I get it. It’s fleshy and slippery and sort of funny looking. I don’t know if there’s anyone who actually likes holding a whole chicken in their hands. But let’s face it; this bird has so many uses!
3 Reasons You Should Learn to Love Whole Chicken
1. It’s so cheap!
I can get a conventional whole chicken for $1.19/lb at my local Chicago supermarket or I can find an organic bird for $2.99/lb at Trader Joe’s. This is so much cheaper than any other cut of meat, including those boneless, skinless, flavorless (did I just say that?) chicken breasts that go for at least $4/lb.
2. The meat will last for days!
Not only is whole chicken cheap, it can easily feed an army. For my household of two, a 4 pound bird will last us each 2 or 3 meals. Meal 1 is typically the leg and thigh. We keep the chicken breast for Meal 2 where we shred it for a soup or salad. And Meal 3 is usually whatever is leftover.
3. Free chicken broth!
Once the meat is gone, the fun doesn’t stop. Use the bones and any other parts of the chicken you didn’t eat, and make your own chicken broth or stock. I’ve got a post all about it here.
How to Cook Whole Chicken
My favorite methods are roasting and slow cooking. If you’re afraid of whole chicken, I say go with slow cooking. It’s simple. Ready?
Put it in your slow cooker. Turn it on low. Cook for 6-8 hours. DONE!
Okay, so you can make it a little more interesting, but seriously, if you hate touching the bird, just chuck it in the Crock Pot and forget about it.
To make it a little tastier, add chopped onions, garlic, lemon, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Go even further with carrots, celery, and fresh herbs like rosemary or chives! I’ve found that cooking the bird breast side down helps keep the white meat moist (unlike my chicken below!).
A 4 pound whole chicken usually feeds about 4 people. At $1.19 per pound for the chicken, and just cents for the extra spices, garlic and lemon, that makes this chicken $1.25 per serving.
If you’re feeling a little braver, I really love the taste and crispiness of roasted whole chicken, but you’ve got to get a little friendlier with it. Here’s my favorite Roasted Whole Chicken recipe.
So there you have it. Whole chicken is something I was always nervous about, but have grown so found of. I believe everyone should embrace this bird and learn to love it!
Are you a whole chicken lover or hater? Do you have a favorite recipe to make with it? Please share below!
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