College Cooking Tips
Be smart and cautious when you have raw chicken in your kitchen. Don't cross contaminate to clean foods by using the same knives, cutting boards, unwashed hands, etc. Chickens carry some pretty nasty bacteria that will die when fully cooked, but until that time, be cautious. You don't want to be the one that got the whole floor sick!
Some folks are nervous about cooking a whole chicken so they just buy and fry parts. People then chew the meat off the bones and throw them away. When you bought the chicken breasts or legs or thighs a lot of bits and pieces and all that good fat was thrown away at the processing plant. But all of the bones and bits and pieces are what make such a tasty and nutritious chicken stock. It's so easy to make and will form the foundation of so many great meals. So, if you don't want to waste money by throwing away all that good food, roast the whole bird and savor the stock.
Heat oven to 450 degrees
Use a roasting pot or something with a lid for the best results. A pan covered with foil works too. The pan must be able to go from stovetop to oven.
- 4 cloves crushed garlic (short video on using fresh garlic)
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 3 Tbs. Olive oil
- 2 Tbs. Red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (Plain vinegar works too.)
1 whole chicken, washed and dried with paper towel
Loosen skin around body of chicken by moving a finger between skin and the meat.
Pour the marinade mixture under loosened skin, in the cavity and over the outside of the chicken.
- 1 coarsely chopped onion
- 3 or 4 stalks of celery - washed and left in long sticks with lots of green leaves on top.
- 4 carrots-scrubbed and sliced into long, thick sticks.
- Make a bed out of the prepared veggies and place the chicken on top, breast side down.
- Add ¼ cup of red wine vinegar (or any other vinegar on hand)
- 1 cups water
- Put the lid on the pot or cover the chicken with foil, sealing the edges to hold in heat and moisture.
- Turn the oven down to 400 degrees
- Put the chicken in the oven.
Cook for 20 minutes.
Now turn the oven down to 375 degrees and cook for 40 more minutes.
Take the chicken out of the oven to make sure it’s done. (See below for more details)
If it needs more time, put it back in the oven for 5 more minutes.
How to know if a chicken is done cooking:
- Cut between the leg and the body cavity. If the juice runs clear, not red, it’s done.
- When the leg nearly pulls apart from the body.
- Use a thermometer and insert in the thickest part of the thigh, being careful not to touch a bone. If it registers 160 degrees remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest, for 10 more minutes by placing it on a large hot pad or cutting board. The internal temperature will go up another 5 degrees and reach 165 degrees.
- Serve after resting the chicken for 10-15 minutes, NO MORE.
Resting allows the meat to soak up natural juices that would otherwise be lost if you carved it too soon after removing from the oven.
Save the chicken carcass and drippings for making homemade stock.
To make your food dollars go farther and increase the nutrition of future meals, make homemade stock and store in the freezer. The stock can be used for soups and sauces at a later date.
How to prep roasted chicken for homemade stock:
- Pull all of the meat from the bones before serving.
- Freeze the carcass and drippings to make stock another day