Last month, we started interviewing chefs for the new classes. As part of the chef interview, we asked the candidates to teach a cooking class to our rec staff. One of the candidates decided to teach on carving a chicken. I've never done this before and I never understood why a person would until this class. Not only is purchasing a whole chicken cheaper than just buying a pound of chicken breasts, but you get a ton more food. For each chicken purchased, two breasts, thighs, tenders, wings and legs can be carved out. In addition, the carcasses can be used to make homemade chicken stock.
If you're interested in learning how to cut up a whole raw chicken Pampered Chef has a great YouTube video detailing how to do this.
I'm off work this week, so I had a little extra time to do this. I'm not sure if it will always fit into my life, but purchasing a few chickens a month and spending a few hours carving and cooking stock might be worth the savings. This is one of those things that I could do to save if I was ever lucky enough to stay home full time with my kids.
Making your own stock is very easy. Just a few simple ingredients and a large stock pot ( I actually used my large pasta pot which made straining the vegetables easier) and you're done. Here is my chicken stock recipe...
2 chicken carcasses
4 small or 2 large onions
6-8 stalks of celery
4 peeled cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
herbs: oregano, parsley, thyme- add to taste ( i did a few Tbsp's of each)
salt and pepper
2 gallons of water
Quarter the onions and add to the pot. Roughly chop the carrots and celery into 2 inch pieces. You want your onions, celery and carrot ratio to be 50% onion and 25% carrot and celery. Add to stock pot.
Alton Brown recommends to bring to a boil for 2 minutes prior to using.