Squeamishness and Raw Whole Chickens...
I'm sure I was only going in for a few items, so when I excitedly told John about my seven chickens, he was very likely not as impressed or ecstatic as I was. I froze most of them immediately because they were set to expire! In fact, I had so little freezer space that I was worried that a frozen chicken may sever my toe if I wasn't careful. Fast forward two or three months, when I received an email from a blog I follow about a challenge to empty my freezer and pantry. Hmmm, time to eat the chickens that lined my freezer shelf...
So where to start with whole chickens or frozen whole chickens?? I must confess, I hate the bag of giblets and stuff that they give you inside the chicken. I think it's gross and it kinda makes me squeamish. That being said, you must completely defrost the chicken in order to get the bag of giblets out without incident. Of course, there is a story here. I did not allow myself enough time to defrost the first frozen chicken that I wanted to bake. I tried to use warm water in the sink and defrost on the microwave, but the chicken was not defrosting fast enough and I needed to get the bag of giblets out so I could make dinner. I ended up tearing the bag and having to fish out all the contents from inside the chicken while I was trying to cook it in the crockpot. Do not do what I did, and totally defrost the whole chicken!
Now - recipes... If you want a quick, low prep one: Wash and dry the bird, cover it with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper inside and out and bake it at 350 degrees for an hour and fifteen minutes or until a meat thermometer measures 165 degrees. Done. Rosemary is just wonderful on a whole chicken!!
My family's favorite one is pictured below. It's Roasted Herb Chicken and Potatoes and it's so very easy too! The marinade is basically soy sauce, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and pepper. The marinade is very tasty for dipping the chicken and makes the potatoes delicious too!!
I also did a whole chicken in the crock pot, which was simple and yummy! All that you need to do is to spray your crock pot with Pam, place the chicken inside, add a few spices if you like (garlic, onion, and rosemary are always yummy!), and turn the covered crock pot on low for five plus hours or until the meat is falling off the bones! It will make it's own juice, so there is no need to add any. I also saw that you can make broth from the chicken bones once you clean off the meat! I'll be trying this next time I do a chicken in the crock pot.
Whole chickens are a great deal even when they aren't on sale, and they are really really easy to cook, which makes them a great addition to your kitchen repertoire. Sometimes holding a whole uncooked chicken, or even a whole cooked chicken can make you a bit uneasy, but if you can work through it, whole cooked chickens are very beneficial for your budget! Each of the chickens fed our family for approximately two meals, and they were only about $1.50 a piece!
We really enjoyed the recipes I sampled, but there are about ten million more recipes out there and I'll never be able to try them all. If you have suggestions for amazing whole chicken recipes, I'd love to hear! Leave your favorites for me to try, because I still have a chicken or two to go!!