Buying whole Chickens in bulk saves money and provides the most meals. Follow along to find out how simple it is to cook a whole chicken and some of my favorite meals to eat it in!
Life gets busy. Who wants to spend their time planning out the meals for the whole week? I know I enjoyed that for a season but now I’m in a different season. I have young children and a lot of things to get done in the day. For this reason, I cling to simple recipes that can fuel my hungry boys and get food on the table quickly.
There are so many options in modern day to cook healthy food, quickly. One of my favorite ways is to utilize the Instant Pot. It keeps the meat juicy and warm when it’s done cooking and allows me to use my time in my home for other things, like serving, cleaning, praying, and raising disciples.
Where to buy whole Chickens
You usually can find whole Chickens for sale at specialty stores. The best way, however, to find a good quality Chicken is to purchase it directly from the farmer. I encourage the support of small farms. We buy all of our meat from a farm that I have toured and seen the quality of life the animals have. How an animal is raised and what it is fed makes all the difference for our health. I do recommend pasture raised Chickens due to the nutrients you are getting verses not.
Ways to cook a whole Chicken
The number one way our family cooks a whole chicken is in the Instant Pot. This is because I can even throw a frozen Chicken in last minute for a meal and it will turn out juicy and be done quickly. When I am not in a time pinch, I do love roasting a whole Chicken. If you are roasting your Chicken in the oven, be sure to have an accurate meat thermometer and cook until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees. During the Summer months we also love to barbeque Chickens. I do recommend spatchcock style Chicken, cut down the breast, if barbequing. I have not personally cooked a whole Chicken in the Air Fryer, but it can be done. I’ve seen plenty of recipes out there to do so.
Ways to eat a whole Chicken
There are two ways that we go about eating a whole Chicken. I like to switch it up between the two ways so that my family can enjoy a variety of recipes. The first way we eat a whole Chicken is simply by cooking the whole thing at once in one of the manners listed above, usually Instant Pot. I will then remove all the meat from the bones and shred or chop all of the meat to use in recipes, such as soup or Chicken Pot Pie, throughout the week.
Sometimes if there is a certain recipe I want to make for the week to utilize just the breasts I will section out the Chicken to do so. Typically, I will thaw 2 whole Chickens for this use. Once the Chickens are thawed, I will then cut off the breasts and put them in a container in the fridge. I will do the same for the legs and wings. I usually save up the wings in a bag in the freezer until I get about 10-12 saved up for a meal.
Either way, I always save the bones to make homemade bone broth. It is such a gut healthy food and is so simple to make. Bone broth is great for soups, cooking rice, and use in sauces. If making homemade bone broth, I recommend saving the Chicken feet to throw in a couple of them into the bone broth pot before cooking. The feet help the broth to gel up. Utilizing the offal ensure you are utilizing the whole chicken. Plus there are parts of Chicken that truly are delicious, but often get thrown out and wasted.
Some of my favorite from-scratch Chicken recipes
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Sweet and Spicy Chicken
- Asian Chicken
- Orange Chicken
- Roasted whole Chicken
- Enchiladas with Chicken
- Wraps with Chicken
- Chicken salad
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Chili with Chicken
Recommended supplies for cooking a whole Chicken
- A Cast Iron Skillet works great for searing the meat and can be transferred to the oven to finish cooking the Chicken. I use my skillets at least 3 times every day! It’s worth the investment.
- An Instant Pot or any pressure cooker, will cook your meat perfectly and quickly. I use mine daily.
- A Stainless Steel or Stone baking dish with rack is great for roasting a whole Chicken to perfection in the oven.
- Tongs for flipping a whole Chicken.
Leave a comment with your favorite Chicken recipe ideas!
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