This past week I wrote a review for "Food, Inc.", and said that I had made a recent switch to buying humanely-raised chicken. Tonight was the first time I had made a whole roast chicken, instead of the usual chicken breasts. I cook whole roast chicken about every other week, and I actually find them easier to make than chicken breasts on the grill. Simply wash the chicken, dry it off, put some salt and pepper on it, and stick it in the oven for an hour and half. If you want the crispy skin like the rotisserie chickens they have at the grocery store deli, simply keep the chicken uncovered in the over for at least 15 minutes after cooking an hour and half.
My husband and I usually cannot eat the whole bird, however, leftover meat from a whole chicken works great in soups like regular old-fashioned chicken noodle, or I like making chicken tortilla soup. After having chicken for supper, the next day I like to make a big batch of soup for my lunches at work throughout the week.
Besides giving you an idea of how to get two meals out of one, I also wanted to point out more of a commentary on the cooking of a humanely-raised chicken in comparison to what I had bought prior. When I go grocery shopping, I usually buy the smallest bird I can find, simply because like I said before, we have more than enough leftovers. Its a waste of food and money to buy anything bigger.
After cooking for an hour and half, and then another 15 minutes uncovered, I was confused to see no layer of chicken grease in the pan after taking it out of the oven. On the Tyson birds I used to buy, I usually would end up with a soup can full chicken grease in the pan. After taking the chicken out of the oven, I then take it out of the baking pan into a piece of stoneware for the table. However, today I found I couldn't even lift the bird out of the pan without it falling apart. The meat was so tender it was falling right off the bone. Plus, I also thought it tasted better than the other type of chicken I buy. I don't know what all of these signs mean, but I like less grease, meat so tender it falls of the bone, and the fact it tastes great.
Let me know about your experiences if you have similarities and differences. Happy cooking!