Monday, February 20, 2012


I got a nifty coupon from my local grocery store in return for signing up for their healthy shopper program. Last January. I got that first of the emails I was supposed to get a couple weeks ago. But I'm not upset; it's not like this is something that really matters to me.

So now I have a chicken in my house.

It's just sitting there, being a chicken. Right now it's staying in my fridge. What the hell do I do with it? I'm trying to read some instructions on how to roast a chicken and am getting all confused and worried. What have I gotten myself into? I think I could handle it if it were already cut up into parts.

Hmm. Maybe I should have gone for the free veggie burgers after all. This may be out of my league.


undine said...

You could cut it into parts, but you don't have to. Rinse it or just pat it dry. Put it on a pan (roasting pan or even a cookie sheet) and put a little oil, salt, and/or herbs on it. Put it in the oven at 350 degrees until it's done, either by thermometer or by the juices running clear when you wiggle the thigh. A chicken (depending on size) takes 1 hour to 90 minutes.

Good luck and enjoy!

undine said...

(P. S. A cookie sheet with a rim, because there will be juices.)

Catrala said...

Delurking a bit to say... Roasting a chicken is easy, and delicious! I always brine my chicken (1/2 c table salt, 1/2 c sugar in 6 quarts water, refrigerate 1 hour). My technique is a bit more involved than undine's - yes to the fat (butter, oil, etc) and s&p, but I roast each wing side up for 20 minutes (for a total of 40) at 375 before baking breast side up until done (in my oven, another 30 minutes or so). Rest for 20, then carve and enjoy!

Fretful Porpentine said...

Roasting a chicken is the easiest thing ever. It'll be fine. (Just make sure that if it came with any giblets inside the cavity, you take them out before you cook it, otherwise you may end up with unexpected chicken-heart stuffing.)

ntbw said...

You could also stew it, and end up with delicious meat with which to make chicken salad, chicken pot pies, chicken casseroles, etc (any recipe that calls for already cooked chicken) PLUS delicious broth with which to make soup.

I can't be terribly helpful on how long to cook it, since I don't know how large the chicken is by weight. But basically, roughly cut up a couple of carrots, a few ribs of celery, an onion, and put them in a large pot. Put in the chicken (make sure you've taken out anything inside the cavity, like the gizzard or liver, which sometimes are put back into the cavity). Cover the whole lot with water, add a bit of salt and pepper, and boil until the chicken basically falls apart. You will need to skim some foam off the top from time to time. Once the chicken is cooked, strain the broth. You can then refrigerate it and the fat will congeal for easy removal if desired.

Sisyphus said...

Giblets? Crap. It's in the oven now. I remember how it smelled when we first roasted a thanksgiving turkey in my apt way back in undergrad. We had no idea why we smelled burning plastic until we took it out.

It has olive oil, oregano, garlic, and lemon all over it --- sorta following a recipe in my fast easy fresh cookbook. Except I got it all ready and then noticed it wanted me to cut it in 8 pieces. I just shoved it all in the oven instead. I hope that works.

No one has explained how to deal with it at the other end of the process. How do you carve up a roast chicken?

Sisyphus said...

And how do you cut up a raw chicken into 8 pieces?

WTG Homesteader said...

How do you carve up a roasted chicken?

You can carve the breast with a knife if you like, but I usually just fork the breast to death, pulling off breast meat for little tacos or whatever. Then tug at the legs and they'll come apart. I have a big carnivorous streak in me, so I tend to eat away at the carcass for a few meals, and then really go to work and pull it apart.

I love roast chicken -- you can do very little to do it and it will still taste fabulous -- and, if you're single, it'll last a couple or three meals. I usually put as much garlic as I can spare and rub it with some olive oil and herbs (dried or fresh).

Cutting up a raw chicken into 8 pieces is not quite as easy as when it's cooked, obviously. Cut the legs at the knob, and then cut the legs from the thighs. That's four pieces right there. Then cut the wings off. Two more. Then cut the breast in two. Eight pieces. But you know what? Throwing a minimally-seasoned chicken into the oven and ignoring it until it's filling the house with wonderful smells and the meat falls off the bone is much easier.


Feminist Avatar said...

Cutting up a roast chicken is easy. if it is properly cooked, it will come apart easily. In our house, where we don't go on formalities, we don't so much carve as leave it to cool a bit and then pull bits off to eat. But, otherwise, get a knife, and start slicing.

Cutting up a raw chicken is a pain in the neck. To be done well, you usually need to practice and be prepared to deal with some hack jobs in the interim. A sharp knife is a must and a bit of muscle for cutting through joints. But, it just takes practice. Google butchering a chicken and you will get 90 youtube demos and various web instructions.

I bought a roast chicken on Sunday (yes I'm lazy) and we pulled bits off for a late, snacky lunch, had chicken sandwiches for dinner, and for lunch yesterday and today, and I made a teriyaki stirfry with some last night. And I still have a bit left over...