There is something about the smell of a roast chicken filling your home that screams comfort. However, when you live alone or with only one other roommate, using all of the chicken becomes a feat of epic proportions. For the sake of not wasting food, this month not only provides an excellent recipe for roast chicken that can be done in the oven or slow cooker, but also covers instructions on how to use up your leftovers to make other meals.
First, let’s address the elephant, or rather the chicken, in the room. Making a whole chicken does not have to be intimidating or complicated. Simplicity is key. So dive in and make yourself a delicious meal that will provide you with enough leftovers for a couple of lunches and stock that you can freeze for other recipes or make soup later.
Ingredients for roast chicken
1 whole chicken (around five pounds)
1 head of garlic
1 small onion of your choosing
1/4 cup butter
Directions for the roast chicken
Make sure the chicken is clean on the inside. Sometimes it comes with the neck or other organs stuffed in a bag inside the chicken for those that make stuffing. You won’t need any of the organs for this recipe, but you can keep the neck to add to the stock with the bones for flavour.
Slice onion and peel and roughly chop garlic.
Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper and then stuff it with all the onion and garlic. This is very important, because not seasoning the inside is why so many roast chickens lack in flavour.
Season the outside of the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika to your liking. I love garlic. I use it like I’m desperately trying to keep vampires away. But, if you don’t feel the same, sprinkle less. Make sure you season under the folds of the wings and legs, as well as both the top and bottom of the chicken.
Place half the butter in a roasting pan or the slow cooker, depending on which way you choose to go.
Place chicken on top of the butter and place the other half of the butter on top of the chicken.
If you choose the slow-cooker method, I suggest four hours on high or eight on low.
If you take the oven route, set your oven to 385F and cook until a meat thermometer reads a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the chicken is cooked, serve with your favourite side.
Ingredients for the chicken sandwich
Your favourite bread (could be sandwich bread, or you can go wild and get a fresh french baguette)
Lettuce of your choosing
Red onion slice
Sliced havarti cheese
Salt and pepper
Directions for chicken sandwiches
Take your chosen bread and spread mayo on one side and olive tapenade on the other.
Add chicken and season with a little salt and pepper.
Add a slice of cheese followed by mustard and lettuce and a slice of tomato and onion.
If you are using fresh baguette for your sand wich, you can take it up a notch by lightly grilling the bread on a pan or grill with a little butter and garlic and omitting the mayo.
You can thank me later!
Ingredients for stock
3 carrots (roughly chopped)
1 leek (roughly chopped)
1 onion (roughly chopped)
2 stalks of celery
1 head of garlic
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
5 sprigs of fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
Chicken bones (from the roast chicken)
Directions for stock
You can, of course, make stocks the old-fash ioned way in a huge pot. But, if that is too much work, this will blow your mind, and you may never again purchase store-bought stock again. You can make stock in your slow cooker.
Separate any leftover meat from the bones and save it for more sandwiches or freeze it to make soup at a later time.
In the slow cooker add the bones, carrots, leeks, onion, celery, garlic, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and pepper.
Fill with water and cook for 10 hours on a low setting.
Strain stock into freezer-safe containers and freeze for use at a later date.
This may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. In the time it takes to put away your leftovers, you can quickly fill the slow-cooker for the stock instead. It can also all be done at one time. Try having a Sunday roast chicken, making sandwiches for Monday and stock to cook while you sleep. There is very little waste, several meals, and healthy home-cooked food. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment. Rules in the kitchen were made to be broken. Add some extra vegetables to the stock or change up the sandwich. The recipe police won’t come after you, I promise.