Let’s Chat Chicken

When your freezer is loaded with chicken parts and pieces, you learn to make a variety of meals which feature that prominent poultry.

Herb Roasted Spatchcock chicken makes a great dinner dish.

Last summer, we butchered 70 chickens that we raised in a chicken tractor. You can read about that process here. Since butchering day, I’ve been slowly whittling down on my supply of chicken meat. 

When we process the birds, we freeze some whole and some in pieces. I use up the breast sections first. (I’m partial to white meat.) Then there are bags of thighs, legs, and wings. There are also bags of pieces that will be used for chicken stock. 

One of my favorite ways to cook the whole bird is using a recipe called Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken that I found on Pinterest. It’s more work than the other ways I’ve roasted whole chickens, but it’s worth it. The herb-covered chicken and roasted carrots and potatoes that go with it are delicious. It’s also healthy. 

The recipe includes instructions on how to “spatchcock” a chicken. Basically, you cut the back open and lay the bird flat and breast-side up, so it cooks faster.

Indian Butter Chicken simmers in my cast iron pan.

Another of my favorite go-to meals with chicken, especially on busy nights, is Indian Butter Chicken. Now, if I was making the curry sauce from scratch, it would not be easy or fast. However, you can buy different curry sauces that are already pre-made. I’m not big on pre-made anything, but these sauces aren’t filled with nasty ingredients. So, I’m happy to have the time-saver. 

On the sauce jars or packets, there’s directions on how to make each Indian curry with diced breast meat. I enjoy the Butter Chicken, Chicken Korma, or Chicken Tikka Masala. They are all easy and tasty and are best over basmati rice. (I also like them over jasmine rice.) I’ve even found some garlic naan at Aldi that goes great with these dishes. Of course, I like to fry my naan with butter for a few seconds on each side before serving. 

Here’s one of the sauces I use.

I’ve found these curry sauces at Walmart and Natural Grocers, but I’m sure they can be found in other stores as well. In the photo, I show the Patak’s brand sauce, but I actually like a brand called Street Kitchen that comes in a packet even better. However, I can’t find it locally anymore.  

Butter Chicken, rice, naan, and stir-fried broccoli is a regular meal at my house.

As for cooking thighs and legs, I usually cook them in my Instant Pot. I find they cook a lot faster and more evenly in there. They taste great cooked on the grill, but it’s more time-consuming and a pain to make sure the legs get cooked all the way through. That’s why I usually just use an online recipe for cooking them in my Instant Pot. There are a ton of them available.

Cooking the wings is my least favorite. It seems a lot of work for such a little amount of meat. When I do undertake wings, I usually cook them for awhile in the oven and then transfer them to the grill (or vice versa), douse them in sauce, and pretend it’s worth the time for the two bites of meat that are on each wing. I guess it’s no wonder that long after every other bit of chicken in my freezer is long gone, I still have a few bags of wings.  

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