We eat a lot of chicken in this house.
It’s one of the most frugal meat options, especially when you purchase the whole bird. Gone are the days of boneless, skinless, chicken breast being the star of dinner. I use still them, but only occasionally, sparingly, and with much thought.
Costco’s 2-pack of whole chickens cannot be beat when it comes to the price. At around $6 for each bird, it is the most frugal way I know to feed the meat-lovers in my family. When you consider that I can get 2-3 meals and chicken broth from each bird, it is no wonder I cook one a week.
Actually, with this 18 Quart Roaster Oven, I am able to cook 2 at a time without heating up the kitchen. This method saves me both time and money.
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1. Remove the birds from the package and rinse. I place the “innards” in a pot, cover with water, and cook for my dog. (This makes her very happy!)
2. I place both birds on the rack in the roaster and sprinkle with No-Salt Seasoning. You can also use a poultry seasoning or your own blend of spices including pepper, garlic, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, etc. The Humbled Homemaker has a simple recipe you can try here.
3. Pour 4 cups of water in the bottom of the roaster. You could add veggies, but I keep it simple. (Although, now that I mention that, it might be a really good idea!)
4. Set the temperature to 325 and bake for 90 minutes, or until thermometer reads 180 degrees. You don’t want to roast the chicken too long or it will be dry. That being said, you don’t want your chicken undercooked for safety reasons. Amazon.com has a great selection of meat thermometers.
5. When the chicken is done, remove from roaster and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This electric knife has served me well over the years (it also slices bread beautifully), but a regular knife works fine, too.
I serve the sliced chicken with mashed potatoes or steamed rice, homemade gravy, and steamed veggies for dinner.
The 2nd chicken gets wrapped in foil and placed in a labeled freezer bag after it has had a chance to cool for a bit. (I usually do this after dinner is over and the dishes are done.)
After dinner, I place the bird we ate from in a slow cooker similar to this one and cover with water to about an inch from the top. You can add veggies and a bay leaf, or keep it simple. My slow cooker is the older version, so it only goes up to 10 hours on low and then automatically switches to ‘keep warm’. This is the perfect length of time for cooking chicken broth overnight. In the morning, I turn it off and remove the lid to help it cool. When the broth is cool enough to work with, I pick the chicken from the bones, discard the fat, and strain the broth with this guy.
I use the chicken I picked from the bones to make pot pie, enchiladas, soup, quesadillas, burritos, tacos, sandwiches, or salads. I use a lot of meat stretchers like rice, beans, veggies, etc. so that I can get 2 more meals from this shredded chicken (depending on the meal).
That’s what I do with the whole chickens that find their way into my shopping cart.
How about you? Do you use whole chickens?Print This Post
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