Up until recently I never purchased anything other than skinless chicken breasts. I’m not exactly sure what my issue was. Perhaps I just didn’t know what to do with a full bird? Perhaps I didn’t like all the bones?
And I must admit that the saggy chicken skin freaked me out!
Needless to say, I’ve changed. This past year of sailing around the Mediterranean has really taught me so many things. Learning what to do with a whole chicken is just one of them. If I only understood the value for money and ease of cooking a chicken I would have embraced full-bird-cooking years ago.
Perhaps this is common knowledge to you, but for me, my enlightenment about buying a whole chicken has not only brought tasty meals my way, it’s also been a massive time and money saver. Getting a whole chicken in the Med costs around 3 – 4 euros! And one chicken makes three amazing meals.
So this is what I do to make three meals from one whole chicken
Chicken meal number 1 – Roast Chicken
For the first meal, I roast the chicken (pictured above – I just now pulled it out of the oven). I do this by stuffing it with quartered lemon wedges and thyme (if I have lemons and/or thyme). I then rub the bird with butter and put Britican Galley Chicken Blend (link will open another window at my online store) over the top. I place the chicken over cut up carrots, onions, celery and garlic. I don’t peal or remove the skin on anything as I discard the veggies. They’re just there to make the gravy tastier.
It takes all of 5 minutes to prepare. I cook the chicken for 1 1/2 hours. The herbs and spices make the chicken so yummy. For the gravy I put the bottom goop through a strainer and then return it to the oven on low heat. I add some flour, water, stock cube, and white wine (I add wine to everything!) and stir until I’m happy with the thickness and that’s it.
Chicken meal number 2 – Chicken Salad
With 1/2 of the left over chicken meat I make a mayonnaise based chicken salad. I cut up the chicken, throw in some celery, cranberry raisons (Craisons), red onion, walnuts and sometimes a bit of apple. I season with a touch of the Britican Galley Chicken Blend (link will open another window at my online store) , salt and pepper and then serve in a croissant or over a bed of lettuce. The cranberry raisons really make this dish amazing.
If we’re going for a long sail I make this salad up and store it in the fridge. When lunchtime comes I can quickly whip it out and make a sandwich or add it to a bed of salad leaves. Anything to reduce having to be in the galley and sailing at the same time – yes, I still get seasick!
Chicken meal number 3 – Chicken Soup
With the chicken carcass I put it in a pot, cover it with boiling water and then simmer it for as long as I can. The longer the better. Cooking the carcass breaks down all the amazingly good nutrients in the bones. After it’s been cooking all day, or as long as possible, I put it through a strainer and then return the liquid to the pot.
I then add any left over chicken and then the carrots, celery, zucchini, onions, spinach and any other veggie I can find in the fridge. I season with a couple chicken stock cubes, salt and pepper and 1 TB of the Britican Galley Chicken Blend (link will open another window at my online store) and cook until the veggies are to my liking. Sometimes I add rice or pasta too!
Usually I cook my whole chicken meals when we’re moored up in a marina and I have access to electricity from the jetty. Our oven runs off our generator and I wouldn’t want to run the generator for an hours – it’s annoying. As I write this we’re moored up in a marina in Sicily. It’s stormy, cold and damp. I couldn’t imagine anything better than roast chicken, chicken salad and chicken soup!
So that’s how I do my three meals from one whole chicken
It also lists all the herbs and spices in the Britican Galley Chicken Blend if you want to create the tasty mixture yourself: