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Category Archives: Fix It & Forget It Friday

A Whole Chicken…You Can Do It!

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A Whole Chicken…You Can Do It!

“Chicken, not scared.”  As kids this is what a friend and I mis-heard a popular character (Bond, James Bond) say, in many of his  popular movies.

As it turns out, he was saying one of the most popular movie quotes of all times “Shaken, not stirred.”  Oops.  Oh well. 

And for many years I was too “chicken” to try to cook anything but the standard boneless-skinless chicken breasts.  Would I ever dare to cook a WHOLE CHICKEN?   Probably not, that’s too scary, and probably way too advanced, right?

Wrong!  Turns out it couldn’t be easier. 

Boiling a chicken is one of the easiest ways to cook a whole chicken and results in the most tender, moist chicken as well as broth.

How To Boil Chicken:

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken (about 3lbs): $Free$ *Scroll down to see how I got it free*
3 Carrots, cleaned, skinned and cut into large chunks: $0.60
3 Stalks Celery, cleaned and cut into large chunks $0.60
1 Large Onion, quartered: $0.35
Optional: (all pantry items)
1 Bay Leaf
1 TSP Whole Peppercorns
1 TSP Minced Garlic
1-2 TSP Salt
 
This chicken produces enough meat for 2-3 main dish dinners.  Total Cost: $1.55 
(Regularly the total cost would be approximately $7-$9)
 
      
  1. Place all items except chicken in a large stock pot.  If you don’t have a stock pot, the largest pot you boil pasta in should work.
  2. Rinse chicken under running water and discard the innards.  Some birds are sold with out innards (liver bits, neck, etc) look in the body of chicken, if it’s hollow you are innard free!  I don’t know what to do with the innards, so I just toss them!
  3. Place chicken in pot with remaining ingredients and fill pot with water, until it covers the chicken.
  4. Cover with lid and bring to a boil.  Then simmer for 90-120 minutes.
  5. Chicken should be done after 90 minutes, but will be even more tender and will completely fall off the bone after 120 minutes.
  6. *For Super-Juciy-Moist-Tender Meat* do this step: remove chicken from pot and place into a casserole dish.  Pour some of the broth over the chicken – enough to cover it.  Let the chicken cool while soaking in the broth – this is the trick to keeping it moist!
  7. Once chicken is completely cool, I recommend hand shredding the meat (with clean hands of course) to ensure that you pick out any skin or bones that you don’t want to keep.  Read on for how to make broth before you discard skin or bones.
  8. Your chicken is now ready!
The possibilities are endless for your boiled chicken…shredded chicken sandwiches, chicken salad, enchiladas, chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie…etc!
 
To continue making broth…
  1. Remove skin and bones from chicken and return them to the stock pot.
  2. Simmer for another couple of hours, 1 hour is fine, 2 hours is better!
  3. Remove from heat and let broth cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Strain broth thru a sieve or cheese cloth into a large container.
Broth can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or can be frozen.  If freezing, I recommend placing broth in smaller containers or ziploc bags, just be sure to leave room for expansion. 
 
*How did I get a whole $Free$ chicken?
When you sign up to receive weekly emails from Earth Fare, they also have a weekly freebie that they send you!  Earth Fare is health food store and you can sign up for their email by visiting their website: www.earthfare.com
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