Friday, July 20, 2012

Way Too Easy Dinner, Lunch and Leftovers

Chicken was on sale and I don't usually buy a whole bird but it was cheaper. And now I know much more delicious! At first I was unsure what to do with a whole bird, but some small voice told me to get out my trusty Ida Bailey Allen cookbook. My sister has one and after a few recipes from her, I knew I needed to find my own. Imagine my joy and delight when the first one I came across was in a wonderful polka dot yellow cover?
But I digress, Ida did indeed have advice about chickens for me.

I will skim over the parts about selecting the poultry as she assumes you are buying a live bird. She does add the tip that a chicken may be plucked wet or dry (yick). She also gives detail on singeing off the long hairs of the turkey or chicken. Don't lose your appetite yet, there is an entire paragraph devoted to removing the head, sinews, tendons, feet etc. And I thought fishing out the bag with the gizzard was difficult. After skimming over the skewering and trussing, I found the roasting tips. "Begin cooking bird in a hot oven 400-425 degrees. Reduce it after the first ten minutes that the meat may cook gently. Most people cook poultry breast uppermost; this however, causes the juices to flow away from the breast, making it dry. The bird should be laid on its side during the early part of the cooking, then turned breast uppermost to finish."
"As with all meats, season when partly done."

With these nuggets of wisdom I cooked the tastiest, juciest chicken ever. You can do it too!!!


  1. That chicken looks delicious! I love cooking whole chickens. I'm not too grossed out by them, because I live in the country where butchering chickens and rabbits is commonplace. :) But it took a while to get used to it...
    So what did you use for seasoning? It looks great....

    ~ Elizabeth

  2. Yummy! I was just asking mom how to cook a whole bird and now I know! I think I might need to find a copy of Miss Ida's cookbook too. What kind of seasonings did you use?

  3. In seasoning almost everything I always start with garlic and onion powder, for the chicken I also added thyme, tarragon and dill. Probably a little salt and pepper but I can't remember! Chicken is so tasty plain or with your favorite seasoning, if you like spicey I would suggest adding a little cayenne or cumin. Just keep trying stuff until you like it, I have to admit I have created some very over-spiced dishes, but it was worth figuring out what I liked.