So…I was lucky enough to receive a “happy” chicken from my boyfriends mother that had been raised with a few other chickens at her farmhouse. I was a vegetarian for almost five years because quite honestly eating meat gave me the heebie jeebies. I have since opened up to the idea of eating meat IF I know right where it came from, and that it had a healthy and enjoyable life before it was killed. Hence, the happy chicken. But, I have no idea how to cook, well I guess I should say roast? a whole chicken. LIterally, I have no idea, I had to google how to know which way was the right way up. So here is the simplest way to pan roast a whole chicken.
After googling which way was the breast pointing up ward (which is…well with the legs on top and wings pointing down, as shown), I placed it in a 9×13 pan and added about a half inch of water.
Next I rubbed down the chicken boobs with some salt and black pepper, and cut up about 2 tablespoons of butter and spread out the small pats around the top of the chicken, then I popped it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 3 hours. (30 minutes per pound of chicken)
Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165 degrees, before you take it out of the oven!
Here is my cooked chicken! The liquid, fat, and gelatin in the pan I will use in recipes later this week! So be on the look out for those! I ate the chicken with a little lemon juice and some corn, there are endless possibilities!
Shopping in the grocery store can get pretty confusing with all of the different labels and descriptive words that are often on the packages of chicken. I did a little research about what each of these labels means and hope this helps sort out some of the confusion.
What is the difference between Free range, Cage Free, and Organic…and which one do I want to buy?!
The term free range, or free roaming has little governmental regulation behind it. USDA regulations state, “Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.” While some poultry produces are truly free-range, this could mean the chicken is raised in a coop and only allowed outside for a small portion of its life. Also, just because the chicken has been allowed access to the open air does not mean that the animal has actually been outside, they may remain inside the coop for their whole life.
There is no government regulation on this term. Cage free means that the hens are not kept in battery cages. They are usually still kept in large, cramped warehouses, and not are not allowed access to the outdoors.
Unfortunately, raising chickens as “free-range” or “cage free” does not usually mean they are kept in much better conditions than factory farmed chickens. And this labeled meat in the grocery store will cost much more. The best thing to do is research where your grocery store is receiving its meat, and to check if these areas are truly practicing what they say they are.
Organically produced meat carries the U.S. Department of Agriculture organic label and certifies that the animal was not given any antibiotics or hormones and was only fed organic grain. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides. However, it does not mean that no pesticides are used, the animal was allowed to roam outside, or that it has not been kept inside a coop for its entire life.