Chicken is the most consumed animal protein in the world. It’s the thing that we make for dinner.
Chicken readily takes on flavors from spices and herbs. If you cook it properly it is tender, tasty and delicious.
The chicken we eat today descended from domesticated birds from southeast Asia about 10,000 years ago. Chickens traveled with explorers to other continents.
Look to local and regional farmers for your poultry. The process is typically more humane and is always more nutritious.
What Do the Labels Mean?
“Free range” appears on labels but only requires chickens have an opening to access the outdoors. The opening may not be large enough for the chicken to exit the coop. It may not be as pastoral as you think.
“Farm raised” is misleading. All chickens are raised on farms.
“Air chilled” is a process that cools the meat quickly, sending it through cool chambers on conveyers. The meats are typically chilled in cold vats of water. The water-chilling process allows for easy transmittal of salmonella. Air chilling has significantly decreased incidence of salmonella.
Sunday Dinner Roast Chicken Recipe
Brine the chicken in a salt water solution to tenderize the bird. You can also brine in buttermilk with salt. Rinse and pat it dry.
Slip your fingers between the meat and breast skin. Trap a little bit of butter under the skin. It will help tenderize the breast meat and crisp the skin from beneath.
Start roasting the chicken on its side in a roasting pan. You may need to prop it up with foil. Cook it for 15 minutes. Rotate to the other side and cook for another 15 minutes.
Lazy Chicken Stock
Save your chicken bones from your cooked chickens. Chicken necks make a great stock. You can also get some chicken wings. You can also use giblets but the stock won’t be as clear.
Get a large pot of water. Add some onion, carrots, celery, fresh thyme, whole parsley, garlic cloves and peppercorns.
Bring the water to a boil and turn it down to a simmer. Let it simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain out solids.
You can save in one- to two-cup containers in your freezer. It lasts about three days in the refrigerator. Use stock anywhere you want a little more flavor.
A darker chicken stock has a more intense flavor. Roasting the bones and vegetables before boiling the stock creates a darker broth.
Listen in as Cynthia Graubart shares how you can get the most out of your chicken.