Getting the most out of our pastured, GMO-free whole chicken is important to many of our customers. They want to know how to maximizes the health benefits of our chicken and waste as little as possible. What is important to our customers and our community is important to us! Thus, we sat out to help our customers utilize the goodness and nutrients in our chickens. These ideas are only the beginning, a framework if you will, to get one started on this journey. Hopefully it is enough information to get someone going in a healthy and waste-not direction.
Roasting a whole chicken is a good way to make sure you can use the bird in multiple ways. If you are not sure exactly how to roast a chicken you can use our super basic recipe or check out this recipe which I used the very first time I roasted a whole bird. A basic roasting recipe is going to give the chicken wonderful taste without adding flavors that may not work well in other recipes. For example, a whole bird cooked with sweet bbq sauce may not work well in chicken salad or asian stir-fry. But hey, in the end it is your food, try new things if you want, once you get the basics covered. If sweet bbq sauce chicken salad becomes a hot culinary trend you can say you heard of it here first.
Once the chicken is roasted we usually use one half of the chicken to provide dinner and lunch the next day for our family of five. Our children are 7, 5, and 18 months right now and together eat 1 and a half sized adult serving. We showcase the roasted chicken and serve it as the main dish with fresh veggies and a starch side. After dinner the remainder of the chicken meat is pulled off and stored in the refrigerator and will be used as the key ingredient in tomorrow’s dinner. The bones go in a pot or another storage container to be used for stock or broth purposes. If you are not familiar with making chicken stock or bone broth you can read about why and how we do it here. We really want to encourage you to try and make your own stock or bone broth at least once. The store bought versions are pitiful shadows of the wonderfulness of homemade stock and bone broth. You can do it!
The next day we use the remainder of the chicken meat to fix dinner. If time allows we will also make the chicken stock. The meals I choose to make from the leftovers are usually based on the time of year. Soups, pot pie, and dumplings in the colder season and stir-fry, salad, tacos any time of year. If the aforementioned meal is highlighted you can click on it to see how we do it at Our Local Farm. Usually the meal I make from the whole roasted chicken leftovers provides plenty of food for at least two more meals for our family. In conclusion, our hope is that this aids y’all in taking full advantage of the whole chicken. Embrace the whole pastured, GMO-free chicken and all the nutrient dense goodness that comes along with it.