Although we can't afford to buy pastured, organic chickens from our local farmers, i have committed myself to never purchasing packaged chicken that's already been 'convenienced.' This means no buying "chicken breasts" or boneless, skinless anything. I buy Foster Farms whole chickens at the local market... I'm sure FF isn't the most humane, ( but maybe it is? ) but it is affordable and grown quasi locally, sourced from Oregon or Washington farms. By purchasing a whole chicken, i'm skipping the packaging (plastic wrap, styrofoam, etc) otherwise found in pre-butchered chicken, plus i get the whole bird, leaving me bones and giblets for making stock or feeding Pocket.
Sustainability aside, buying a whole chicken does add an element of work, but really not much. I have a nice meat cleaver that i sharpen often, so hacking the thighs and wings off is easy, as is shaving off the breasts. Pocket always gets the wings, but the breasts and thighs are saved for the humans of the family. I often roast the chicken whole, but chicken grease is just too delicious to not be eaten with gusto, and we usually eat it all in one sitting, rarely leaving the sandwich meat leftovers originally planned for. While searching for a better 'diet friendly' option for cooking chicken, i've tried curries, bakes, casseroles and anything else you could think of... but now i've found my absolute favorite, and it's the easiest to make of all!
Shake and Bake Chicken - Scratch Made
- 1 chicken/ 2 thighs and 2 breasts, fat and skin mostly removed (i like to leave just a bit of skin covering the large side of the thigh, and some of the breast
- a ziplock or grocery bag
- Flour mixture: crushed dried bread crumbs, 1/2 cup flour, salt, pepper, seasonings to taste: pick a theme and go with it: cajun, italian, mexican, etc - i used mustard, paprika and sage
- 2 potatoes
Easy. Tastes like fried chicken. Stays juicy. Isn't greasy. = new favorite.
What's your favorite way to eat a whole chicken??