Handling and cooking your chicken

Recently, I was getting ready to cook one of our chickens using the Beer Can Grill method that I wrote about previously. This was a monster chicken-- six pounds and not quite defrosted by the time I wanted to grill. We had just gotten back from a tiring, but fun cross-country ski, and maybe I was a little distracted. While trying to defrost it faster, I had it soaking (in its plastic bag) in cold water. But then I tried to extract it and WHOOSH--- raw chicken water all over the cabinets and the kitchen floor! I was frustrated. Anyway, after cleaning that up I wanted to share with you some information about rinsing chicken. I don't rinse mine any more, but rather pat it down with paper towels to try to get a dry surface to spread on the spice rub.

I found this article which explains why rinsing is not the best idea. Another resource is here. I know a few subscribers have been a bit nervous about handling and cooking the whole chickens. Another option is to use the slow-cooker. I really love to use my slow cooker for making beans, refried beans, soups and any number of other meals, especially when I worked in town all day. This simple appliance can be so useful for a working family. I'm researching more slow cooker meat recipes to share with you this winter. In the meantime, send me your favorites!

REMEMBER-- no matter how you cook your chicken, save the carcass after cooking or roasting. We will use these pieces to make a delicious and easy stock later on. Store the pieces in a sealable plastic bag in the freezer.

You might check out these slow cooker chicken recipes. I haven't tried this yet, but I love Moroccan flavors. It requires cutting up the chicken, so I'm sharing a few resources on this. Don't be intimidated! As my good friend Gretchen says, "you can learn anything from a Youtube video". On that advice, some stories have come... 

Cutting up a chicken videos:

1. Melissa Clark from the NY Times

2. And then there's Martha

3. Or this

Just remember that if you cut up the chicken and aren't using the back or wing pieces in your particular recipe, SAVE these raw parts by placing them in a sealable plastic bag in the freezer. This will be an excellent addition to chicken stock.

A minimalist article to roasting chicken 

I think I have shared this before, it is my favorite roasted chicken recipe

Spice rub applied and ready for the grill

Spice rub applied and ready for the grill

Finished, canned chicken stock

Finished, canned chicken stock

ChickenJennifer Knoetgen