Lately, I have been cooking a whole bird. The cost of a whole, organic bird is only $1.99 per pound! (Compared with sometimes $7.99 per pound for organic chicken breasts!) I discovered that cooking a whole bird is not as intimidating as it seems.
(1) I cook it at 400 degrees, 30 minutes up, 30 minutes down, 30 minutes up. Easy-peasy, delicious.
(2) But what to do with it after the first, initial dinner? Well, at our house, I have decided that the next night is devoted to the leftover meat. That is, I take all the meat off of it by hand (about a 5-10 minute process) and either make a casserole with it or simple put some mexican seasoning on it and make it chicken faijta night!
The next day, that is my third day with a bird carcass (3), I throw ALL THE BONES into a pot with a bunch of water, 2 tbs vinegar, two bay leaves, and possibly some celery, onions and/or carrots if I’m feeling like making a fuss. Then I let it boil for 6-24 hours. I usually go for 6-8 hours and call it a day.
A lost tradition in our throw away culture is making this amazingly healthy chicken stock. Gelatin, minerals, fat, all goodness.
We like to eat this delicious soup — adding our leftover chicken or other easy cut vegetables — or you can save it in your fridge for up to a week (or freeze it!) for casserole recipes, etc — whatever you would use the store bought stuff for.
See “Broth is Beautiful” by the Weston A. Price Foundation for more information.