When it comes to eating healthier, home-cooked meals are always the better option than takeout or frozen foods. Cooking at home not only makes it easy to control exactly what goes into your meal, but it also helps you save money over time. If you’re looking for a new way to bring chicken into your diet, cooking a whole chicken is an easy way to do that and add more protein to your meals. Cooking a whole chicken is much easier than you think, and once you know how to do it, you’ll want to make it again and again. Read on for everything you need to know about how to cook a whole chicken. From prep tips and techniques to different recipes, we’ve covered all the ins and outs of this fantastic fowl.
Why you should be cooking whole chickens
A whole roasted chicken is the ultimate example of a meal that can satisfy both sides of the table. Want to feed your child vegetables? Sneak them into the roasted chicken! Need to feed your significant other a healthy meal, but they’re not a fan of vegetables? You can add them to the chicken or make a side dish with them! All kidding aside, one of the best reasons to cook whole chickens is the low cost. Buying a whole chicken often costs less than buying chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks individually. And that’s not including the fact that with a whole chicken, you can make anything from soups and stews to casseroles and sandwiches. You can also easily stretch a whole chicken into multiple meals for your family. If you have leftovers, you can use them to create new dishes, like salads, sandwiches, casseroles, or even soup.
How to pick the right chicken to cook
When you’re picking out a chicken to roast whole, there are a few things to look for in terms of a good quality piece of meat. You want to make sure the chicken is fresh and not expired, and that the packaging isn’t torn or discolored. If there’s liquid in the package, it should be clear, which means the chicken hasn’t been sitting around too long. The best way to tell if a chicken is fresh is to look at the fat on the skin. Fresh chicken will have a yellow fat, while chicken that has been sitting around for a while will have a white fat. If you want to go a step further, go to the butcher and ask them to cut the chicken for you. This will ensure that the chicken is cut to the right size for you to roast it whole.
Step by step: How to roast a chicken
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Season the chicken inside and out with your desired spices. If you’re cooking with vegetables, add them to the roasting pan before putting the chicken in the oven. Place the chicken on a roasting rack, preferably inside a roasting pan, and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, check the chicken with a meat thermometer and make sure it’s cooked throughout. If the chicken isn’t done, put it back in the oven and check it every 10 minutes until it reads 165°F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, the best way to check if the chicken is done is to use a fork and see if the meat is tender.
How to grill a chicken
Grilling a chicken is a fantastic option if you want to get some smoky flavor into your meal. This is also a great option if you want to cook outside and don’t have a place to put a roasting pan indoors. Once the grill is heated, place the chicken over the flame and grill it for about 30-40 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Just like with a roasted chicken, you can use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is cooked throughout and tender.
If you’re looking for a new way to bring chicken into your diet, cooking a whole chicken is an easy way to do that and add more protein to your meals. Cooking a whole chicken is much easier than you think, and once you know how to do it, you’ll want to make it again and again. When you’re picking out a chicken to roast whole, there are a few things to look for in terms of a good quality piece of meat. Once you’ve picked out your chicken, preheat your oven to 400°F and place it on a roasting rack. Put the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes, and then check the progress every 10 minutes until it’s done. Whole chickens are the ultimate example of a meal that can satisfy both sides of the table. And they are also the best way to bring more protein into your diet with minimum effort.