One Chicken, Three Meals

First, thaw it out and cut it up. Here is a video on how to cut up a chicken. It isn’t too difficult, don’t be afraid! Please know that our chickens are a bit different in that they include the neck. The neck is easy to cut off with a strong knife between the bones, and is excellent added to stock at the end.  We cut up the chicken and saved the backbone, breasts and neck in a plastic bag in the fridge.

We decided to have fried chicken for the first meal. We breaded and fried the drumsticks, thighs and wings. I saved the bones from the fried chicken in the fridge. Make sure your oil is hot for best results, and for the best fried chicken of all, deep fry your chicken in our pastured pig lard and avoid rancid vegetable oil. If you want to get some, for deep frying you will need two pints, but it can be reused. You can order some with your next farm share if you’d like to try it.

The next night we wanted a faster meal so I cut the breasts off the bone and sliced them in to thin strips. I marinated them for a couple hours in olive oil, tamari, honey and garlic. Then we dried them off, stir fried the chicken strips, and added them to a big bed of sauteed veggies for a stir fry.

That night I put all the reserved bones, back and neck in a pot with water, apple cider vinegar, celery, carrot, parsley and onion and put it on the low setting of my stove. I left the pot on all night, but if I had a slow cooker (and electricity!) at home I would have kept it all in there overnight. The third night we made a delicious soup with the broth. I cooked diced onion, carrot and celery in butter for a while, added some potatoes and the chicken broth and cooked the potatoes until I was happy with their consistency. We stirred in some pickled jalapenos, added salt and other flavorings, and served our soup with cilantro, sour cream and homemade tortilla chips that I made by frying sliced tortillas in lard again.

Three meals from one chicken!

Instead of frying, our chicken pieces would also be delicious marinated in your favorite marinade and grilled. No matter how you eat your chickens, don’t miss out on the delicious and nutritious broth that comes from cooking the bones afterward. You can always freeze the broth in mason jars or plastic bags to use later this winter.

Recommended Recipes:

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Weekday Vegetable Soup

Marinade for Grilled Chicken (or pork chops!)

Chicken Stock