Frugal Tip of the Week: Using Whole Chickens

I have found that buying and using whole chickens is saving our family money. They regularly go on sale at the stores for $0.69/lb. I would say this happens every 6 weeks or so. I stock up my freezer with these babies when they are that cheap. Our family of 3 can get 2 to three dinners out of one chicken! The one I took out for dinner tonight cost me $3.14! With some potatoes and carrots and homemade rolls, we have a super cheap and healthy dinner for tonight.

The biggest problem for most people and whole chickens are cooking them. I have found a way to roast mine that is simple and easy and they turn out great every time! I have a roasting pan, but it works just as well on a cookie sheet with edges or if you have a smaller bird, in a 9×13 pan.

First, defrost, wash the bird and pull out the neck and giblets from the inside. I usually toss the giblets, but I keep the neck to use in my homemade chicken stock. Then get out your kitchen shears and cut out the backbone of the chicken like this:

Second, flip the bird over and press it flat. This is called butterflying. It allows the chicken to cook faster and more evenly than when it is all put together. (You can also do this with turkey if you have a pan big enough)

Then, season as you wish. I like to season under and on top of the skin. Since I don’t eat the skin, I like to have flavor directly on the meat. Then bake in a 425° oven for about 45 minutes or until done. I also throw my veggies like potatoes, onions and carrots right in the pan with it to roast. Seasoned bird with lemon and parsley under the skin. Don’t forget to save all the bones for homemade stock to freeze. I will take pictures tonight of how I do it in the crockpot overnight. Then the left over chicken will be turned into white chicken enchiladas tomorrow.


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