Friday, September 24, 2010

Roast Chicken and planning ahead

Growing up, we had roast chicken at least once a week. My mom never made a whole roast chicken, but she did buy a cut up roaster and roast the individual pieces. Most of the adults I know remember the roast chicken dinners of our childhood, either at home or at a grandparent's house. With the popularity of skinless, boneless chicken, the roast chicken has definitely lost its place on the family table.

I still love roasting chickens. The flavor is supurb and the possibilities are endless. I usually roast two chickens at a time and I definitely get my money's worth from these chickens! Today's chickens were purchased at the Sendik's meat and seafood sale and I paid less than $10 for them. From two chickens I get the following:

1 roast chicken meal, feeding two adults and two teenagers
3 containers, 12 ounces each, chopped chicken to be used in casseroles(3 meals)
15 cups chicken broth, just shy of 4 quarts, to be used in soups and recipes

Roast Chicken

Season the inside and outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and allow chicken to come to room temperature, 30-60 minutes.

Quarter an onion and a lemon and cut a garlic bulb in half. Stuff Chicken cavity with these items. Tie legs of the chicken and tuck wings under the bird.

Quarter 2-3 potatoes and add them with some baby carrots to the bottom of a roasting pan. Place chickens on top of the vegetables. Brush the top of the chickens with melted butter and then then drizzle the rest of the butter on the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and any other herbs you desire.

Roast in a 425°F oven for 1 hour-1 hour 30 minutes, until it reaches 165°F. Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serve your roast chicken dinner!

Now comes the fun part! Remove all the remaining chicken from the bones and package in freezer bags or containers.  I find that about 12 ounces of chicken is approximately 2-3 cups and is about the right amount for casseroles (or hot dish if you are from Minnesota). Once this process is complete, place all the bones, skin and other stuff left over in a big stock pot(include the skin, bones and all the lemons, onions and garlic)and cover with water. You can also add the neck, liver etc. that came in the little bag that was stuffed in the chicken cavity when you brought it home from the store. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook for about an hour, until the bones are "bleached". Strain the broth from the solids, discarding the solids.

Out of two chickens I have created one full meal, chicken for 3 casseroles, soups or stews and 15 cups of chicken broth...all for about $10...

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