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So I bought my first whole chicken... What do I do with it?! :)

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  • So I bought my first whole chicken... What do I do with it?! :)

    I have a fine little pastured chicken I'm looking forward to cooking up tomorrow. Anyone have a kick butt recipe for it? How do I get the skin crispy and amazing? How do I make broth with the bones and then do I just drink the broth? Help please!
    Happy Wifey and NEW MOM!
    Pre-preg weight: 130
    Current: 145 (eek!)
    Goal: ??? <-- whatever it takes to get rid of this tire!
    Started Primal in May '12.
    My Blog
    Join the Revolution!

  • #2
    Dunno about the broth, but what I like to do with a whole chicken is this. Not sure of the term, but I use a deep pan that has flat piece with slots that sits on top. I fill the bottom up with sweet potatoes, mushrooms, onions, carrots etc.. Drizzle in some olive oil and a few slices of butter and seasonings of your choice. I think part of the key to a good whole chicken is to season both on top, and underneath the skin. Just poke a small hole near where the breast meets the cavity, and pull back the skin from the muscle. Toss in you seasonings and a few small slices of butter where you can fit it. Rub the outside with some olive oil, then season all over. Set oven to 425 and cook for about an hour for a 3-4lb bird. Voila. The best part is the veggies. They soak up so much flavor as the chicken fat drips on top of them. For seasoning I like to use salt, pepper, paprika, and some parsley or basil but you may use whatever you like.


    • #3
      Rub chicken with your favorite spice rub. Preheat smoker to 350f. Place chicken in smoker and leave in smoker until meat thermometer reaches 165f. Let rest for a few minutes then devour.


      • #4
        Guy Fieri does a beer can chicken with bacon: Big Bud's Beer Can Chicken Recipe : Guy Fieri : Recipes : Food Network

        My first attempt at chicken bone broth was a total fail, so I can't help you there.
        "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


        Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


        • #5
          As stevemull says. Half way through you may want to cover the breasts with foil, so they don't get too dry. Good luck!


          • #6
            I can't cook, I grill. (Yeah, I said it... they're not the same thing) Wifey, however, can cook ...... and while this won't help you AT ALL in putting your little headless guy to some consumptive use.... she never passes up the opportunity to make it dance before boiling in a cauldron. Yes, it's as funny as it sounds. You're thinking about it right now..... You're going to do it later, watch! haha
            Went Primal: 20 DEC 2011
            Starting: 6'1" 220 lbs
            Starting Energy: "bleh...."
            Current: 183 lbs @ 8.33% BF (Jackson/Pollock 4 caliper method)
            Current Energy: "WOOHOO!" See my journal HERE.

            "Paleo? Try it, but be wary of the cult mentality that comes with it. Paleovangelists are everywhere and a bit scary."


            • #7
              The broth from a well cooked chicken is the best! The way I go about things:

              Season both sides of chicken and toss some extra seasonings in the cavity. Under the skin too, if you like! Maybe toss a cut up lemon inside the cavity and season with thyme, rosemary, sage (salt and pepper are givens). Or if you like it hot, do some salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, paprika, and cayenne! Just play around. Bake in a 350-375 degree oven for 60-75 minutes, breast side down. After the 60-75 minutes (depending on the weight of the chicken - there are guides all over the internet), flip the bird over so the breast side is up, and be careful to keep all the skin on there! This will make sure the breast is nice and juicy but that the skin gets all crisped up. Turn oven up to 425 for skin-crispiness and go for another 15-25 minutes. Or you can keep it breast-side up and not do the flipping, but I find that this does make all the difference in how juicy the breast meat is.

              K, BONE BROTH. The (arguably) best part!

              Throw carcass into large pot or crock pot. Turn heat on LOW (just enough to keep it simmering). Cover with water. Add peppercorns, bay leaves, rosemary sprig... whatever you like, have on hand, and sounds delicious. Optional: Add a mirepoix, which is just a combination of diced carrots, onions, and celery for some extra kick and richness. Put lid on. Wait between 4 and 20 hours. Much after that and I find the broth gets rather bitter. It also gets bitter if it is at a rolling boil, so that long, low cook is important. Strain and viola! Now, some people choose to go through the additional step of refrigerating their broth and skimming the fat on top to get rid of the undesirable PUFA content. It just depends on your preferences and where the bird is from. Personally, I'm kind of blasphemous and usually keep the fat but it's completely up to you. Refrigerate and use within the week or freeze.

              Live Clean, Love Hard. Or vice versa.

              Female! Height: 5'10.5" HW: 161 SW: 135 CW: 124 GW: Whatever number my body wants to be when I'm eating and moving well - trying to get that muscle mass up.


              • #8
                Jamie Oliver does it best. Super simple. Delicious!

                perfect roast chicken | Chicken - Recipes (UK) - Jamie Oliver
                *My obligatory intro

                There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

                DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes


                • #9
                  I found this recipe from Martha Stewart
                  Crisp-Skinned Chicken with Rosemary Potatoes - Martha Stewart Recipes

                  I'm tempted to give this a go with a sweet potato and coconut flour in place of the cornstarch... I'll let you all know if it turns out (fingers crossed!).
                  Happy Wifey and NEW MOM!
                  Pre-preg weight: 130
                  Current: 145 (eek!)
                  Goal: ??? <-- whatever it takes to get rid of this tire!
                  Started Primal in May '12.
                  My Blog
                  Join the Revolution!


