If like me, you like your chicken, then it’s hard to turn down 3 whole chickens for £10 from Sainsburys. Their free range eggs are quite expensive though but a local butcher sells trays of 18 eggs for £2, so it was time to stock up.
90 minutes later and the three birds were portioned and bagged for freezing.
Out of 3 small chickens I got 1.4kg of meat, 800g off the bone and 600g on the bone. (I left the wings and legs on the bone for marinading, hot pot or pan frying dishes. The rest was cut into 200g portions with the ‘scrapings’ or tiny bits of meat totalling 200g on their own. Perfect for shredded dishes like stir fries or in the case of this evening, in a BFree wrap with home made salsa and crispy green veg and a red pepper.
While it’s 90 minutes out of one evening, I now have 9 portioned chicken meals for 2 people (or just me if I have a case of the munchies) for £10, which is pretty good.
The carcasses were added to a giant pot of water along with a few older carrots, a white onion, two sticks of celery and a big pinch of salt. After three hours of simmering, I had a thick healthy chicken stock, perfect for the basis to lots of dishes from kedgeree to just plain old chicken soup.
If you haven’t tried portioning a chicken before, it really is quite easy but a couple of tools are essential to make life easier. First is poultry shears and second is a chefs knife. This is typically a 12-14″ long knife with a wide blade. You can also use a meat cleaver. There are lots of instructions for preparing whole chickens online but the book I follow is Knife Skills by Marianne Lumb (see below). Essentially it’s a book on how to prepare loads of different foods in professional and stylish ways using a range of knives and knife skills but I would highly recommend it as good knife skills save you hours in the kitchen.