Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cooked Chicken

Cooked Chicken
1 bird, any size (but in Switzerland they are small)
1-2 TBSP butter
dried thyme
1 lemon
fresh hearty herbs- rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, etc
olive oil

Wash your chicken with water and pat dry. Make sure to check that you have no insides in your bird (but usually they don't), but if they do, remove the guts. Also run water along the inside of the bird. Pat dry again. Take the butter and push inside the skin on top of the chicken. Then stuff the chicken with a lemon (use both sides of a cut lemon) and hearty herbs. I usually just use rosemary, but I have used all the ones listed above. Season the top of the bird with remaining ingredients- olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried thyme.
Place in oven for 20-30 minutes (depending on size of bird) at 425'. Then lower heat to 350' and cook for another 40-45 minutes with aluminum foil on top of the bird. Then let cook for 15 minutes without foil to brown. Pull check out of oven after 75 minutes-90 minutes (depending on bird size) and let rest for 20-30 minutes. Then carve chicken to serve.

I usually serve mine with wild rice, green beans, potatoes, sugar snap peas, butternut squash bake, etc.

Chicken Stock
chicken carcass and any remaining chicken on the carcass, plus skin
remaining chicken juice from the first bake
herbs- same as you used in the original cooking of the chicken
bay leaf
vegetables- I use what ever I need to get rid of in my refrigerator-- especially if they are getting ready to go bad. Carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, etc.

After you pull the meat from the chicken, keep the carcass. Place in a stock pot (large pot) and cover with water. I always include any left over meat on the bones, skin, and juices from the first cook. Then I add salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary (or any other spices I include in the bird), carrots (roughly cut in large spheres,) onion (in quarters), celery or any other vegetables in my frig. that I need to get rid of. Place them all in the pot. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 2-3 hours. Once done, drain the water into another pot, separating out the bulk items with a strainer--- chicken, carcass, vegetables, etc.- toss these times into the trash. With the liquids from stock, you can store it in the freezer or can it. Don't forget to date the items, so you know when you made them. The stock can be used in soups, risotto, or any other items for which you use chicken stock. This recipe can also be used with turkey as well.

Notes: I have recently fell in love with cooking a whole chicken. I like it for several reasons. One, you get a great meal with juicy chicken. Secondly, it is super easy (I thought it was a lot harder than it is) and taste delicious. Third, you get a ton of chicken for usually cheaper than just chicken breast. And fourth, I love to eat the chicken skin (which I know is unhealthy for you, but it does taste so good.) And lastly, you also can use the carcass for making chicken stock afterwards. I could not find canned or boxed stock here in Switzerland, so I researched how to make stock. This recipe is a mixture of several recipes I have found. I really love it. Thus you have a great way to create your own stock (which is healthier for you than the store bought stuff). So I included both recipes here for you.