Whole chickens are always a great deal. You get a ton of usable parts, and they're usually pretty dang cheap. My store had them on sale for .77 a pound last week, so I grabbed two. I like to roast two at a time – twice the meat for half the energy bill.
Note from Savanah: This is an older contributor post, so prices have changed but the idea is still very valuable! Sadly, with 2 teenagers & 2 preteens, I cannot stretch 2 chickens quite this far. I still love making a whole chicken vs buying BLSL chicken breasts though!
This is the recipe I use “Roast Sticky Rotisserie Chicken” (I don't know what it's called that, it's not the least bit sticky) and it's a family favorite. I pretty much follow the recipe exactly, but don't add the cayenne, my son is not a fan of spicy. You can add a little chili powder instead – gives a little spice, but not any heat.
I defrost the birds in the fridge overnight, and clean, dry, stuff, and season them first thing in the morning, wrap them in foil and let them sit in the fridge till it's time to cook, usually around 1 pm – that gets them done around 6.
In the winter, I'm happy to have the oven on that long, cuts down my heating bill, but in the summer, I bust out my big electric roaster, set it outside, and plug it in. The yard is already hot as heck, another 250 won't hurt anything, right?
We'll just have roast bird with buttered garlic rice and pan seared veggies for supper tonight, and there will be a ton of leftover meat.
Here's how our week will go, to use up the last of the chicken:
Recipes Using Whole Chicken:
Tuesday: Roast Sticky Rotisserie Chicken, garlic buttered rice, pan seared veggie
Wednesday: Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps (I'll add some leftover rice to the mix so it's an all-in-one meal)
Thursday: Chicken Empanadas, beans, salad
Friday: Curry Chicken Wraps, fruit
Saturday: Chicken tortilla soup
By Saturday, I'm sure we will be sick of chicken, so I'll freeze the leftover meat and make chicken stock by simmering the carcass for hours and then freeze the stock in ice cube trays.
So let's do some math. The birds were 4.77 and 5.03 each. That's $9.80, and I've got 5 dinners, 5 lunches, at least a gallon of stock, and a little extra meat for the freezer out of it. For my family of 5, that works out to about 48 plates of food.
Yes, it's more work than boneless skinless chicken breasts, but 1 bag of those costs $9.50, and I get THREE meals out of them, with no leftovers.
Tomorrow, I'll post a bonus recipe – if you want something different to try with your chicken.. Spicy Chicken Salad!