3 Amazing Health Benefits of Slow Cooked Chicken

Slow cooked chicken
Slow cooked chicken | Source

Choose Your Slow Cooker Carefully

I used the slow cooker you see in the photo above until I found out that it tested positive for lead. It turns out that red or orange glaze usually contains traces of this toxin. I threw it out, and now I use a regular stock pot for slow cooking. There are other slow cooker models that contain unglazed clay crocks.

Slow Cook a Whole Chicken for Good Taste and Health Benefits

When you slow cook a whole chicken, the meat is juicy and tender. It also holds more flavor than the boneless, skinless version.

Cooking meat with moisture at low temperatures not only enhances flavor, but also preserves nutrients and makes them more absorbable.

Whole slow cooked chicken allows the nutrients found in the bones, gizzards, and connective tissue to penetrate into the meat. Vitamins, minerals, and other elements promote cardiovascular health, strong bones and joints, and youthful skin.

Boneless and skinless chicken breast is a popular item in today's supermarket. Chicken that's been stripped of its bones and skin wastes the most protective, nutritious, and flavorful elements of the meat. Like eating egg whites without the yolks, it's a wasted opportunity to get a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

(#1) Slow Cook a Whole Chicken to Avoid Toxins

A reaction called glycation occurs between fats, proteins, and sugars when foods are cooked at high temperatures. Glycation is most visible in lines produced by the grates of a grill, or even in the browning that takes place when you toast bread.

This process transforms beneficial nutrients into harmful compounds that damage arteries and other vessels and organs.

Cooking all sorts of meats at high temperatures until they are well done causes this toxic reaction, but slow cooking reduces glycation.

Try to choose pasture-raised chickens. They are healthier than conventional varieties.

My Slow Cooker

Hamilton Beach 7 Quart Stay Or Go Slow Cooker
Hamilton Beach 7 Quart Stay Or Go Slow Cooker

I love this slow cooker! It has a locking lid with a seal and handles that fold down. You can cook and carry your meal to events and get-togethers. After cooking a chicken, I throw my bones in here and cover them with filtered water. Set it to low for 24 hours for a delicious and healthy stock.

 
Throw in your favorite veggies and you're good to go!
Throw in your favorite veggies and you're good to go! | Source

(#2) Slow Cook a Whole Chicken for Improved Nutrients

Whether you're using a slow cooker, making a stew, or basting your bird, trapping in moisture at low temperatures preserves beneficial nutrients and makes them more bioavailable.

Cooking meat slowly allows flavors to develop, and natural flavor is a strong indicator of nutrient-rich food. At low temperatures, water molecules cut through strands of proteins and prevents them from fusing together.

This process, called hydrolytic cleavage, allows meat to develop flavor and tenderness--a stark contrast to tough, overcooked meat.

Water molecules take apart skin, cartilage, bone, and other components to create glycosaminoglycans, such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid (which are also created when you make chicken broth). These nutrients are popular in their synthetic dietary supplement forms, but your body can absorb and use them more efficiently in their natural state.

Minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, and phosphate are also released during slow cooking. They work together with glycosaminoglycans to maintain healthy bones, joints, and skin.

(#3) Slow Cook a Whole Chicken for Heart Health

Taurine is an amino acid that may support cardiovascular health. The dark meat of chicken, found in the legs and thighs, contains high concentrations of this nutrient.

Taurine's antioxidant effect reduces the oxidation of fats. In animal studies, levels of triglycerides and oxidized lipoprotein (VLDL) was cut almost in half after taurine supplementation.

A diet that is rich in taurine boosts levels of protective high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and heals aortic lesions that lead to heart disease.

Those who have normal taurine levels have been shown to have a significantly lower risk of blood clots. On the other hand, a lack of taurine in the blood increases the risk of developing blood clots.

Want a tasty way to keep your heart healthy? Slow cook a whole chicken for dinner tonight!

Chicken is a popular dinner favorite that is loaded with beneficial nutrients. Whether you use a crock pot or prepare it on a stove, slow cooked chicken provides a wide range of absorbable nutrients and flavors. Good nutrition and great flavor, all in one healthy meal!

© Liz Davis 2012 Slow Cook a Whole Chicken

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What are your favorite slow cooked meals? 8 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Liz.....ha, I got it right...Liz, how come I don't know any of this? Look what a guy can learn late on a Tuesday evening. What great info; luckily I love chicken and I love crockpots, so it is a match made in heaven.

Thank you for the education and great hub!


Radcliff profile image

Radcliff 4 years ago from Hudson, FL Author

Hahah! I just logged back on and thought, "I have a comment already? It must be Bill!" You're awesome.

Thank you, and enjoy your chicken dinners!


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States

I'd no idea! Very interesting & good to know. Voted up & awesome.


Radcliff profile image

Radcliff 4 years ago from Hudson, FL Author

Thanks Jill!


Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

Wow this is awesome information. It just so happens I have a coupon for a whole chicken and was going to put the whole thing in the crockpot this weekend. Thanks for sharing this hub. Voted up and across.


Radcliff profile image

Radcliff 3 years ago from Hudson, FL Author

Thanks, Efficient Admin! I love my crock pot. After you cook your chicken, get all the meat off that you can. Then fill the crock pot with water, up to about two inches from the top. Turn it on low, and let those bones, skin, and juices that are left overcook for 24 hours. You will have fantastic bone stock to cook your veggies and rice in or make soups or sauces. This stock is excellent for your bones and skin! Thanks so much!


Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

That is some great information. Will it be okay to freeze the bone stock in smaller portions for future use?


Radcliff profile image

Radcliff 3 years ago from Hudson, FL Author

Absolutely! You can pour it into ice cube trays to freeze into cubes, or portion the stock into containers.

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