3 Ways to Make the Most of a Whole Chicken

September 28, 2018 | Food Lion
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3 Ways to Make the Most of a Whole Chicken

Knowing how to cook a whole chicken is one of the most helpful kitchen skills to have. A whole chicken, also called a broiler, fryer, or roaster, has a cost per pound that's less than many other meats. Buying a whole chicken can be more budget-friendly than purchasing separate packages of pre-cut chicken, especially when it comes to costlier breasts and skinless thighs — two of the healthiest parts of the bird, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Learning how to use a whole chicken is easier than it looks once you practice a few basics, such as removing the innards and giblets or roasting a spatchcock chicken.

1. Spatchcock Chicken Recipe

Whether you roast, pan-fry, or grill a spatchcock chicken, preparing a bird this way results in juicy, delicious meals. A spatchcocked (or butterflied) whole chicken is cut in such a way that it sits flat in a pan or on a grill for even cooking. Prepare a whole chicken this way for your family chicken recipes.

Learning how to spatchcock a chicken requires a good pair of kitchen shears. To spatchcock, turn the chicken on its back. Locate and cut out the backbone. Look for the breastbone, which resembles a starburst, and make a cut in the middle to release and pop the breastbone. Flip the chicken back over. Marinate, season, or spice-rub it to your liking, and it'll cook or grill almost flat.

2. Slow-Cooker Rotisserie Chicken Recipe

Put a whole chicken into a slow cooker for an easy meal. Prep the bird for the slow cooker by removing the giblets and patting it dry with a paper towel. Never rinse or wash a bird before cooking — this helps you eliminate the spread of bacteria, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Place the chicken on top of a small rack in the slow cooker. For a crispy rotisserie chicken, mix brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, and thyme together. Generously rub the mixture all over the chicken and cook on high for about three hours or until a thermometer inserted into the meat reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Crisp the skin by broiling the chicken for a few minutes after cooking.

3. Cutting Up a Whole Chicken

When you cut up your whole bird, you have eight pieces to bake or fry any number of ways. Use a sharp kitchen knife and poultry shears for best results.

· With the breast side up, remove the legs by making slits over them. Pull each leg away from the breast, pop the thigh bones, and cut at the indentations.

· Separate thighs from drumsticks by cutting where the joints attach.

· Next, separate the wings from the breast at the joints.

· Separate the breastbone from the backbone. Cut the breast into two pieces. Now the sections are ready for your favorite fried chicken recipe.

For more ideas and inspiration, head over to Food Lion's recipes. There, you can find more chicken dishes, including roasted whole chicken with veggie stuffing, slow cooked chicken and vegetables, rosemary chicken, and lime chipotle chicken.


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