Whole Chicken ? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 18 Old 07-14-2009, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
kristi96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 252
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So I normally buy skinless chicken breast. They come in a pack of 4 for about $8. I do not like to eat chicken on the bone. Normally we have things like chicken tacos, enchilladas, chicken pitas stuff like that. I'm starting to think it might be cheaper to just buy a whole chicken and shred it for our dinners. So now my question is 1. how do you cook a whole chicken 2. We are a family of 5 (4 that eat table food) so how many meals can I expect to get out of 1 whole chicken 3. After I cook the chicken do I just keep it in the fridge and make meals out of it for the week?

I know some of these are dumb questions but like I said I've never bought a whole chicken before.
kristi96 is offline  
#2 of 18 Old 07-14-2009, 11:57 PM
 
lil_earthmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,446
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristi96 View Post
So I normally buy skinless chicken breast. They come in a pack of 4 for about $8. I do not like to eat chicken on the bone. Normally we have things like chicken tacos, enchilladas, chicken pitas stuff like that. I'm starting to think it might be cheaper to just buy a whole chicken and shred it for our dinners. So now my question is :

1. how do you cook a whole chicken

There are many ways to cook a whole chicken, but the easiest two are a) roasting the chicken, and b) crock pot cooking the chicken. The roasted chicken is gorgeous and juicy and has crispy delicious skin while the crock pot chicken will yeild tender "shredded" chicken. I personally prefer to roast my chickens, and the variations are infinite! The simplest is to brine your chicken

Chicken brine:
2 gallons water
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup

Remove any bags of neck and giblets that may be in your chicken. You can cook these for your gravy, or your stock, so save them!

put your chicken in a container that will hold the chicken and the 2 gallons of water.

Brine in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking.

Preheat oven to 425.
Take your chicken out of the brine. Take out a roasting pan, or I use my largest corning ware dish. I like to slice an onion in thick slices and some garlic and spread it on the bottom of the dish. Rub a generous amount of butter all over the bird, salt pepper and thyme, stuff a quarter of an onion, half a lemon and some garlic cloves in the chicken and place breast side up on top of the onion/garlic bed.

Cook chicken at 425 for 15 min, then reduce temp to 325 degrees F and cook for another hour. Baste and check temp as size will vary. A good rule of thumb is 20 min per pound. Cook until internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

Yum!!! Use the drippings to make gravy. Use the carcass to make stock. You get so much more out of a whole chicken imo!


2. We are a family of 5 (4 that eat table food) so how many meals can I expect to get out of 1 whole chicken

This depends on how big the chicken is. For our family of 4 (3 that eat a good amount of table food ) we get 3 meals and stock out of small little roasting chickens. The 1st meal is roast chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy (yum). Meal two is usually enchilladas or quesadillas or a casserole. Meal three is a casserole type dish or stir fry or jambalaya. If there is left over after that I take some of my new stock and make soup!

3. After I cook the chicken do I just keep it in the fridge and make meals out of it for the week?

You can do that, or freeze the meat. Either way is great! It's nice to have frozen chicken meat that you can grab when in a hurry!

I know some of these are dumb questions but like I said I've never bought a whole chicken before.

Not dumb at all! Hope you enjoy your roast chicken!!!

I am not crunchy enough for this forum. Everyday I get a little crunchier though! :
lil_earthmomma is offline  
#3 of 18 Old 07-15-2009, 12:21 AM
 
tynme's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm interested in this too....I'm another one who only eats boneless chicken breasts, but they are expensive! We, also, eat alot of enchiladas, casseroles, and other things that use diced or shredded chicken. I'm interested in the crock pot chicken, how do you do that?
tynme is offline  
#4 of 18 Old 07-15-2009, 03:17 AM
 
lil_earthmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,446
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How to crock pot a chicken:

--1 whole chicken, skinned (4-5 pounds)
--2 tsp kosher salt (if you'd like it as salty as the ones in the store, add another 1 tsp.)
--1 tsp paprika
--1 tsp onion powder
--1/2 tsp dried thyme
--1 tsp Italian seasoning
--1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
--1/2 tsp black pepper
--pinch of chili pepper (probably not necessary)

--4 whole garlic cloves (optional)
--1 yellow onion, quartered (optional)

The Directions.

