Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chicken - It's what's for dinner

We raise our own chickens, both for eggs and for meat.

We get chicks in the springtime and we butcher chickens in the summer or fall.

And we eat a lot of chicken.

Our chickens are big.

This seven pounder is average.

Compare that to the chickens in Switzerland:

In Switzerland they apparently butcher fuzzy little chicklets.

Notice how it fits into the palm of my hand.

Notice how our chicken in the picture above that is straining my wrist with its weight.

It was quite a shock to me when I first saw the "whole chickens" of Switzerland.
It took four of them for a meal.

I can easily get four meals out of one of our chickens when I'm feeling creative.

I have my own method for cutting up my dinosaur chickens and I thought I'd share it.

First I cut the thighs and legs from the body. Then I separate the breast bone from the back bone. Since no one around here really eats the wings (people here are spoiled with premium parts) I leave the wings with the back and put that section in a pot of water for chicken stock.

I have options with the breast meat and one is to cut all the meat off the bone to use for a meal like Chicken Parmigiana or breaded chicken tenders, or stuffed chicken breasts.

Another option is to cut the breast meat into individual pieces. I start by splitting the breast bone down the center.

Then I cut those giant parts into six serving size pieces.

When we have company for dinner, as we did last weekend, chicken is usually on the menu. I have an easy marinade that is my go-to recipe when company's-a-comin'.

It's from one of my favorite cook books, Joy of Cooking.

Here's my copy:

Yeah. I laid it open on the stove.
Then I lit the flame on the burner! Brilliant!

Here's my favorite recipe for an easy and delicious

Lemon Garlic Chicken marinade.

(If you have your own unscorched copy of Joy of Cooking, the recipe is on page 584)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Place the chicken parts in a shallow pan and pour the marinade over. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or up to overnight.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes until the chicken is browned and the meat is done through. Savor the aroma of garlic that fills the house...

I regret to inform you that I neglected to take a picture of the finished dish. In my zeal to get the food on the table for the ten people pounding their utensils, I forgot to record the results. But believe me, the chicken looked appetizing and it didn't last for long. I guarantee the same results for you!


  1. Thanks for the comment. And thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll have to look it up. My mom gave me that book. I'm debating on whether or not to pass it along to my daughter. Her husband cooks so I'm thinking I might keep it...

    Your godzilla chickens are HUGE. My mama always talks about when she was a little girl and her Aunt Etha's chickens would feed the whole family. That's a lot of chicken.

  2. Mmmm... that looks SO yummy. Er... I mean it would... after it's cooked.

    To Southern Gal-- Did I read you right? Did you say something about thinking of not keeping your copy of Joy of Cooking?!?!! That is simply not an option, believe you me. That is the best cookbook ever written. If you cook, it's a classic. If you don't cook, it will teach you how.

  3. If the pictures hadn't been there for the first part...well.... Lets just say that would have sounded very messed up.


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