For some reason, chicken thighs sick me out and I prefer my wings to be boneless (and covered in buffalo, teriyaki, or garlic parmesan sauce).
But I'm trying to break the cycle. Because the cycle makes absolutely no sense.
One of my most random goals for 2014 is to take a chicken from the "yard" to my plate. Just so I know how. And that I can. I have some friends who are going to help me make this happen (and they've been warned that I will for sure cry when I'm BUTCHERING the chicken), but until then, I am working on expanding what my idea of the "plate" looks like.
When my parents and grandmother came for our post-Christmas-Christmas weekend, they were willing test subjects. I cooked a.whole.chicken. (Granted, it came from the farmer's market already plucked and cleaned out, but still. I cooked an entire chicken. Not just the breasts. Not just tenderloins. The whole bird.)
It's been said that our friend Tabbitha makes the best chicken ever, so I asked her what to do. After I mentally prepared myself for something that should require no mental preparation and made sure I had plenty of soap in the sink dispenser, I got to work.
I preheated the oven to 350. I put things inside the CAVITY. Things like an entire stick of butter. And 1/4 of a chopped onion. And I rubbed that sucker down with olive oil and generously sprinkled it with Tony Cachere's Cajun seasoning, crushed red pepper, garlic salt, and ground black pepper. I poured some chicken stock into the pan with the bird, covered it with foil, and set the timer for an hour and a half. Every 30 minutes or so, I checked on it, scooped up some of the broth and poured it over the bird, and put it back in the oven. It wasn't done when the timer went off, so, per the advise of my mother, I upped the temp to 375 and put in back in, uncovered for thirty more minutes.
It was beautiful. Delicious. Tender. We liked it so much that I'll even go so far as to use a word that I hate to describe it. That bird was MOIST, ya'll. Moist.
The leftover meat will find its way into some recipe later this week and I'm going to give making chicken stock from the bones a go. Maybe mastering the "plate" part of the goal will carry me through the chicken killing part of it. Maybe. Right? Probably. Surely. I can totally do it. Totally. For sure. I've got this.