                  • #10
                    Chicken under a brick with Avocados and Chillis from epicurious

                    1 3 1/2–4-pound chicken, backbone removed
                    1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more
                    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
                    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
                    4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
                    2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
                    3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
                    1 large fresh poblano chile, quartered, seeded
                    1 large red bell pepper, quartered, seeded
                    1 red onion, cut into 1/2" slices
                    1/4 cup (or more) red wine vinegar
                    2 garlic cloves, sliced
                    1 cup fresh basil leaves
                    4 avocados, halved and pitted
                    1/4 teaspoon chili powder

                    Open chicken and place on a work surface, skin side up. Using your palms, firmly press on breastbone to flatten the breast. Season chicken all over with 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and cayenne. Place in a baking dish; rub with 1 tablespoon oil, sprinkle with lemon zest, and scatter rosemary over. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

                    Build a medium-low fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium. Place chicken, skin side down, on grill and place a brick or heavy skillet on top of chicken to weigh it down. (This will expose more skin to direct heat, making it crispy; the chicken will also cook faster.) Cook until skin is crispy and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

                    Using tongs, set brick aside. Turn chicken, cover grill, and cook for 10 more minutes. Continue cooking and turning chicken every 10 minutes, covering grill between turns, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165F, about 50 minutes total. Transfer to a carving board; let chicken rest for 10-20 minutes. (Resting will make for juicier meat.)

                    While chicken rests, add more coals to fire if necessary to increase heat to medium, or heat gas grill to medium-high. Season chile, bell pepper, and onion with salt and pepper. Grill (or use a grill basket) over medium heat, turning occasionally, until softened and charred in spots, about 12 minutes. Transfer onion to a medium bowl. Transfer chiles and peppers to a work surface and cut lengthwise into 1" slices. Add to bowl with onion. Add 1/4 cup vinegar to vegetables and toss to coat.

                    Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until soft but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add basil and stir to wilt. Add basil mixture to bowl with onion. Season vegetables to taste with salt and more vinegar, if desired.

                    Rub cut side of avocados with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, season with salt, and sprinkle with chili powder. Grill, cut side down, until avocado is gently warmed and flesh is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve chicken with vegetables and avocados.

                    I use a cast iron skillet rather than a foil wrapped brick, for ease. A handle is nice. This gets rave reviews in my house
                    Male, 32y, 6'0" tall
                    SW 306lbs (6/1/12)
                    CW 244lbs (1/17/13)

                    BP down from 120/80 to 110/74


                    • #11
                      so glad I saw this thread! just bought a chicken too and wasn't so sure what to do with i do


                      • #12
                        I can't remember where I first read it, but the last couple of chickens I've roasted I cooked breast side down in the pan to start, then flipped half way through ( or longer, I'm not good at paying attention ). It turns out amazing.

                        I just use Montreal poultry rub all over the bird, and toss in the oven at 350. I'm a big fan of veggies in the pan underneath too. I have a proper roasting pan now, but when I didn't I'd use carrots, potatoes and onions as a rack instead of the metal grate.
                        Fighting fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain since 2002.

                        Big Fat Fiasco

                        Our bodies crave real food. We remain hungry as long as we refuse to eat real food, no matter how much junk we stuff into our stomachs. ~J. Stanton


                        • #13
                          I love to rub the skin with olive oil, sprinkle on some thyme, rosemary, oregano and salt and rub it in. Bake for the first 10 minutes at 425, lower the temp to 350 and finish. Typical 4-5 pound bird will take 75-90 minutes. I say it's done when the skin in dark and you can "shake hands" with the chicken (If the drumstick moves easily when you pull it up and down) and if you cut the skin between the leg and the breast and liquids run clear.
                          Wag more, bark less


                          • #14
                            Loosen the skin and stuff chunks of butter underneath. Sprinkle salt and pepper liberally all over the bird.

                            Stuff the cavity with 2 - 3 cloves of smashed up garlic, fresh thyme, sage, and a whole lemon that you have rolled and pierced all over with a fork.

                            Cook for about an hour at 375 or until juices run clear from the leg or thigh.

                            A Post-Primal PrimalPat

                            Do not allow yourself to become wrapped up in a food 'lifestyle'. That is ego, and you are not that.


                            • #15
                              Thanks everyone for all the tips! And Elaine, yes I found the bird had to be flipped to cook through. I just rubbed the bird down with a little coconut oil, then mixed up a little coconut flour and curry powder (I think I put some variation of coconut oil and curry powder on everything, seriously) and rubbed that on the bird. Cooked breast up at 450 for like 40 or so minutes, basted with a little butter and flipped the bird to cook another 20 minutes. It was divine. I totally wussed out on the broth experiment though. I'm still firmly Primal 101 over here, that is more Primal 201 or something, lol.

                              Ok I have a basic food safety question. On a cooked chicken like that, how do you store it? On the bone? How many days is it safe? I rushed to eat the bird within 3 days, just popping the whole thing in the oven to warm up, but I feel like I've heard somewhere that's not the best way to do it???
                              Happy Wifey and NEW MOM!
                              Pre-preg weight: 130
                              Current: 145 (eek!)
                              Goal: ??? <-- whatever it takes to get rid of this tire!
                              Started Primal in May '12.
                              My Blog
                              Join the Revolution!