Using whole chicken/ not boneless breast - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-19-2010, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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We are on a tight more than ever. I haven't really bought much meat aside from chicken and pork because it is usually on sale. Dh and the girls are complaining about the chicken because they will find little pieces of skin or a missed bone sometimes. They are grossed out and dh even says he is full afterwards. I try to go thru it as best as I can. Is there any suggestions to make it more appealing and different ways?

I usually do tacos, burritos, with rice, BBQ, soups ect..

I need to change it up.
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#2 of 11 Old 10-19-2010, 02:29 PM
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IMO, boneless skinless breast is not only the most expensive form of chicken, but the most flavorless and useless! Cooking chicken on the bone makes it more flavorful, and if you cook it in soup or stew the bones thicken and flavor the broth. Chicken skin adds richness and flavor, too (if I use a wet cooking method, like stewing or braising, I just remove the skin afterward),

What I usually do with chicken:

The easiest thing is to take a whole chicken or a bunch of thighs and drumsticks, and just roast them. The skin gets crisp and golden and delicious. You can flavor with herbs and lemon.

Stew a whole chicken with vegetables, and make dumplings in the broth at the end.

Coq au vin -- chicken pieces dredged in flour, then braised with wine and veggies.

"oven-fried" chicken -- dredged in egg wash and crushed corn flakes, then baked. Not haute cuisine, but yummy!
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#3 of 11 Old 10-19-2010, 08:04 PM
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Yeah I save money by cooking whole chickens instead of buying the pricier pieces. In fact I usually cook 2 chickens at the same time. We have fresh roasted chicken with a veggie for dinner that night.

Then when they are cooled I remove the meat from the bone. I never notice any odd bones in the meat when I am done, but sometimes I pick more thoroughly than others. I divide the meat into baggies with white in one and dark in the other. I prefer the dark for casseroles and soups, and the white for stir fries and salads.

I pop them in the freezer or fridge. I make stock from the bones. Usually when the stock is finished cooking in the crock pot, I will make chicken soup that night. Either classic or Thai with coconut milk.

With the precooked shredded chicken I make soups, curries, casseroles, stir fries, chicken salad. One favorite meal is steaming cauliflower (or broc), adding it to a casserole dish, adding the chicken on top, make a white sauce and pour over it, then top with cheese. You can top with sliced tomatoes or breadcrumbs too. This is a faux mac n cheese, minus the pasta and adding a healthy veggie. Family loves it!

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#4 of 11 Old 10-20-2010, 03:41 PM
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Sliced chicken or pork are both good additions to stir fries, fried rice, and curries with rice noodles. By taking it off the bone and then slicing it up before cooking with it, you usually catch any bones that you missed after de-boning. I find I'm more likely to miss bones if I just go ahead and cook up the breasts or thighs straight away.

I know you are asking about chicken, but if they are hankering for some red meat, I use a fair number of inexpensive cuts and marinade them for tenderness. A flank steak costs about the same as a chicken for 4. Stewing beef has been on sale a fair amount lately here.
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#5 of 11 Old 10-21-2010, 12:19 AM
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I only have whole chickens available locally. I almost always buy the largest ones available and roast two at a time. We eat about 75% of the meat on one for a formal style meal- chicken, vegetables, bread, gravy. When cool, I pull the meat off the bones and use it in salads, sandwiches, casseroles, stir fries and whatever other dishes I can think up. The carcasses go in a large pot with water and a dash of vinegar and I make broth for the freezer.

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#6 of 11 Old 10-21-2010, 01:26 PM
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The only way I cook whole chicken is... whole!

Roasted in the oven is good, but I usually do beer-can chicken on the barbecue. We have one of those beer-can roaster stands, and actually I find it's just as good with a can half-full of applejuice, or water or even nothing at all. Lovely crispy skin!

Depending on the age of your children, a whole chicken can make 3 meals.

1 - Roast chicken, carved - you and your DH each have approx. 1/4 chicken, kids have another quarter. Or are they too grossed out to eat chicken pieces that are still on the bone? That'd be a whole 'nother issue.....

2 - Shred off as much of the remaining chicken as you can manage, setting aside bones and skin in a large pot. Do this while the chicken is still warm, and use your hands. It's easier to pick off while it's still warm, and using your hands you won't miss any bones. The shredded chicken can be used for a 2nd meal, like tacos, burritos, wraps or a casserole.

3 - Boil the bones and skin to make stock. Drain, and pick of the last bit of meat for soup. Refridgerate stock overnight and skim off the fat. Bulk up the soup with potatoes or rice, carrots, onion and celery. Add back some of the shredded chicken.

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#7 of 11 Old 10-21-2010, 02:05 PM
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Most of the time, we roast the chicken whole, and eat some of it, then take the meat off for other dishes. (Not too much potential for a bone there).

Otherwise, if it's an issue, I'd recomend taking the chicken apart (you can make boneless skinless breasts from a whole chicken just like the butcher, if that's what you like, though they are less flavorfull). Youtube should have a video. It's pretty easy with a sharp boning knife. I usually make the bones into stock and cook the chicken in that (rather than cooking the breast bone on. the breast does have a lot of little bones.)

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#8 of 11 Old 10-21-2010, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I do the same as you girls do with our huge electric roaster and I sometimes put rub, lemon pepper, or marinade on it to cook. I will peel the skin off on my plate because I like to watch the juices roll of the meat before I bite into it. Our local butcher runs a sale once every few weeks on thighs for 39 cents a lb. I usually buy 2 ten lb. bags and roast and shred. If I am going to be gone most of the day I do crock pot. I do the same with a pork roast and shred and bag for tacos, stews, wraps ect.

I was vegetarian for years and I still don't put up the fuss about a little skin or bone..I just pull it off and put it in a napkin.

I want to try the beer can chicken
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#9 of 11 Old 10-26-2010, 05:01 PM
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I like to do whole chicens in the crockpot on low. I find if I leave it for eight hours, or even less depending on the size of the bird, it kinda falls apart and it's easy to miss bones. But if I cook it just the right amount of time, it stays in one piece until I pull it apart and separate it as I wish. When it's cooked just right, I can salvage the back meat for pulled chicken sandwiches or tacos. When it's overdone, a lot of the dark meat goes to waste. But then again not everyone is able to put a chicken in and be there six hours later to separate it! I wonder what kind of window of opportunity I would have if I threw it in frozen....

Originally Posted by SophieAnn View Post
It's easier to pick off while it's still warm, and using your hands you won't miss any bones.

And to say, I used to save the remnants to make stock on the stove or even put it back in the crock pot with more veg, but it rarely gelled and sometimes acquired a burnt taste. I eventually realized the bones are used up after six or seven hours of moist cooking. I get the very best stock when I just strain what I've got from cooking the chicken in the crock pot. Of course there is less of it than there would be if I added more water and cooked it again, but it's very concentrated, always has a great flavor, and gels well (making it even easier to separate the layer of fat). Much less effort all around.
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#10 of 11 Old 10-26-2010, 07:23 PM
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Ditto to what everyone else said.

Dinner #1: roast chicken
Dinner #2: chow mein, stir fry, salad, etc. (but save a few chicken bits for the soup)
Dinner #3: Soup

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#11 of 11 Old 10-27-2010, 10:50 AM
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We do alot of chicken leg quarters here because they all love it and it's the least expensive. If you fry the leg quarters 5 mins on each side, and then roast them about 35-40 minutes (til done)... you will get much love. The skin is that much crispier and the flavor is even better. Everytime I make chicken like that, I even get hugs and gleeful shouts from my 11 yo stepson, who's too cool these days to hug (much) anymore.

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