You don’t have the time to cook; and even if you do, you can only make one big meal. What then? You know that cooking at home is healthier, cheaper, more nutritious, and when you get better at it, heaps of fun! But the logistics of having to buy ingredients, and the cleanup after can be such a drag..
These recipes all come together in less than 30 minutes. Most only take about 20! The best part is that they use a lot of the same ingredients, but in creative ways that let you enjoy a variety without feeling like you are eating the same thing over and over again.
One chicken. 6 different meals. The ultimate prep recipe for lazy Sunday afternoons. Want to enjoy a Saturday Roast chicken dinner? Buy an extra chicken and pop them both into the oven. Enjoy one with your family, while the other one cools. By the time you are done with dinner, you can break down the extra one into its respective parts for amazingly tasty, healthy and nutritious meals throughout the week.
The best part? You won’t be eating the same food each time. Eating the exact same thing for lunch every day gets boring real quick. Today, I want to share how eating a wide variety of cuisines, and enjoying different textures and flavors can be easy and affordable.
When I was a college student, I used to buy whole chickens to break down into parts for various cooking purposes. If I was crunching down a project deadline, I’d buy a pre-roasted chicken instead for the same purpose. This started as a way for me to save money, as a whole chicken was much cheaper than buying 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Over time, as I got better at making use of the chicken parts, it evolved from just sandwiches into various dishes such as stir-fries with rice, noodles or even tacos and wraps!
The magic of this lies in keeping the base recipe simple – Nothing beats a fresh chicken simply seasoned well with Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil; well roasted with crisp skin.
Because the chicken flavor stays neutral, you can use the meat in a variety of endless recipes. Some may not even require further cooking! Cooked meat also stays safe for consumption longer than raw meat. So that means your chicken can keep for longer.
Also if you can, go for the larger bird. I used to buy smaller chickens as a student to save money, but a larger bird doesn’t cost that much more. Where I’m from, a small whole chicken costs $6.50, and cooking with that is stretching it pretty thin across these recipes. A larger bird costs $8.80, and I can easily make good-portioned sizes of all 6 recipes with that. More meat and more meals for you. Of course, if you are going light on the chicken, then you can always bulk up the recipes with more vegetables and carbs.
Today we start off with the basic Roast Chicken Recipe, and in the coming days, there will be more recipes to squeeze out every bit of goodness from your Roast Chicken.
Whole Roasted Chicken
- 1 Whole Chicken Innards and head removed (where applicable)
- 3 tbsp cooking oil Use a cooking oil with a high smoke point such as Extra Light Olive Oil, or Refined Soybean Oil
- 1 Whole Lemon Washed and skin pierced multiple times throughout
- 1 Bulb Garlic (Optional) Sliced in half and drizzled with olive oil
- salt & pepper To taste
Put a cast-iron or other heavy oven-safe skillet on the low rack of your oven, and set the oven to 450°F/230°C for approximately 10-15 minutes to preheat.
While the oven and pan are heating up, rub the whole chicken with olive oil, sprinkle it with salt and pepper to evenly coat. Ensure that the cavity is seasoned too. Insert lemon into cavity.
Once the oven and pan are hot, be prepared to work quickly – You will need to open the oven, pull the pan out, place the chicken breast side up into the pan, place the pan back into the oven and close the oven. If you are using garlic place that into the pan beside the chicken.
Roast, undisturbed, for 40 to 50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh registers 155-165°F (68-74°C), or the juices run clear.
Once cooked, transfer the bird to a platter and let it rest.
Pour the pan juices into a clear measuring cup, then pour or spoon off some of the fat. Remove the lemon from the chicken, halve it and squeeze the juice into the pan juices to create a refreshing lemon-chicken gravy.
Once chicken has cooled enough to handle, break it down into its respective parts – 2 Breasts, 2 Legs with Thighs, 2 Wings, and the Carcass.
Alternatively, serve chicken whole with sides for an easy, tasty meal.
- Inserting a lemon into the cavity will ensure the chicken doesn’t dry out (it also gives a little something extra to squeeze over later!).
- When testing the chicken, you could also tip the pan to let the juices from the bird's cavity flow into the pan (if they are red, cook for another 5 minutes, check and repeat process until juices run clear). My chicken was 1.6kg and took 45 minutes to cook through.
- Once cooked, remember to take the chicken off the pan, otherwise it will continue to cook
- If you had garlic roasting together, store the garlic separately for use in the other recipes as Roasted Garlic. It is a GREAT flavor booster.
Like this recipe? Stay tuned till tomorrow for Part 2, where I’ll be posting up a recipe for a Roasted Chicken Leg with Mash and Salad.
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