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Friday, February 13, 2009

What to Do with Whole Chickens

As I posted earlier this week, Hy-Vee has a special this week on chicken for .59/lb. This is an amazingly good deal. I used to be afraid of whole chickens, unless it meant roasting them with carrots and potatoes. Over the past few years, however, I've learned to LOVE the whole chicken. First, they're cheaper. Second, they're more versatile. You just need to know how to do a few things with them. You can bake them, boil them, grill them with a can of beer in them, smoke them, put them in a crockpot. You can use one chicken for multiple meals. You can make stock or soup out of the bones. And if you don't want to start with a full chicken, you can cut it up into individual pieces. Perhaps at .59/lb for whole chickens you could buy 10 chickens (assuming you have the freezer space-I do) and you could freeze them whole...OR....you could cut them up, and freeze them by parts...20 breasts, 20 drumsticks, 20 wings, 20 thighs....even after deboning, you'll never find boneless skinless breasts for that price unless you "DIY".

Here's a place to learn:
http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cutupchicken.htm

With a little practice, I promise this is not hard. You just need a good knife and you must be willing to botch a few until you get good at it. :) This is a HUGE money saver, and worth the time...the good news is that your botched attempts still taste great!

Good luck!

7 comments:

Janelle said...

I sent my hubby to HyVee today and he got me two of the chickens. That's the best deal I've seen in awhile and if I didn't have the 20 lbs. of leg quarters still in my freezer taking up space, I would have had him get a few more. Since I can't cook, I'm sure these will simply be roasted in the Crock Pot, but that's fine by me. I miss cooking, but I guess I will enjoy his doing it for awhile. :)

Kristen said...

I posted recipes this week using one whole chicken to make two different dinner. How ironic!

I totally agree about cutting it up. My kids aren't big on eating around the bones, so I've got some skills now when it comes to getting the meat off!

Dutch said...

I wish I had that store in my state. I have never heard of it. I am still at that scared stage about cutting up a whole chicken. I am a great cook but haven't gotten the nerve up to try and cut up my own. Thanks for the site. Have a great weekend.

Michelle said...

Try using a whole chicken for soup. Practice cutting up the chicken before you put it into your pot. It won't matter what you do it (trust me, this is how I practiced), you will still be able to make your soup. But you will get some nice practice in!

BumbleVee said...

I love smallish whole chickens ... smear the outside with butter, sprinkle on paprika and some spices of choice.. I like Herbes De Provence... toss some cut up onions, some garlic cloves and cut up lemons into the cavity.. tuck or tie leg ends.. ... roast covered.. basting occasionally. Skim off some fat, use the browning for great gravy....mmmmmm tender, juicy and moist....

Michelle said...

mmm...that sounds lovely! I have had more and more people talk about using herbes de provence recently. I've never used the mix before! Guess I'm going to have to purchase some---I'd been eyeing it in the Penzey's catalog so I guess I just need to pull the trigger and get some!

Lindsay said...

My name is Lindsay and I fear the whole chicken. :)

Thanks for this!