Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Once a week in winter

During the summer, the grill takes precedence for cooking due to not wanting to heat up the house any more than necessary. In the winter, though, the added warmth is no big deal, and cooking aromas are only an added bonus. Over the course of the past couple years, a nearly weekly habit of mine has been to roast a chicken in the oven. Buying a whole bird is not only much cheaper than various cuts, but slow-cooking a bird with the skin only helps to trap in the flavor of the meat.

chicken in the oven
The usual routine involves eating the legs and drums for one meal, then picking the rest of the chicken clean for use later in the week. Favorites are the old standard chicken-noodle soup as well as my specialty, chicken tikka masala. If we end up geting too lazy, it ends up chopped up on salads or made into chicken salad. Really, you can't go wrong.

We're not done there, though. Once the chicken is picked, we save the carcass in a freezer bag, and when we get a couple of them (and an afternoon or evening when we're going to be home for awhile), we toss them in a pot with some veggies and make stock.

chicken stock
This picture is from during the summer (obvious from the fresh tomatoes), when two separate batches netted us 8 quarts of stock (which in turn is used for a base in the aforementioned chicken-noodle soup and loads of other stuff). Because the cavity of the chicken is usually filled with spices and garlic when being roasted, we rarely even have to add salt or any other spices to the soups that we create out of it.

Other than some boiled bones and random scraps, nothing much goes to waste (the cooked carrots even get pulled back out and turned into seriously gourmet dog food toppings) and we even end up saving a bit of money in the process, even when buying higher-quality chicken. It's a trade-off that I'd definitely say is worth it.

P.S. Thursday night (Feb. 3rd), I'll unveil the items for Style Share for the month of February. There's some pretty interesting stuff if I do say so.


  1. Great post. Looking forward to the next Style Share. Hopefully your ties will be arriving in the next few days.

  2. Repurpose those boiled chicken bones by crafting voodoo trinkets to hex your enemies.

  3. Dave: It's funny you mention that. We actually have a small McCoy planter on our windowsill that's nearing the full point with dried chicken wishbones.