Sunday, January 17, 2010

What to do with a whole chicken... or what I did anyway...

I recently posted about changing my poultry habits. Since it costs more to buy "good" chicken, I took the cheaper route and purchased a whole chicken. You could just take your whole chicken and roast it or cut it up, but I don't really like dark meat (did I also mention that I detest handling raw poultry? I do it, obviously, but It really grosses me out!) but my husband does and I was determined to get the most out of my chicken so... I got creative.

First, I figured out the easiest way to cook it was in the crockpot (because you don't have to handle it much, of course). I just plopped the bird (mine was approx. 3 1/2 pounds) in the crock and added enough water to cover the bird halfway. I added a quartered onion, and some parsley and thyme. Then I just let it go. It only took about three hours and it was falling off the bones! Next, I removed the chicken to a plate and stripped the skin off. I pulled out as many bones and junk as I could and threw it, with the skin back into the crock. I let this reduce into a nice little chicken stock. I then strained it and poured it into quart jars (this chicken made 2 quarts) and stored one in the freezer and one in the fridge! It turned out very dark and gelatinous (it tasted very good too)!

Now for the meat... I let the chicken cool and shredded all the meat. You could chop some, slice it, whatever... I used the white meat to make chicken salad, enchiladas, ect. For the dark meat, I added BBQ sauce and my husband had BBQ sandwhichs. I also found that I could add some of the dryer dark meat to the chicken salad and it didn't offend my palate (it's the slimy dark meat that I don't like)!

I was very satisfied that nothing went to waste. Also, having shredded chicken on hand made putting dinner together a cinch!

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