I just ordered a whole organic chicken from the farm...what do I do with it?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just placed my first order from a local farm and I am so excited. I ordered raw milk, cheese, organic popcorn, eggs, and a whole chicken. It is a small family farm, all organic and free range stuff... :D :D :D Anyway, I've never really dealt with a whole chicken before. Obviously I cook it and get the meat off. I can make bone broth too, right? I believe I read on here that that is really good... I have the NT cook book on my Amazon wish list and I'm going to order it when I get paid this weekend. Since I'm absolutely new to this, is there anything I should do with the chicken besides those two things? Is there a preferred way of cooking it? My only experience even close to this is cooking a turkey on Thanksgiving, and then I get one with the insides (giblets?) already cleaned out. This chicken will have that stuff still inside. Is there something that can be done with that stuff? Can our cat eat it?

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 of 13 Old 02-02-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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Usually, when I purchase a whole chicken from my local farmer, it comes already cleaned. In fact, they don't even include the liver and gizzards because so many people throw them away! They do, however, include the feet which is an important component to your bone broth as it provides a lot of extra cartilage! I generally rinse well, throw the whole thing into my crock pot with an onion and a little grey Celtic sea salt and maybe a quart of water after dinner or before I got to bed.

In the morning, the chicken is ready to debone and the meat goes in the fridge while the bones, skin, etc. go back into the crock pot with a little more water, carrots, celery, some herbs (I like fresh sage and parsley) and keeps simmering all day long. In the evening (or even the following morning), I pour the whole thing through a large strainer, let the broth cool down, then put in quart jars in the fridge. Later, I skim off the fat and save in a separate jar for cooking.

Personally, I prefer the meat from this method much more than just roasting or barbecuing. It's so much more versatile. You can use it in salads, sandwiches, tacos, soups, casseroles, and the meat goes much further than say a fried or barbecued chicken.

 

Since you say yours will come with "the stuff" still inside, you can include the gizzard and heart in with your broth; if you or your family is not partial to the liver, you can chop it up and give it raw to the cat with many health benefits. (But if it were me, I would be Googling a recipe for paté!)

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#3 of 13 Old 02-03-2011, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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"The stuff," I know...definitely a proper technical term. Thank you for your response! Lots of helpful information, I appreciate it. I'm looking forward to all of these new, healthier food experiences...


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#4 of 13 Old 02-03-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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Lots of things you can do with a chicken. What we usually do is roast it in the oven (at 375, for 20 minutes per pound) with the breast side down, and put it with a few veggie sides. There is usually a lot of leftover meat. I put DD1 in charge of picking that all off, and stick it in the fridge to use in recipes-- to make burritos, or a chicken stew, or in stir-fries, or sandwiches, or in a soup, or whatever. The giblets I simmer for an hour, while the chicken is roasting, to make gravy with. Then we put the bones and whatever skin is left in the fridge or freezer, to make broth. The pan drippings from the actual chicken, I put in a glass dish in the fridge. It will separate out, and you'll get a layer of chicken fat, over top of a layer of gelatin. The fat I use for frying eggs the next morning, and I add the gelatin into the stock once it's finished. The fat is also yummy for any kind of sauteeing or frying.

Anything you don't plan on using within a few days, just stick in the freezer, in an appropriate container.

But you can also cut the chicken into pieces- 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, and 2 wings-- and cook them in any recipe that you'd normally make with chicken parts. You can even remove the bone from the breasts, and use them like you'd use the boneless breasts they sell at the stores. If you want to cut up the chicken, it's helpful to google instructions for how to do it easily-- there are places where you can snip or cut to make the process easier.

I hope you enjoy your chicken!

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#5 of 13 Old 02-03-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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If you have a really primo chicken, roasting is the best way to show off its fresh wonderfulness. Save the giblets (heart, liver, etc.) and neck until you have enough to make stock -- just throw 'em in the freezer; if youwant to make stock right away (instead of waiting until you've saved up enough bits), you can buy a package of chicken wings and add those to the stockpot along with your giblets. If you don't like liver in your stock, there are tons of yummy things to do with leftover chicken livers -- rumaki, chopped liver, pate, spinach salad with hot chicken-liver dressing ...

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#6 of 13 Old 02-04-2011, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the additional info! I don't think I can handle eating the liver...I remember trying it years ago because my grandmother loved it, and it just was not at all for me. But I'm happy to give it to our cat as a healthy treat, I consider him my furry child and try to keep him healthy, too.