I used a 6 quart crockpot for a 5 pound bird. It fit nicely.

Skin the chicken and get rid of the neck and other stuff from the cavity. This takes a while, and is gross. Keep small children away so you don't freak out about salmonella. I skin whole chickens because I hate the idea of the chicken fat simmering all day in the crock---it also looks disgusting when the chicken is cooked because it's all slimy and icky.

I get it that I'm weird. If chicken skin makes you happy, then by all means, ignore me.

In a bowl, combine all of dried spices. Rub the spice mixture all over the bird, inside and out. Plop the bird breast-side down into the crockpot.

If desired, shove 4 whole garlic cloves and a quartered onion inside the bird.

Do not add water.

Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8. The meat is done when it is fully cooked and has reached desired tenderness. The longer you cook it, the more tender the meat.

or...

Lemon herbed chicken:

--head of garlic
--2 lemons
--salt and pepper
--a bunch of fresh rosemary (dried will work too)

The Directions.

rub the chicken inside and out with a bunch of butter, salt and pepper.
Plop it into the crockpot.

Peel your garlic and shove a bunch of the whole cloves into the bird cavity and throw some more on top and around the chicken.

Slice the lemon and put slices on top, around, and inside the bird

Wash the rosemary and do the same. If you are using dried rosemary, use a good amount---probably 2-3T of dried herbs.

Do not add water.
cook on low for 8-10 hours. I put this on at 4am, and had it for lunch at noon. Then I took a 2hr nap!


Yummy!


Also, if you don't want to be constantly cooking whole chickens, buy chicken thighs! Tastier, and way WAY cheaper. You can use them any way you would use breast!

I am not crunchy enough for this forum. Everyday I get a little crunchier though! :
lil_earthmomma is offline  
#5 of 18 Old 07-15-2009, 03:30 AM
 
Vancouver Mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Rinse, pat dry with paper towel. Salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil. Chuck it in the oven at 350 (20 minutes per pound). If you want to get fancy, shove a lemon in the cavity.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
::::
Vancouver Mommy is offline  
#6 of 18 Old 07-15-2009, 04:21 AM
 
spiderdust's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 1,522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
For me, cooking chicken thighs is cheaper than cooking whole chickens. I find I waste less that way.

Day one: roast a whole pan of chicken thighs. Have some for dinner. Save the bones and pan drippings, put them in the fridge (along with the leftover roasted thighs).
Day two: pull the meat off of the bones, save the bones and scraps with the other bones. Use some of the meat for dinner (tacos, enchiladas, etc.), bag up the rest of the meat into meal sized portions.
Night of day two: load up your crockpot with the bones, scraps, and drippings, cover with water and a glug of apple cider vinegar, cover and leave at room temperature for one hour. Add some celery and carrot and onion (roughly chopped or broken up is fine) and some salt and pepper, turn crockpot on low and let simmer all night.
Day three: Strain bones and mushy vegetables out of the stock. Throw bones and veggies away, refrigerate stock so you can get the fat off the top more easily. Heat, add soup veggies, some of the cooked chicken meat, rice or noodles... you get the idea.

Mama to Munchkin  and Chickadee ...and co-parent to 3 additional bundles of energy!
spiderdust is offline  
#7 of 18 Old 07-15-2009, 10:05 AM
 
seaheroine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also cook whole chickens in the crockpot -- so easy!

No spices here...just EVOO, salt and pepper. I do add a little water to the bottom to make more gravy than just drippings will allow.

The first night, we have the chicken and usually potatoes and vegetables. With leftover meat, we'll have chicken enchiladas, chicken noodle soup, chicken fried rice, etc. The chickens I buy aren't too big so each chicken makes about two full meals.

The bones, however, make a lot of stock. I keep a bag in my freezer of wilted celery ends, onion tops, carrot trimmings, etc. I'll throw these in a pot with the carcass (including the neck), along with another whole onion and carrot, and let it simmer for a day or two. Strain and freeze in two cup containers.

