Monday, July 23, 2012

1/2 Chickens- not just for roasting!

It's certainly been a hot summer, and no one likes to turn on the oven when it's 103. After chatting with some CSA members, we decided to give some ideas on what to do with 1/2 chickens other than roast them!

  • 1/2 Chicken BBQ- Rub your chicken with your favorite herbs/spices for grilling (we use Mrs. Dash if we're low on fresh, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder. Kim's family are partial to Zataran's cajun for their grilling needs). You can use a little oil to help the herbs stick, but go easy so you don't burn the chicken. Start grilling over a medium-high heat bone side down on the grill, Turning and minding the bird fairy often. Fresh chickens cook faster than non-fresh, so its crucial keep an eye on your meal. Usually you cook chicken to be about 160-165 degrees. About 5 minutes before finishing, you can brush the chicken with BBQ sauce.
  • Pan Seared 1/2 Chicken with honey mustard dipping sauce- Sliver up some garlic and mix it in with softened butter, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Get messy, and rub the mix underneath the chicken skin. Heat a skillet up (bout medium-high), place your chicken in the pan skin down and cover the skillet. Turn the chicken every 6-7 minutes, it won't take long for the bird to be done (probably 20-25 minutes total but I haven't timed it). About 5 minutes before done, take the lid off of your pot so the skin can crisp up. Serve with a side of honey mustard dipping sauce:
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/8 cup yellow mustard (maybe a bit more depending on preference)
  • 1/8 cup local honey
  • salt, fresh ground pepper and cayenne to taste
  • Two-fer Quick Chicken and Chicken Stock- If things are really hectic and really hot, we try to simplify down even further. Get a medium size sauce pot, and toss in two cloves of garlic, a generous handful of salt, pepper, some fresh or dried herbs, and a sliced onion. Be generous with your seasonings. Throw your whole half-chicken in there. Cover the chicken with water, put a lid on and bring the whole mess to a boil. Simmer it all until the chicken in cooked through. Turn off the heat, remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool in a colander set on a plate or in the sink. The water is now a quick chicken stock, which I will generally put into containers in the freezer once it's cooled. Or, I might put it in the fridge for soup later in the week (probably done in the crock-pot). Once the chicken is cooled, I pull all of the meat from the bones. This then becomes chicken for chicken salad, to top green salads with, or to season and throw in burritos or tacos. Try adding a little curry-powder to your chicken salad- it's a nice change of pace! Essentially, it's all-purpose shredded chicken for quick meals.
I'm going to a later post all about how to carve up a whole chicken and make home-made fried chicken- such a delicious prospect deserves a lengthier explanation.

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