 


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#7 of 13 Old 02-04-2011, 11:54 AM
 
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Thanks for asking this, I was wondering the same thing!  Me and Dh have been vegetarian for many years but have been considering buying a whole chicken from a local farm.  We're new to traditional foods, which is one of the reasons we're considering adding meat back to our diet.


Going to take notes now...thanks for all the great info!!


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#8 of 13 Old 02-04-2011, 12:04 PM
 
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It is so easy! I have one in my crock pot right now. The ones I buy have the giblets but they're wrapped in a bag stuffed up the chicken's butt. :P Anywhp, this is what I cook mine with:

2 cups water
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped into inch-long pieces
The leafy part at the top of a bunch of celery
A bunch of salt
Pepper
4 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves torn off and sprinkled all over the chicken

I put about 1/4 to 1/3 of the veggies and garlic inside the chicken. This is my first time doing it in the crock pot. When I bake it, I do it at about 425 for 2 or 3 hours; just keep checking to see that it's fully cooked. For broth, remove all the meat and put the bones into a crock pot and cook for about 12 hours. You can add some more salt, herbs, and vegetables if you want.. Let it cool then pour it through a strainer a couple of times. Let it cool for a few hours. There'll be a layer of fat along the top so if you don't want that just get a spoon and scoop it off. You now have delicious healthy broth!

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#9 of 13 Old 02-04-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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Here's what I do and it is yummmmmmmy.

 

To prep the chicken: Wash in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Be sure to get it really dry or else the skin wont be crispy.

 

Stuff some small pats of butter under the breast skin. You can also rub the outside with softened butter all over or with olive oil. It tastes good no matter what.

Chop up half an onion and put it in the cavity of the chicken, also chop a lemon in half and set that in there too. Or just one or none. You can't really go wrong. You can also put some garlic cloves in there if you like garlic.

Rub the outside of the chicken with salt, pepper and your favorite herbs. I like to use some thyme and tarragon.

 

Put the chicken breast side up in an oven safe dutch oven with lid, or any baking dish with aluminum foil wrapped tightly over it. Bake for an hour at 400. Remove the foil or lid and bake for another 20-30 minutes until the temp of the chicken is 165 degrees. Usually just 20 more minutes is plenty for a 3-4 pound chicken.

 

Here is the website I used when learning how to cook a whole chicken:

 

http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2010/02/03/go-retro-bake-a-whole-chicken/


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#10 of 13 Old 02-10-2011, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyc View Post

Thanks for asking this, I was wondering the same thing!  Me and Dh have been vegetarian for many years but have been considering buying a whole chicken from a local farm.  We're new to traditional foods, which is one of the reasons we're considering adding meat back to our diet.


Going to take notes now...thanks for all the great info!!



I was veggie/vegan for many years from a young age, so I never learned how to properly cook meat and seafood...but I'm really excited to learn all of this.

 

About to put the chicken in the crock pot, wish me luck!

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#11 of 13 Old 02-11-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pariah View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyc View Post

Thanks for asking this, I was wondering the same thing!  Me and Dh have been vegetarian for many years but have been considering buying a whole chicken from a local farm.  We're new to traditional foods, which is one of the reasons we're considering adding meat back to our diet.


Going to take notes now...thanks for all the great info!!



I was veggie/vegan for many years from a young age, so I never learned how to properly cook meat and seafood...but I'm really excited to learn all of this.

 

About to put the chicken in the crock pot, wish me luck!
 

 

Good luck! Hope it turned out good!!!

I know... I haven't tasted meat in 5 years so taking this plunge is a big step.  I really want to buy a farm raised local chicken but you have to preorder them months in advance and one chicken usually runs $20-25 for organic freerange...I don't even know if that's a good price!  I see cheapo chicken at the grocery store for a lot less and am tempted to just TRY it and make sure I like chicken before I place an order at the farm...but I can't bring myself to eat tortured and poisoned meat nono02.gif


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#12 of 13 Old 02-13-2011, 04:34 PM
 
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Wow, that's pretty steep for locally pasture-raised chicken. I pay $12 per at my local FM. But comparing it to "store-bought", just to see if you like it... I think that would be akin to comparing apples to oranges. And there is still the matter of antibiotics, hormones, and unethical as well as unsustainable farming to consider.

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#13 of 13 Old 02-28-2011, 10:43 PM
 
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I pay about $20 for a 5lb chicken at the farmer's market from Healthy Family Farms.  A little pricey, but this is L.A., so I expect it...


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