Chicken is hands-down America’s favorite meat. While it may not be as flavorful as beef or pork, it is healthier and less expensive. Because we are all looking for ways to stretch our food budgets, I wanted to share one of the most affordable and delicious ways to cook chicken.
- Whole chicken
- A few cloves of garlic
- Small onion
- Baby carrots
- A few stalks of celery
- Olive Oil
- Preheat your oven to 375 F
- Prepare an appropriately sized baking pan: Cover it with foil, or coat it with a layer of cooking oil or butter.
- Remove the chicken from its package, and remove the giblets. Rinse the chicken off with water and pat dry with paper towels. Place it in the baking pan with the breast side up.
- Rub the outside of the chicken with butter, and season the inside and outside with salt and pepper (or whatever other seasonings you like)
- Place the chicken in the oven for about 70 minutes. If the chicken is larger than 3lbs., add about 10 minutes per lb.
- While the chicken is cooking, chop your onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Place them in the baking dish with the chicken, and add some warm water to the bottom of the pan.
- To determine doneness, place a meat thermometer in the thigh. The chicken is done when the meat reaches about 165 degrees (F).
- When the meat is almost done (within a few degrees of 165), remove from the oven, and cover. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- Cut off the good parts of the chicken (breasts, thighs, wings), save the rest for soup or stock.
- Serve the chicken with the roasted vegetables, drizzle with olive oil and enjoy!
Variations and Tips:
- Feel free to marinade the chicken for a few hours before cooking to achieve your desired flavor and more tender meat.
- Substitute whatever vegetables you like: Broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts are all good choices.
- Put seasonings and garlic cloves under the skin while baking for extra flavor.
In addition to the quantity of meat you get from a whole chicken, there are often enough bones and small pieces of meat left over to make a delicious soup or an essential staple: chicken stock. By taking a little extra time to prepare a whole chicken, then making a soup or stock with the remains, you have stretched your food budget much farther. Bonus! You also get a better tasting meal, and a fresh soup or stock. Enjoy!
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