Finally, the bones and veggies become so soft after two days they basically melt in your hands. I'll double check the larger bones first and then give the remains to the dogs...their favorite! Nothing gets wasted...it is really great.
seaheroine is offline  
#8 of 18 Old 07-16-2009, 11:51 PM
 
tynme's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, thanks for the great ideas! Y'all totally motivated me to crock pot my chicken that i have had frozen in my freezer. The one that I was too intimidated by to do anything with. Here it goes!!!!
tynme is offline  
#9 of 18 Old 07-22-2009, 08:56 PM
 
Pinoikoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 10,602
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I cook my chickens in romertopf clay pot cookers.. they come out incredibly moist, and I will not switch how I make them at this point, since they do come out beautifully golden and moist.. here's what I do..

Soak the clay pot cooker underwater for about 20-30 minutes.. you want the clay to absorb the moisture..

Clean off the chicken, (take out the giblets, etc), and add whatever seasoning you like.. I often use the organic adobo seasoning, or poultry seasoning.. I have coated my chicken in barbeque, basically whatever flavor seasoning you want/like the process is the same..

Put chicken in clay baker. Add a tablespoon of butter. Cover with top. The clay baker will release moisture slowly into the chicken as it bakes..

Put in COLD oven. I have a gas oven, so I have to slowly raise the temp over about 10 minutes until 450 degrees, but this isn't necessary in an electric, since they take longer to heat up..

Bake until done (over an hour is about what I end up with depending on the size of the chicken). 65-85 minutes..

As far as how far they go... well, I buy the chickens when I find them on sale, and I stock up.. Usually for me they are the smaller size ones and run about $3-$4 each. We eat baked chicken the first night, and then I use them in meals (chicken alfredo, chicken curry, chicken chimichangas, chicken salad sandwiches etc) for about two more nights until gone.

I have a family of 6, but three eat like toddlers, so that makes a big difference for us.
Pinoikoi is offline  
#10 of 18 Old 07-26-2009, 12:54 PM
 
akayerich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: subject to change without notice
Posts: 467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here's how I do chicken. It's literally the easiest thing i cook.
1. Take the chicken out of the wrapper (obviously) and remove and giblets that may be inside. Mine usually don't have the giblets.
2. Put the chicken breast-side up in an uncovered glass dish (I use a clear glass pyrex casserole dish). I don't put any salt, spices, or oil on it, but you could put any kind of flavoring you wanted.
3. Stick it in a 375 degreee oven for about 2 hours.
4. If I remember, I baste occasionally with the juices once they start coming out, usually towards the end of the roasting. Sometimes I forget about this step, and it still turns out just as moist. I think maybe the basting just gives the skin extra flavor, and makes it more crispy.

I just started using whole chickens recently. This is the way my mom showed me to do it, and I was amazed that something so easy could be so deliscous!

Amanda- mama to Lincoln 1/09 and expecting #2 10/11!
akayerich is offline  
#11 of 18 Old 07-26-2009, 01:41 PM
 
AllyRae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 6,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We're a family of 5 with 4 on solids too...we typically buy whole chicken because it's one of the few options that is affordable when you only eat organic, free range, grass fed stuff. : I will toss it in the crockpot one day and then freeze the leftovers--I usually can get 2-3 meals out of it, depending on how hungry the kiddos are. The crockpot helps it fall off the bone too. If I cook it in the oven instead of the crockpot, I can also use the carcass for soup (it doesn't really work if you cooked the chicken in the crockpot, because then the carcass is no longer in tact. I don't like cooking with a bunch of loose bones floating around. But I'm weird. LOL!).

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
AllyRae is offline  
#12 of 18 Old 07-26-2009, 01:59 PM
 
crunchy_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Missouri
Posts: 5,968
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
NOOOO ! Don't crockpot it! You miss out on the wonderfully crunchy and yummy chicken skin that way!! You have to try roasting it at least once! We only buy whole chickens- straight from the farm. A lot of times I roast them whole- rub w/ oo- lemon- salt- spices- cook about 20 minutes per pound in 350 oven. Other times I cut them into pieces and cook them that way if I am in a hurry to get it cooked. Sometimes(like last night) I defrosted the chicken then cut the breasts off and into pieces- I made that into chicken curry. The rest will go into some kind of to be announced supper for tonight. Bones go for stock.

