Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Amazing Whole Chicken!!!

I am a devoted fan of the boneless, skinless chicken breast.  I stock up when its on sale and always have some in the freezer.  Recently, I have ventured into new territory:  the whole chicken.  There are pros and cons to this choice though.  Pros: you can find it on sale for 60-70 cents a pound and it is always under $1 a pound, plus its easy to cook, and it covers more than one meal. Cons: The giblets are just gross and not usually in a bag like with a turkey, after you cook it you have to deal with cutting it apart and/or shredding it for future use.

To roast a chicken you do not need a lot.  A big heavy skillet (made of all metal even the handles) or a roasting pan, a few seasonings,  and some twine for trussing.

There are hundreds of roast chicken recipes online. Some call for a stuffing or intricate spices.  I like this one because I don't have to think too much or buy ingredients. Also, it is a neutral flavor so I can add spices later when I make the actual meals.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Rinse the bird and clean out giblets, pat dry as much as possible.
Salt and pepper the inside cavity.
Truss the chicken (important step for even cooking and keeping the breast moist).
Salt the outside well, rub it into the skin and under the skin around the breast.
Place the bird breast side up..
Roast for 20 minutes per pound or until internal temp is 165 degrees.
Take it out and baste with the juices and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.

Take the bird apart and determine how you will use it

Options: Chicken quesadillas, enchiladas, chicken couscous, chicken wraps, chicken tacos, chicken salad, chicken with potatoes and veggies, etc.  Try to be heavy on the side dishes and light with the meat to stretch the chicken further.  For a family of 4, one chicken in the 5 lb range should be able to stretch for 3 dinners if used wisely.  That is less than $1.50 worth of meat per meal!


What I Did Today said...

I've been wanting to tackle a whole chicken for a while! Thanks for the instructions. Seems like the whole bird goes on sale more often than the pieces.

Andrea, said...

You're welcome. I was fairly intimidated by the whole bird myself, but I have done a turkey two years in a row and aside from the prep work, most of the time is inactive cooking. I figured a chicken is about the same and faster so its not too hard.


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