The 5 o'clock Quandary Cure

I know you are more organized than I am. You probably have a real routine and always pick up your wet towel off the bathroom floor. Despite being a Virgo and a lover of Lists I still have afternoons that fly by and my personal chef never materializes to make supper.

Sometimes there’s a frozen gluten-free pizza in the back of the freezer, but sometimes there’s just eggs, ketchup, and a few odd sauces left in the fridge. We don’t live in an area where there’s meal delivery services and even if there were I don’t think it’s healthy to do a ton of take-out.

There’s often the question from my tween “Co-op sandwiches?” No! I try to limit factory-farmed meat in our diet and can’t stomach spending $9 bucks on a sandwich.

I've got the solution for the 5pm "What are we having for supper?” It won’t take buying a fancy device (unless you want to), it’s economical, and it’s delicious.

Buy 5 whole chickens. Put one in your fridge and the rest in your freezer. Yes. You can fit four chickens in a regular sized freezer. They’ll last for a year, but why not use them in one month? Chicken is SO versatile. The trick that I have up my sleeve is that I always have a supply of whole chickens in the freezer. I put aside one for each week of the year!

What is a “whole” chicken? For those of us who grew up in the 90’s it’s exactly what a rotisserie chicken looks like. The best thing about whole chickens is that they are extremely forgiving of overcooking. There’s almost always leftovers. The bones can be thrown in a pot of water for soup.

Here’s the biggest misconceptions with whole chickens:

What if it’s 4:40 pm and I haven’t defrosted it?

I put the whole chicken and packaging in a big pot. Then I put it in my sink and run warm water over it for a few minutes. Then let it thaw in the water. I take my shower, turn on the oven, chop some veggies, empty the dishwasher, clear off the dining room table. Then that chicken is ready to go.

Eeekk! What do I do with the baggie of heart, neck, liver?

First know they are cleaned really well. In almost all cultures they are prized. They were here in the US too until our industrial food system told us otherwise. They are labor intensive for the abbatoir to prepare. If you have a cat or dog they often love them raw. You can save the necks for soup, or you can throw them away. Just don’t cook the plastic bag with your chicken!

What’s the RIGHT way to cook a whole chicken?

I’ve done them low and slow, on 450 degrees, on the grill, with a slow and pressure cooker. Basically chicken is really versatile and very forgiving. The only thing you should always do is to cook it until the juices run clear. I tend to over-cook our chickens ever so slightly because I like that taste.

Sunday Night Chicken transformed into 4 Meals:

  • Thawed Whole Chicken

  • Sprinkle with Sea Salt and Pepper

  • Roast on 450 F for 30 minutes

  • Lower heat 375 F for 20 minutes

  • Serve with mashed taters, pickles, and maple butter carrots

  • After Supper pick all the meat off the bones. Save bones and skin in freezer for soup. Put leftover chicken pieces in fridge.

  • Monday Night Chicken Tacos

  • Tuesday Night Pesto Noodles, Veggies, and Chicken

  • Wednesday Egg Drop Soup with Cheese Toasts

Ready to come pick up your whole chickens? Give us a shout. Our chickens are raised the old-fashioned way with no short cuts.