Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Taste of Home: A Tale of A Chicken

I cooked a whole chicken. This is big (although the chicken was small) because I have never cooked a whole chicken before. I HATE touching raw meat, and a whole chicken is a whole lot of raw meat.

Now on with our story.....

I had this great (but apparently not properly thought out) idea to buy a whole chicken bake it in the slow cooker for lunch on Sunday, use the carcass for making chicken stock and then use the chicken stock on Monday and left over chicken to make chicken and dumplings soup during the week. Great idea, my favourite supermarket sells ready to cook whole chicken, I wouldn't have to do anything but put the chicken in the slow cooker. Except it didn't happen quite like that, I don't know if I got there too early but there was no ready to cook chickens available only the you still have to prep and season it kinds, the ones that require lots and lots of touching.

Although I think I barely survived, I powered through and touched and took things out of the chicken that I am not supposed to know about. I got a small chicken to minimize the trauma, plus I am just cooking for two, my sister and myself., but I wish now I had braved a larger one. I was up close to midnight scrubbing that sink after it's raw chicken trauma.

 After I skinned him he looked like he was wearing socks cause I couldn't get that part.

 Ready to spend the night in the refrigerator

Sunday just before I left for mass I put that little trouble maker in the slow cooker on low, just the chicken, I could have added some onions but I didn't have any.

When I got home such a beautiful aroma, the kitchen smelled great. I could tell you about my other meal prep but this story is about the chicken so I'll skip lunch when I took him out of the slow cooker. Falling off the bone, juicy and delicious.

Served with rice, peas, potato salad and cucumbers for Sunday lunch.

Sunday night added some more seasoning, carrots, water and the carcass to the dripping in the crockpot for some overnight chicken stock, again I could have added an onion but didn't have. Forgot to take a picture but that carcass wasn't very pretty. Left it there all night and part of the morning since time wasn't up by the time I left for Mass, my crockpot switches automatically to the keep warm function so I was worried.

When I got home I was greeted by a very homey aroma, not great since I hadn't had breakfast yet and it just made me hungrier. After straining  I got about 13 cups of stock.
 straining the stock

 the stock portioned out

On Thursday I made the soup with some of the stock. I love kneading dough so this was a simple soup to make, add the veges, dice the leftover cooked chicken, pour in the stock, season to taste bring to a boil and the dumplings.
 the ingredients for the dumplings

 all those great veges

 the dumplings floating to the top

 my serving

So tasty.

I only have one cup of stock left. Beside what I used in the soup, I used some to make spinach rice, replace water with the stock and it was super flavourful.