Chicken Challenge!

Buying fresh ingredients can be tricky on a budget & chicken is no exception. If your weekly shop can stretch to buying a whole chicken you want value for money. Concerns raised recently regarding the quality & safety of fresh chickens in supermarkets has just added to this quandry!

In my mission to save money & get the most from our food I gave myself a challenge-to see how many meals/snacks I could make from one whole chicken! I started by buying my chicken from our local butcher. At £6 it seemed a lot but I checked the supermarket & found that it wasn't that much more expensive & just by the look & feel I could tell the quality was far superior!

So, chicken purchased it was time to start my challenge!

If you decide to do this start by roasting your chicken. Before you do though you need to weigh it. The general rule to stick to is 25 minutes per 500g plus 25 minutes extra & for oven temperatures 200C/180 Fan/Gas Mark 6. I keep seasoning simple, just smear the chicken with butter & season well with salt & pepper. Place in a roasing tin, cover with foil & you're ready to go! Keep the foil on for about 30-40 minutes then remove it to allow the chicken to brown nicely. Baste occaisonally with the juices.

To check that the chicken is cooked insert a skewer or tip of a knife into the breast (the thickest part). If the juices run clear then it's done, if they are still pink it needs a little longer in the oven. Once cooked remove from the oven & allow to cool. I place the chicken upside down on a wire rack over a plate, this allows the juices to run back through the chicken as it cools keeping it nice & moist!

Once it is completely cool you can remove all the meat. I literally pull it apart with my hands starting with the legs, very messy but satisfying! Put the meat in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid then into the fridge.

Now that you have all that lovely chicken what will you do with it? Here are some delicious ideas, I know there are more but see what you can come up with too!