So… You bought an entire chicken.
The first time I decided I wanted to roast an entire chicken I was a little bit disappointed for quite a few reasons, 1) I took a lot longer than I thought. 2) By the time the legs had cooked through the breasts were dry. 3) The amount of waste was unbelievable.
Because of these reasons(and many more) I’ve come up with a solid strategy that I use when buying a whole chicken, and since I’m all about sharing soon you too can learn how to waste less food, and make a whole chicken stretch for more than 1 meal.
Here are a few of the dishes I love to make when buying a whole chicken, and some of them I’m planning on sharing with you guys here on the blog.
So what do you think, feel up to the task?
First off is lesson one and it’s all about cutting up the chicken into manageable pieces. To make this chicken last over three, two person meals, the first thing you need to do is to cut off the legs. This will save cooking time if you decide to roast the chicken whole(which I always do, keep on the look out for my lemon roasted chicken within the next couple of days), and it means you can make a totally different flavour profile for the legs, effectively sparing you the feeling of eating leftovers for the next few days.
First thing to know about my style of doing this is that it is not perfect, it’s kind of messy, and you will need two knives(a good sharp one, and a heavy one that you don’t care about, this one doesn’t have to be sharp, more on this below the pictures)
Put the chicken on the cutting board, boob side up, and search for the place for the legs connect to the side of the breast, make a cut here with the sharp knife. Keep using the sharp knife and carefully cut a straight line down untill you get to the leg bone connects to the… uhhm… My anatomy is a bit off here, it connects to some other bone anyway, via a joint. Think of it kind of like a shoulder joint. Cut around the “shoulder joint”, and then grasp the leg firmly and dislocate the bone by pushing up and just plopping it out(this is the messy part), when the joint popped you can pick up you blunt knife and with a little bit of force cut through the part where the joint came out.
This may sound a little confusing, but have a look at the pictures below and give it a try. It’s not hard, you’ll just have to be willing to get your hands dirty.
If you want, you can use this same procedure with the wings, though I usually leave them on for extra meat for dish three(more one this soon!)
The reason for the knife swap is this. We have very sharp japanese knives in my house and I am not willing to risk chipping, or hella dulling it by cutting through bone and/or gristle, so that’s why I always keep a few cheap ones around(not in plain view of course, pew what an eye sore!), they’re well suited to tasks that don’t require a lot of finesse.
(Also, don’t hold the chicken the way I did on the second the last picture, I stupidly cut open one of my own fingers, so be careful and tuck your fingers away from harm!)