May 06, 2010

the chicken came first

it's weird to plan meals as a couple. i mean, eating has always been a solitary thing for me (up to and including eating two pounds of chicken wings, in bed, drunk in the dark, alone) but lately sundays are spent discussing what we'll be cooking next week and who will have kitchen command on which night. i wanted to try my hand at homemade stock so we bought a whole bird. the chicken store in kensington was sold out of single birds but the adorable, tiny clerk ripped open one of the wholesale bags and said, "i chop off head and feet for you, okay?". after she lobbed off the extremities, we walked away with a fresh, local chicken for $6.50. how many days will this feed us? let's find out! come along!

the first night we gently seasoned the chicken with sea salt, cracked pepper, thyme and promptly shoved a can of pbr up it's ass. i acquired one of those stands that helps in the beer-butt chicken process from my old roommate and i don't know what i would have done without it. what was formerly a useless kitchen gadget has been deemed essential. good for you, metal rack thingy! i digress. the chicken roasted beautifully in a couple hours and we had legs and wings that night. after allowing the rest of the meat to, literally, fall off the bone i covered the carcass in carrots, celery, onions, a couple spices (secret blend!) and water and let it simmer till we went to bed. the stock was a beautiful golden colour and smelled like grandma's kitchen during the holidays. perfect!

the next night we used the shredded meat and some stock for a corn and chicken chowder that turned out even better than expected. roasted chicken sandwiches were had the following night and the frozen stock is continuing to prove useful. i would recommend buying an extra ice cube tray or popsicle mould (if you can find one with a lid - bonus) for storing the stock in the freezer. it'll be easier to dole out portions and you won't have to hack at two litres of frozen soup base with a knife... not that i have any experience doing that. nope. i'm a fuckin' old hat at this.


Kristal said...

That stock looks really hearty and has a great colour. I don't eat meat, but you made me see why people do. Dang!

Tobey said...

My Mom used to make a dish called gleasons or slap jacks, it involves adding strips of a floury dough to the chicken and carrots and onions and potatoes. I made it a few times when you were a kid, or you can also make the same thing and add dumplings on top out of the same floury mixture. It is a cheap dish that you can feed alot of people with, It was a popular recipe for my aunt with the 13 kids and my great grandmother who had 18 children.
Your recipe took me back to a time when we would get together and they would make this dish.

Jacquie said...

I've had one of those beer can cooker thingeys for years and never used it. You've inspired me to try it out. But I would be remiss if I did not mention why I've never tried it. It's because Jamie Oliver's roasted chicken recipe is so amazing and I've got it memorized. The exact one I use, I can't seem to find online right now, not sure why. But this is basically it:

Plus it's fun to shove bits of chopped up herbs between the skin and the meat. It makes the chicken really green and because you roast it with a lemon in the cavity, the stock you make from it is deliciously lemony, which is amazing in a soup.