I got two whole fresh chickens from a local farmer today. This is a farmer I get eggs from who has just started keeping chickens this past year. I’ll be visiting in a few weeks and will post some pictures and an introduction soon. For now I’ll show you what to do when you get your hands on a whole fresh chicken. I usually buy organic/pastured whole chickens already frozen, so I have never done this before.
Michael from Nutrition and Physical Regeneration sent me a link this great video showing exactly how to cut a whole chicken into all the pieces. Cutting up chicken on YouTube. It’s not a long video, only 5 minutes to cut everything up. My first chicken I took longer, but the second one was easy to cut up in about that length of time. I started with everything laid out and my knife freshly sharpened (yes there’s a cutting board somewhere under that 8lbs beast – I need a bigger cutting board).
Following the instructional video, I got both chickens cut up quite nicely. In fact the pieces really did look like the pieces you buy in the grocery store. I put the chicken parts in a bowl temporarily and the carcass, wing tips, or any bones/joints that fell off into the slow cooker.
I packaged up the pieces into large freezer bags. I put 2 breasts in one bag for a larger meal, 2 of them in individual bags for smaller meals, and the breast fillets into a small bag to be used in stir-fries. I packed the drumsticks and thighs each in a bag of 4 pieces. The wings I set out to make immediately. I ended up freezing everything but the wings and drumsticks.
The wings I rubbed with paprika, garlic, and pepper and baked at 400F for 40 minutes (they were very large wings, so for smaller ones reduce time). I removed them, poured BBQ sauce over them and returned them for 7 minutes. They were so delicious!!!
I actually ended up freezing one carcass in a large freezer bag for later. My freezer is pretty stocked with stock right now (ha!) and I wanted to try saving the bones for later. I did put one carcass into the slow cooker with about 2 liters of water to simmer overnight.
I will be doing this again when I get more fresh chickens. It’s certainly a frugal way to buy and prepare chicken, because you can use the carcass for good broth while getting all the fresh chicken parts for meals. Nothing went to waste here and it only took a few minutes.