Stop reading this blog and go out and buy a whole chicken.
Unless you’re making a recipe that calls for an abundance of specific chicken parts (Buffalo wings, thighs for chicken cacciatore, etc), you should always buy a whole chicken. Not only is it more economical (whole chicken is ALWAYS cheaper by the pound), but you also get some great pieces to make other dishes.
During the winter time, we usually oven roast a whole chicken once a week. I won’t go through the recipe because Thomas Keller has perfected the simple roasted chicken. Check out the video below… or just click here
The whole roast chicken feeds our family of 4 for a few meals. I usually grab a breast and a wing that first night. With the leftovers we make chicken quesedillas, chicken pot pie, chicken soup, or chicken salad during the following week.
BUT… One of my favorite parts of the chicken is the carcass. No store-bought, canned or boxed product can compare to the taste of homemade chicken stock. It’s simple to make, and again, I won’t give directions on how to do it because much smarter people have written a ton about it. Michael Ruhlman had a bit of a feud with some scientists a couple of years back after professing that he leaves a pot of stock out on the stove all week long and just heats it up to kill off any bacteria when he wants to use it for various things. Here’s his recipe, along with some nasty comments about his “unsafe” methods.
This week we:
- Roasted a chicken on Sunday
- Made lentils, simmered in chicken stock with vegetables and cotechino (leftover from new years)
- Made a chickpea curry salad with chicken stock for Tuesday lunch
- Gave chicken wraps to the kids for lunch on Wednesday
- Made a sausage, kale and white bean soup for dinner on Wednesday night.
So, stop buying your food, all processed and cut up in to nice little pieces. Buy a whole chicken. If you don’t want to roast the whole bird, it takes 5 minutes to break it down.
I’ve gotta run… there is a cold chicken thigh in the fridge that is calling my name.