As to how many meals that varies widely. We get about 2 w/ a good amt of meat or 3 if we stretch it thin. I like to keep it higher in the meat as I am pregnant and need extra protein anyway. However, the size of the chicken varies widely- like could be as small as 3 lbs or so up to 6- so that will greatly affect how many meals.

Happily Married to my : 11 yrs- Mama to wild-eyed monkey boy 7-04, fiery little girl 4-07, and the happy smiley baby that sleeps 11-09!
crunchy_mama is offline  
#13 of 18 Old 07-26-2009, 06:51 PM
 
noobmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,053
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You can also boil a whole chicken. Although I love roast chicken (I've been known to make a meal out of just the skin), I think boiled chicken results in juicier chicken for use in other recipes like enchiladas, pot pies, soup, whatever.

Easiest way is to fill a pot with water so that the chicken is completely submerged. You can put the chicken in the pot to see how much water you need then take it back out. Bring the water to a boil (I'd add some salt at the point, too). Stick the chicken into the pot. Bring it back to a boil again. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let the chicken rest in there for 1 hour. Don't peek. At the end of an hour you'll have a perfectly cooked chicken. Remove the chicken, carve all the meat off and throw the bones back in the pot. Add a quartered onion and a few roughly chopped carrots, some black peppercorns and maybe a handful of parsley. Or you could go asian style with some gingerroot slices and onion instead. Simmer the broth until it's reduced to the about half. Strain out all the chicken bones and spent veggies and toss them. Now you've got a great broth for soup too.

Oh, I forgot to mention. You can also butcher the chicken raw too. If you like having boneless skinless breast, you can cut them right off. Sometimes I butcher the chicken like so: I remove the two leg quarters and either roast/grill them or use them in a one-pot chicken and rice recipe. Then I remove the two halves of the breast and save them for the next night for whatever recipe requires boneless, skinless breast. Wings either get roasted with the legs or just thrown into stock pot with the rest of the carcass for making chicken stock (as above).
noobmom is offline  
#14 of 18 Old 07-26-2009, 07:17 PM
 
broodymama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Watching the rain
Posts: 7,366
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
So when you cook the whole chicken in the crockpot, how do you get it out of the crockpot afterward without it just falling apart into a big pile of meat and bones?

Chaotic uc.jpg homeschool.gif mama to 5 plus a bonus one on the way.  stork-suprise.gif

chicken3.gif

broodymama is offline  
#15 of 18 Old 07-26-2009, 07:36 PM
 
Kaitnbugsmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
subbing

I also just started using whole chickens as well and while we all love the stuff we come up with on the fly to season them with, a few new ideas are always a good thing.
Kaitnbugsmom is offline  
#16 of 18 Old 07-27-2009, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
kristi96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 252
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The grocery store by my house has whole chickens on sale for .79 cents a pound is that a good price?
kristi96 is offline  
#17 of 18 Old 07-27-2009, 05:11 PM
 
noobmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,053
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yep, that would be a good price. The cheapest I've seen it is $0.69 a lb and that's pretty rare.
noobmom is offline  
#18 of 18 Old 08-01-2009, 12:31 PM
Banned
 
Yulia_R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Lafayette, CO
Posts: 3,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristi96 View Post
So I normally buy skinless chicken breast. They come in a pack of 4 for about $8. I do not like to eat chicken on the bone. Normally we have things like chicken tacos, enchilladas, chicken pitas stuff like that. I'm starting to think it might be cheaper to just buy a whole chicken and shred it for our dinners. So now my question is 1. how do you cook a whole chicken 2. We are a family of 5 (4 that eat table food) so how many meals can I expect to get out of 1 whole chicken 3. After I cook the chicken do I just keep it in the fridge and make meals out of it for the week?

I know some of these are dumb questions but like I said I've never bought a whole chicken before.
I usually buy whole chickens. DH ONLY eats boneless/skinless chicken breast. I on the other hand, LOVE bones. So, here is what I personally do: I cut off chicken breast and marinade it in egg+olive oil+apple sider vinegar+spices. After that I make schnitzel out of it or just fry it without bread crambs. I boil the rest of the chicken and use the broth to cook buckwheat, quinoa, lentil or chicken noodle soap. I and the kids eat the boiled chicken. You can also oven cook it.
Yulia_R is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off