Main Dish

Roasting Chicken – Make Ahead Meals Continue

Several years ago, while at a craft fair my mother-in-law exhibited in, I found a ceramic chicken roasting stand.  Just a simple funnel looking thing.  And funny looking – especially with a bird sitting on it!  I’d never seen anything like it before and decided to give it a try.  I loved the ease of preparation and we really enjoyed the way the chicken turned out.  The skin is crispy and a lovely golden color.  The meat is tasty and then the drippings can be used over the meat, rice, potatoes, or frozen to add to chicken stock ingredients later.  I’ve used it countless times since then and love having extra meat in the freezer for other meals.  I thought this would be a good time to showcase this roaster as cooler weather 100_6010approaches and it’s nice to have the oven helping heat the house.

When I use this roaster we typically have a meal of roasted meat first.  I’ll cut off the thighs and legs and slice the breast meat off the bone.  Add whatever sides, including plenty of salad or vegetables and perhaps some rice.  After dinner I’ll completely debone the remaining chicken and divide the meat into whatever portions I’ll need and then put everything else into a freezer bag for preparing stock at a later time.  That includes any bones, skin, everything.

Having chopped, cooked chicken in the freezer is a wonderful feeling, especially if you don’t like facing the evening with nothing in mind to prepare for dinner.  Even with no children at home I like to have at least an idea of something that can made into dinner.  In the fall/winter my favorite things to do with leftover meat are chicken soup and chicken and dumplings.  In the summer having chicken ready for wraps or sandwiches is a great option.  Here are several other ideas:  chicken avocado dagwoods, chicken/ black bean burritos, chicken curry, chicken salad, chicken salad with rice, chicken tacos or nachos, white chicken chili, and chicken stir fry (add chicken last as it is already cooked).  I’m sure there are many more ideas.  Now of course I can’t make all of these meals with one chicken but I’m just giving you some choices!  Also, if your family is large or you have teenaged boys in the house you might want to start with 2 chickens just to have someRoasted Chicken 2 leftovers to work with!

The method I use for roasting chicken is the one given in the instructions of the one I purchased from Thorpe Pottery.  This weekend I purchased a Rosie’s organic chicken from Sprouts.  Now it was fairly pricy but I tallied up all the individual servings I could get from that one chicken.  I put it conservatively at fifteen!  And that doesn’t include the chicken stock I’ll make with the carcass.  Keep in mind that is NOT 15 meals but 15 servings!  So my cost per main dish serving will be under one dollar.  Not bad.  And I know it’s a chicken that hasn’t been exposed to a bunch of chemicals, nor has it been fed GMO feed.  So back to the method!  Rinse the chicken with cold water.  Pat dry.  Sprinkle the cavity with good quality salt.  Place the roaster in a dish such as a casserole, 9 x 13, or deep dish ceramic pie pan.  Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan.  Lower the middle rack down one notch.  Roast at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours.  More or less depending on the size of the bird.  Mine was 5 pounds so I let it go closer to 2 hours.  When the skin is a deep golden brown and the legs joint is very loose it is done.  Carefully remove the chicken from the oven to keep from spilling hot juices.  Let the chicken sit for about 10 minutes and then carefully take the chicken off the roaster and lay onto serving dish.  Place hot roaster into hot soapy water.  (It will clean much easier this way.)

So enjoy roasted chicken soon and then enjoy making some meals that you can grab the precooked chicken from the freezer and toss together!

Roasted Chicken
Author: Let’s Eat
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 5 mins
  • 1 Whole chicken, rinsed with cold water, dried with a paper towel, and salted in the cavity
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt such as Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt
  1. Place the roaster in pan.
  2. Place the prepared chicken on the roasting stand.
  3. Add water to the pan.
  4. Place on rack in oven that has been lowered one notch from the middle.
  5. Roast 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  6. Use drippings to drizzle over potatoes or rice, or cool and freeze to add to stock ingredients.


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