Chicken – Three Ways

If you’re like me, you’re short on time and don’t want to spend more money than you have to on groceries. I often make a roasted chicken on Sundays–just put it in, come back, et voilà, it’s done! There’s little prep in involved and you’ll have lots of leftovers.

Intimated by roasting a chicken? Don’t be! It’s super easy. Make a point on your next grocery trip to pick one up. Many people who haven’t roasted a chicken will wonder how they will know when it’s done, which is a great question because you don’t want to poison yourself or others!

Most of them come with a chicken pop-up timer so it takes the guess work out of it. If your chicken doesn’t, you can grab some here. I usually have some on hand in my kitchen.

Roll your sleeves up and let’s roast!

1) Grab a roasting pan. I use a glass one but, really, anything that fits your NOT FROZEN chicken is fine!

2) Grab and onion and cut it into four pieces. Set aside.

3) Grab your spices. I use different ones every time–you can start with the basic–salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, rosemary, and paprika. If you don’t have them all–no problem, just set aside what you have for now.

4) Turn your oven on to 375F

5) Take your bird out of it’s plastic wrap. I usually do this in the sink to avoid the mess. Pull the bag of odds and ends out of the, as my mother says, ‘trou de poule’ (this sounds a lot better in French!) and stick the onion up there!

6) Place your chicken in the pan the right way up (see pic above) and put your spices on it. I usually rub mine in a bit and do the side. Fill the pan with about 1/4 inch of water.

7) Shove it in the oven and wait. The time it’ll take to cook varies on the size of your chicken. A two pound chicken will take about an hour, a five pound chicken will take about 2 hours. Once that little pop-up timer pops, it’s done so don’t abandon your chicken for the afternoon!

8) Take it out and let it rest for about 10 minutes and cut that thing up and eat it!

Soups On!

Once you’re done with your amazing meal, turn some music on and starting picking all the meat off of it! Put the meat aside and take a look at the wonderful job you’ve done. Yep, you have a sad, broken, naked chicken carcass on front of you. Perfect! Next steps:

1) Dump your sad, broken, naked chicken carcass and everything from the roasting pan into your slow cooker

2) Add a cut up onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and whatever other spices you want

3) Fill your slow cooker within 2 inches from the top with water

4) Set on low and let it do it’s thing. It’s thing is usually overnight for me.

5) The next morning, wake up and you’ve got chicken stock! Go you!

6) You can use a cheesecloth to strain everything out. Personally, I’ve used a nutbag, a colander, or, most often, my scoop colander spoon.

7) Take a photo and Instagram it to show off in front of your friends. I mean, you made your own chicken stock–you’ve now entered the ranks of Martha Stewart! Between your first roasted chicken and making chicken stock, everyone’s sure to be impressed!

Now, for the actual soup part of it. You’re going to freestyle this one! Trust me, it’s hard to screw up soup….honestly! So, pick one–tomato based or traditional ol’ chicken noodle-less soup.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of carrots

  • 3/4 cup of celery

  • 1 medium sized onion

  • 4 cloves of garlic (diced)

  • Chicken (of course!)

  • 20oz can of diced tomatoes (optional)

  • Zucchini (optional)

  • Summer Squash (optional)

  • Salt/Pepper/Summer Savory (or Sage/Rosemary/Oregano)

Time to Make the Soup! Let’s call this dump soup.

1) Get your veggies ready. Chop up some carrots, onions, and celery. Set aside. I usually add some summer squash and zucchini so, if you want, chop those up and set aside separately from the carrots, onions, and celery.

2) In a big pot, put some olive oil on the bottom and dump in the carrots, onions, and celery for a few minutes. Stir and once the onions start to look clear dump your diced garlic in. Stir some more.

3) After a minute, dump your chicken stock in and either add your can of diced tomatoes or the equivalent of water. Bring to a boil.

4) Dump your zucchini, summer squash, and chicken in. Bring down to a simmer.

5) Dump your spices in to taste.

6) When the zucchini and summer squash starts to look a bit soft, take off the heat.

7) You’re done. You’ve made soup!

Chicken Salad

You’ve done enough work cooking the chicken and making stock. Give yourself a break from cooking and whip up some good ol’ simple chicken salad. There are so many variations to choose from

1) Lemony chicken salad with almonds. This was a salad that I threw together. Just some red onions, chopped chicken, Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo, and salt/pepper/garlic. Chop up some almonds to toss on top and squeeze some lemon on it!

2) The Whole Smiths chicken salad

3) Whole Sister’s Asian Sesame Chicken Salad.

If you’ve got more leftovers after this, I’ve portioned it out and frozen them to use for later. So, there you go! Your first chicken. You’ve adulted hard today!