parts (you know, breast, thigh, drumstick) and cook it low and slow with lots of coconut milk and chicken broth. Then thank us (and Phoebe Lapine) later.

Nashville Hot Fried Chicken

When life gives you whole chickens, cut ’em into pieces and make fried chicken. Even better, douse them in a spicy chili sauce like this southern rendition. (Bonus points if you serve mac and cheese on the side.)


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...