Never cooked a whole chicken? It’s easy and gives you lots of options. One of the best is making your own broth for a delicious homemade chicken vegetable soup. And, it is a smart way to make the most of your food dollar, whether using SNAP benefits or cash.
To prepare a whole chicken, after opening the plastic overwrap, remove the neck and organs from the cavity. Do not rinse the chicken – it spreads germs in the sink and on countertops. You can refrigerate the neck and/or the organs until you are ready to make broth or put the organs in the roasting pan and cook with the chicken. The organs will cook faster than the whole chicken, so remove organs when done (check at about 30 to 45 minutes).
When done roasting (directions below), remove the skin and discard. Remove all of the meat from the bones (easiest when the chicken is warm). Enjoy some for that night’s dinner and save the rest for another meal. Place in freezer or storage bags in serving sizes to use later atop salads, in soups, casseroles, sandwiches, fajitas/burritos. You can immediately make the broth or wrap the bones and put in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them, within a couple of days. See directions below.
Makes: 7 Servings
Total Cost: $5.00
Serving Cost: $0.71
1 chicken, whole
1 tablespoon olive oil (or canola oil)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper (to taste, optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Combine Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper (optional).
- Rub chicken with oil, then rub with spice mixture.
- Place chicken, breast side down, in roasting pan or Dutch oven.
- Bake, uncovered, until internal temperature reaches at least 165°F. (Or, to prevent splattering in oven: fold a piece of aluminum foil in half and place over the chicken like a tent, leaving open at the ends. Crimp to the rim of the 2 long sides of the pan.
- A 2-1/2 to 3 pound chicken will take about 1 to 1-3/4 hours; a 4-1/2 to 5 pound chicken will take 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
- Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
Notes: For more flavor, try other seasonings like 1 teaspoon rosemary or thyme. Serve with mashed sweet potatoes.
Chicken Soup from Bones
Have you been told to eat chicken soup when you’ve had a cold or flu? Well, this is the kind of broth that makes chicken soup so good for us, not to mention taste good.
Try these “set it and forget it” directions:
- Place the bones and neck/organs in a large pot and cover them with water.
- Add a couple of bay leaves and some other desired seasonings, like celery stalks/ leaves, black peppercorns, a couple of cloves garlic, sliced onion.
- Cover and bring to a boil and turn the heat down and simmer 2 to 3 hours or even longer.
- Remove and discard bones and seasonings and strain.
- Now you can add desired chopped vegetables* (fresh or frozen), chopped chicken, a grain, such as brown rice, quinoa, lentils, or canned beans. For long-cooking items, like brown rice, add it first and let it cook about 30 minutes before adding the veggies that cook quickly.
- Add other veggies and simmer to desired level of doneness, 10 to 15 minutes to retain a bit of crunch. Add herbs or spices, as desired.
- Refrigerate leftovers. When soup cools, skim off fat and discard.
* Try a variety of chopped/diced veggies: potatoes or sweet potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, bell peppers, green beans, garlic, corn, peas, lima beans, kale, summer squash or whatever you have on hand.
Recipe Source: http://www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/roast-chicken