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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

[Roast chicken] $12.06 for three homemade meals

I roasted a fair size chicken last weekend.

Can you believe that I made three meals out of that bird?
I am talking about chicken here, not turkey or goose or duck.

To be honest, I actually wanted to see if I can extract three different meals from a 4-pound chicken.
And surprisingly, I did it!

I felt good and proud of myself~
Okay, confession: I used some other ingredients such as pasta, rice and vegetables.
Still, I used chicken as one of main ingredients. :)

Well, this was possible partially because my household is comprised of 2 adults and 2 kids (of 7 (nearly 8) and 5). This would work for a couple too.
If your household has more than 2 adults, I guess it may not really possible.

Unlike roasting turkey, roasting chicken doesn't require much skills.
On the other hand, chicken is an extremely versatile food that can be cooked in101 different ways.
Turkey is not really difficult either, but as turkey is such a huge bird, it needs some more patience and a little bit of tricks.
If you keep time to baste and allocate enough time for roasting,
chicken will turn out just beautifully.

It's so easy that you don't really need a recipe.
I'll still write the recipe for Basic Roast Chicken here:
Ingredients (roast chicken)
4-5 lbs chicken
ample salt
ample pepper
 Thyme (optional)

Ingredients (gravy)
Drippings form chicken roasting
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock or chicken broth
salt and pepper

How to make:

1. Preheat the oven to a temperature of 375ºF (190ºC). 

2. As I said, roasting a chicken does not take quite so long as roasting a turkey. 
Allocate 20 minutes per pound of chicken.
I roasted my chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes as it weighed nearly 4 pounds.

3. Rinse chicken under a cold running tap and patted dry with a kitchen towel. It is important to dry chicken completely, to have crispy & brown chicken.

4. Then, season the chicken with ample salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

5. Season the bird inside and out with thyme. 

I stuff some under the skin as it gives a wondeful flavour. 

I happened to hav fresh thyme in my fridge so that I could stuff fresh thyme under the skin of the bird and even into the cavity. But, if you don't have fresh thyme, no worries. Just use dry herb.
If you want a simple basic, but still wonderful roast chicken, you can skip herb part.

6. Place the chicken on a wire rack set in a roasting tin and grease the skin of the chicken with either butter or olive oil. 
Actually it's better to grease the chicken before seasoning. But, this time, I happended to do the other way round. :)
I bought a alredy trussed chicken. When I buy a chicken that is not trussed, I always truss it. It's up to your decision.

7. Place the chicken in the preheated oven, and remove it every 20 minutes to baste with butter, or juice dripped.
It will become pale after the first 20 minutes.

but it will show its golden skin by the second baste, i.e. 40 minutes after.

And it will have more color as it is roasted.

Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken's thigh, without touching the bone. When the meat thermometer reaches a temperature of 170ºF, the chicken is done,
Oh, if you don't have a thermometer, insert a skewer into the leg of the chicken. If juices of the chicken run clear, the chicken is done.

When properly cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes before you carve and serve.

While chicken is resting, scrape the roasting pan and  put 2 tablespoons of flour in the roasting pan over the stove top. 

Once roux(flour + fat paste) is made, pour 1 cup chicken stock or chicken broth and simmer until it reaches the consistency you want. Stir vigoursously from start to end. 

You can also make some side dishes. As all four of my family, including myself, loves steamed vegetables, I steamed some hard vegetables to serve with. It's also the easiest side dish you can make :)

Once the chicken has rested, it will then be ready to carve and serve.

We ate this for lunch,

Then, I made some flavourful stock with chicken bones, to make chicken noodle soup. I put more vegetables and put tortellini from the freezer.

This made our Sunday dinner~

Kids liked it very much.

I still managed to save some chicken pieces and vegetables for Monday.
And guess what I made for Monday dinner, I made chicken curry fried rice.
It was easy and yummy :)

But, I got to know, only yesterday whether you believe it or not, that a whole roast chicken that is ready to eat is $7.96. I know I have been sooooooo ignorant.
First I got perplexed. and now I'm discouraged to roast a chicken.

Can you give me some good reason why I should roast chicken at home, using hydro(electricity), water, and my time to roast a raw chicken that cost me $12.06, while I can simply buy a ready-to-eat roast chicken at $7.96?

Roast chicken with gravy


  1. Greetings!
    First, Please understand my poor english.
    If my judgment is not delusion, I think I often visited your ex-blog site.
    I'm really happy to see your new recipe.
    (Of course, it is my pleasure too to catch up on your family's lives.)
    I hope to visit your blog soon again.
    Thank you for the delicious recipes!!

    1. Hi garambii,
      thanks for the visit.
      I'm glad you like my recipes.
      See you soon.:)

  2. These pictures are beautiful and excellently done; it has stirred my appetite, even though I've just finished breakfast. I love chicken, almost any way that it is cooked.

    That you spent $12.06 on a chicken, and then stretched it to three meals is amazing. Wonderful job!

    Hugs dear friend,

    1. Hi Virginia,
      I agree. There are 101 reasons and different recipes to love chicken :)
      You know what. I had thought I had done a good job with the bird, until I found out the a whole roast chicken is $7.96 at Costco!! Would you still roast your own chicken? I think I should put up this post up and ask the question in Blogher.