sharing recipes from one generation to the next
Before the days of cheap, tasteless, battery chicken breasts on styro foam trays, hens were yard reared, fattened on greens and grains, and when dispatched to the pot, they tasted like poultry. The best bet for city dwellers today is to look for certified organic chickens. Sure you pay more, but with a little time and effort two people can enjoy 5 generous meals from one bird.
My approach is to buy large, size 17-20 fresh whole chickens in pairs. I find doing allows greater versatility. I then freeze the packaged meat for later use.
PORTIONING TWO CHICKENS
WINGS: Put the wing tips into the stock pot. Collect the jointed wing sections in the freezer until there is enough to marinate and make a meal.
DRUMSTICKS: Marinate (try my Chinese Five Spice Chicken) then oven roast or BBQ. Alternatively strip the meal from the bone, add the bones to the stockpot and use the meat for a braise, curry, or pot pies
THIGHS: Remove the thigh meat from the bone. Add the bones to the stockpot. Four thighs will make a generous chicken curry, such as Kashmiri Chicken Biryani.
BREASTS: Remove the back strip and add it to the trimmings. Breast meat is infinitely flexible. Slice and stir fry, cut into two horizontally and crumbed as schnitzels, allow 1/2 large breast per person. Steamed breast meat is delicious added to Vietnamese coleslaw.
TRIMMINGS: By adding the back strip off the breast to the trimmings you will have approx 350g of lean meat, enough to add to a Chicken & Lime Risotto, or to mince and make meatballs or to make Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup. These trimmings are wonderful for making satay sticks too.
BONES: Make approx 6 litres of a rich stock. Use the stock to make meal sized bowls of pho or ramen, or to enrich risotto or a braise