Sunday, February 14, 2010

Adventures in cooking a whole chicken

One of my goals for this year (actually its been a goal for awhile now) is to cook a whole chicken. 

Let me start by saying I.hate.touching.raw.meat. 

I've gotten used to boneless skinless chicken breast but, after watching Food, Inc., we are making the big {financial} leap to more 'pure' meat. 
There are several local farms that have grass fed beef and free range chicken, but its a bit more expensive. We've finally decided though that we have to make the sacrifice and pay more for the healthy stuff.
I took a look at the pricing sheet and bonesless skinless chicken breasts are $8.99 a pound! Yowza! I want to feed my family healthier but when we're used to buying a bag of the *super chicken at 3 lbs for $6.99 that made me gasp! 

So, I decided this was the perfect incentive to bite the bullet and cook a whole chicken. Some of us girls at church decided to all get together one night and have a  Clip and Cluck Party. Our friend, Rhonda, from our small group, would teach us how to cook a whole chicken. And, a friend and I decided we'd share our couponing know how with the other ladies who still felt clueless. So, we were super excited! Then, the host had a house full of sickies the day of the partyand we had to cancel :( Talk about bummed.

After watching that movie I decided I couldn't wait for us to reschedule the party until March but I had to just do it on my own *yikes!* I ran across this blog entry and it gave me the courage to do it on my own. Seemed simple enough.
  • Remove the bagged innards
  • rinse chicken
  • season
  • place in crock pot
  • cook on high for about 7 hours
  • return to a nice,yummy cooked whole chicken.
  • Once you remove all the meat from the bones you can put the bones back into the crock pot, where you've left the juices from the chicken, add a splash of vinegar and cook that over night. That will leach the nutrients from the bones and give you a wonderful broth! You can save that broth and use it for a later. 

So, I start with task #1-remove the bagged innadrs. So, I get all brave-this is the hard part for me- and this is what I find.

Nasty, right? The chicken I happen to pick up....DIDN'T HAVE BAGGED INNARDS! 

Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!

Didn't this chicken company know how hard this was for me to begin with...let alone leaving the nasty insides un-bagged!! I seriously tried like 4-5 times to stomach pulling them out. I put sandwich bags over my hands so I didn't actually have to touch it with bare hands but I.just.couldn' I couldn't stomach it. 

And- just to add a bit of humor to this story-here is how it unfolded on Facebook.....

My Facebook status: So, I got all brave and decided I was going to cook the whole chicken thats been in the freezer for months. Well, I'd like to know one did I end up with a chicken that doesnt have the innards bagged!?!? I just cant do it. I cant take those out.

My friends comments {thanks for the support guys}:

  • They should put that in bold writing...NASTY STUFF NOT BAGGED! lol
  • get one of the girls to scoop it out! haha hey, you can use it as some sort of punishment....just do it! be brave!
  • Ewwww.. one more reason Laile has to cook that kid of thing! 
  • innards is a funny word. Think about it. 
  • raw meat disgusts me
  • Eww, no way! The one I cooked was already prepared in the bag, and you just had to stick it in the oven. Birds are not for me to touch.
Here is where it turns bad though.....thanks Stephanie- oh yeah I totally called you out! LOL
  • wimp
  • I'm with Stephanie... LOL! Seriously, just reach in there and grab them. It's not really a big deal :)
  • I hate raw chicken guts, too, Lindsay!
  • ME: Ok Big Brave Stephanie and Melissa- how does one just reach in there and grab them!? I put sandwich bags on my hands and I still cant stomach it. I've tried like 3 times today, lol. Its still partly frozen so maybe thats adding to the problem....
  • Listen little wimp, just reach in with your bare hands, feel around, grab it & pull it out. It only takes a few seconds (o: 
  • Just run hot water inside the cavity. The junk just kinda floats to the top. Be sure and wash your hands well when you're done. Like you wouldn't already do that! lol
  • Girl, you just reach in and do the thing....yank those nasty suckers right out and feed 'em to the cat! If you just can't do it, let one of the kids do it...they love disgusting stuff like that!
  • Lindsay, I have the answer for you. Pretend the chicken is Obama & you are removing the evil - lol
 In the end I saved the innards for Derek when he got home. Next time I will make sure and get the chicken with bagged insides. Hopefully, the local farms sell them like that.....
Once he did that for me I seasoned the chicken, placed it in the crock pot and waited for it to be done. Which, in the end, was like 2 am, lol. 
I used to the meat for 2 seperate meals so it made it very thrifty! This time I didn't use a healthy chicken, I used a *super chicken because I had it on hand and I was trying for the first time. Now, though, I feel like I can do it again on a free range chicken and not cringe at the cost! As long as the innards are bagged!
One more goal for the year down! Yay for me!

*super chicken- chicken raised and sold by national chicken farmers. Ya know, the kinds that are pumped full of junk to grow twice as fast and fat. The kinds that can't walk because their bones and muscles are took weak to hold them and keep up with their super grown bodies. They never see the light of day and are sold to us through our local grocery stores. They are not good for us.Circle C goes to Stephanie.


  1. Lindsay,
    Love this post! My mom taught me how to cook and debone a chicken when I was a teen - I think it's the most valuable thing I learned in the kitchen. They taste so much better than 'parts' and you get the broth too. The cost is a fraction.
    Plus, it's a great lesson in anatomy for the kiddos - :)
    You go girl!!!

  2. This was hilarious! I cook whole chickens and turkeys rather often, and I hate touching raw meat, but the skin always freaks me out more than the innards! I usually run lots of hot water over the chicken while I am trying to remove any goodies. You can also try turkey breasts, which are all good meat, no legs, wings, or innards! They are a little more expencive, but still a pretty good price, and a lot less work to strip off the bones!

    I have also been considering switching to local meat, you'll have to let us know how it goes, and if you figure out any tricks to doing it cheeply, def pass that along!


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