Chicken as Horror Show

While I'm certainly not the "finish vacuuming and touch up your makeup before your husband comes home" type of wife (though sometimes I wish I had time to be), there are some things best done when Matty isn't around. Such as dealing with this:

The horror. The horror.

Let me explain:

1) Chicken is least expensive when purchased whole. It will cost an extra $2-$3 a pound for someone else to cut it down for you and you lose the chance to make great stock (which, if you don't make, you will have to buy later).

2) In my pre-homemade stock past I once wrapped up tight in plastic all the bits I didn't want to use, such as skin, bones, and giblets, and thrown them in the trash can outside. Combine with 110-degree heat and you can imagine the result: a partially-cooked chicken explosion all over the inside of the can. So what do you do with it if you can't really throw it away?

3) Some weekends I don't feel like making stock because I am lazy don't have room in the freezer.

Therefore, I buy whole chickens two at a time: freeze one whole for roasting and cut the other one down into one half, one thigh with bone, and one boneless, skinless breast and tenderloin (which is actually two pretty large servings). Which leaves me with giblets, neck, spines and skin that I put in a Ziplock bag and freeze. Once every few months I'll defrost the whole mess and roast on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan at 375-degrees until the pieces cook and brown up (somewhere around an hour; there is a lot of moisture that has to evaporate). Then I scrape the whole pan into a big stock pot where I've got other garbage, such as onion peels, clean carrot peels, and celery base and leaves. You remember the drill; a bay leaf, cover with water, simmer for at least an hour or until the spine starts to fall apart. (Good cooking is gory.)

Chicken scraps + vegetable scraps + time + water + heat = the best stock you've ever tasted. Which will make everything you use it in taste that much better. So, spending less money equals better food. Ta da, as they say.




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