Friday, July 1, 2011

The Trouble with Chickens

Now that we have started buying locally raised meat, free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and allowed the freedom to roam and graze as nature intended, I have come up on a bit of a dilemma:


I am a boneless, skinless chicken breast type girl. They are easy to thaw, easy to cook, easy to eat. I don't want to have to mess with everything that comes with other parts of the chicken.

But now I order my chickens whole. And they are MESSY. They take forever to thaw. It's kind of gross to handle them. And I am TERRIBLE at cutting them apart.

I did it once a few weeks ago and BUTCHERED the poor thing. We were able to eat pieces, but you could hardly tell what was what.

Tonight, I made chicken again. First of all, it took days to get fully thawed in the refrigerator. Then I realize the recipe I was using called for the chicken to marinate in the seasonings for 24 hours. Well, I didn't have 24 hours. I had more like 6. So 6 it was. I cooked the chicken just like it said.

And then came the task once again of cutting it apart. In the time since my last failed attempt at cutting apart a whole chicken, I have watched several videos on HOW to cut apart a chicken. So at least I had an idea of where to begin.

But many of the videos showed a RAW chicken being cut into pieces. Mine was cooked. And it was HOT. I admit, I was nervous...

But it turned out pretty accurate to the videos I watched! I got everything apart, and we had 2 nice, juicy chicken breasts for dinner. And now we have leftover thighs, wings and drumsticks for lunch tomorrow. Go me!

So, in case you're curious, here is the recipe I used (taken from ):


2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4 pound) whole chicken
5 cloves garlic, crushed


In a bowl, mix the salt, sugar, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Rub the chicken with the mixture. Cover chicken, and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
Stuff the chicken cavity with the garlic. Place the chicken, breast side down, on a rack in a roasting pan.
Roast 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C), and continue roasting 15 minutes. Baste chicken with pan drippings, reduce heat to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C), and continue roasting 30 minutes, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Let stand 20 minutes before serving.

It sounds strange, but it was pretty good!

Because my husband can't really do too much garlic (it is not nice to his system AT ALL), I did put some inside the bird but did my best to scoop it out before we ate it and I carved it we got some of the flavor but hopefully it won't upset his body too much.

And I fried some potato chunks in organic butter with salt and pepper...Now those were GOOD.

So another meal that I can add to the recipe file (if I ever get down to actually CREATING the recipe file). I think next time, I'll take the chicken apart FIRST and then season it and marinate poor burning fingers would probably appreciate that.


  1. Next time if you're in a hurry to thaw your chicken, you can set it in the sink under cold running water. It will still take a few hours and you want to watch it closely to be sure the water stays cool but that is a way to defrost it without using the microwave.

  2. Thanks! I've done that before with fish...and even a turkey once I think. I definitely wouldn't want to use a microwave to thaw a whole chicken, so it's good to keep in mind if I'm trying to think of what to have for dinner that night (or even the next night as chickens tend to take 2-3 days to fully thaw in my fridge).