When it comes to buying chicken, today’s supermarket gives us so many choices. You can by breasts, thighs, wings, legs, individually frozen, in value packages, pre-cooked, pre-flavored, boneless or skinless varieties. I may have even missed one selection but my point is that there are so many choices out there it can make you dizzy. If you’re a family on a budget, you can really benefit buying chickens whole versus buying chickens packaged in individual pieces.
Whole Chickens Keep Longer
I can guarantee you on any given day that if you take a whole chicken packaged on the same date as a package of chicken cut in to individual pieces, the whole chicken will remain fresher, longer. For one, a whole chicken is minimally processed. Chicken that is pre cut and pre packaged has passed through several hands and or machines and more of the meat and flesh is exposed to air, thus advancing spoilage. Buying a whole chicken guarantees minimal processing and less exposure to the elements.
Get At Least Two Meals from One Chicken, Guaranteed
Cutting and separating your chicken into pieces is easy. All it takes is a sharp knife and a little bit of skill. If you can manage to separate the carcass from the individual pieces, you can use that carcass to make chicken broth, which can be a base for an entirely different meal. Furthermore, do not discard of the neck. That will also come in handy making a stock.
Separate the leg, thigh, breast, and wings in to individual pieces. Cut the wing tips off at the joint and add them to the pile of pieces you will use for chicken stock. Cook those individual pieces the way you would normally when you buy the individual pieces in the store.
So You Want Boneless
Removing the bones is very easy. To summarize, you are basically scraping the meat away from the bone with a sharp knife. Simply Google “deboning a chicken” and you’ll find plenty of resources and instruction on how to de-bone a chicken. When you buy your chicken boneless in the store, you miss out on the opportunity to use those precious bones for chicken stock or soup. This is where the true money savings comes in, buying whole chickens. Those bones, wingtips and carcasses can create a second meal.
The Second Meal
To make a flavorful chicken stock which can be used for soup or a number of other recipes, take your chicken pieces and place them in a stock pot. Add three carrots, three stalks of celery and one large onion or two small ones. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Once the pot boils, cover and simmer for at least 5 hours. Season and add salt to taste. At that point you can remove from the heat, strain and separate the broth from the chicken parts. Once the chicken parts cool down, remove any edible pieces of meat from the carcass and set aside. This will be used later. Discard the carrots, onions, celery and remaining bones. Allow the broth to cool. Once the broth has cooled, remove the solidified fat and discard.
At this point a number of different recipes can be employed by using a little creativity. One thing my wife and I like to do is slice up some fresh vegetables and cook rice and vegetables in the stock to make a rice porridge. The possibilities are endless at this point.
Buying whole chickens not only guarantees more freshness over individually packaged chicken pieces, but enables you to do more with parts of the chicken that most people simply discard.
Chris has been writing articles for three months. Read his latest interest in Fruit Dehydrator units. He also has information regarding the Nesco Food Dehydrator.
Photo. Wow Phochiangrak