Embrace the Potential: Whole Chicken Meal Planning for All Skill Levels
In this extraordinary collaboration, we embark on a journey into the world of whole chicken meal planning, discovering the remarkable versatility it offers in the kitchen. Whether you're an experienced home cook or just starting your culinary journey, our guide is designed to inspire and empower you to make the most of this humble yet extraordinary ingredient.
Expert Guidance from Monica Lo: Mastering Handling and Preparation
Renowned expert Monica Lo takes center stage, sharing invaluable tips and tricks for handling and preparing whole chicken. From selecting the perfect bird to breaking it down with precision, her guidance effortlessly navigates you through the process, ensuring you have the knowledge and skills to make the most of your whole chicken meal planning.
Beyond Preparation: The Art of Meal Prepping
This blog goes beyond mere chicken preparation and delves into the art of meal prepping. It's about more than just savoring each bite of your whole chicken recipe; it's about optimizing every ingredient and maximizing your time and budget in the kitchen. Explore practical strategies for incorporating versatile and cost-effective ingredients like whole chicken into your weekly meal plans, allowing you to create budget-friendly meal options and make the most of your resources.
Multiple Meals, Maximum Savings: Unlocking the Potential
Discover the magic of creating multiple meals from a single chicken. With clever planning and utilization, you'll unlock the potential for time and budget optimization in the kitchen. Explore the countless possibilities that whole chicken meal planning offers, enabling you to enjoy delicious, budget-friendly meals while minimizing waste and maximizing savings.
Expert Tips and Innovative Ideas: Optimizing Time and Budget
Unlock the boundless potential of whole chicken meal planning as you embrace the versatility of cost-effective ingredients. Explore a plethora of budget-friendly meal options that allow you to create multiple dishes from a single chicken. With expert guidance and innovative ideas, you'll master the art of meal prepping and optimize your time and budget in the kitchen, making the most of every ingredient and every dollar.
When it comes to meal planning, few ingredients are as versatile and cost-effective as a whole chicken. This humble bird can provide a multitude of delicious meals, making it an ideal choice for those looking to optimize their time and budget in the kitchen. With a single 5 lb chicken (approximately $7.50,) I was able to create 5 different meals totaling up to 10 servings.
Let’s explore the ins and outs of meal planning with whole chicken, complete with tips, flavorful recipes, and endless possibilities! First, I break down the chicken and seal by dark meat and white meat using the Avid Armor Ultra Series USV20 Chamber Vacuum Sealer. Avid Armor’s pre-cut vacuum sealer bags are long-term freezer-safe, cook-safe (microwave, boil, simmer and sous vide), BPA-free, and use FDA-approved food-safe material.
Batch sous vide whole chicken
After butchering and sealing the chicken with a sprinkle of salt and a pat of cannabis-infused butter, I batch sous vide the dark meat and white meat at 149ºF (65ºC) for 2 hours. After 2 hours, I drop the bags into an ice bath to stop the cooking and refrigerate until it’s time to use. Let’s also take a moment to appreciate just how tender and juicy sous vide chicken breast is. It really is the only way I will enjoy white meat.
Impossibly tender and juicy chicken breast
Chicken Pho Stock
Don’t throw away the carcass! Use it to make a basic chicken bone broth. You can use the broth in various recipes throughout the week like risotto, congee, marinades, stews or gravy. This week, I really craved comfort food so I made a chicken pho broth.
Chicken Pho Broth
• 1 large white onion, cut in half
• 1 piece fresh ginger, approximately 25g, sliced
• 2 Tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
• 2 small cinnamon sticks
• 4 star anise pods
• 1 tsp black peppercorn
• 1 whole chicken carcass, with skin
• 16 cups water
• 2 Tbsp sugar
• 2 tsp MSG
• Salt to taste
1. In a cast iron skillet, brown onion and ginger over high heat, about 5-10 minutes.
2. In a large stock pot, add all ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer for an hour.
3. Salt to taste.
Homemade Chicken Pho (Pho Ga)
To assemble the chicken pho, you can shred up some sous vide chicken thigh or chicken breast and warm it in the broth. Serve it with rice noodles, sliced jalapeños, and a handful of fresh herbs like Thai basil and cilantro.
Congee is my ultimate go-to when I am in need of some comfort. It’s great when you’re under the weather or for a tummy-warming breakfast. I like to shred juicy chicken thighs and add scallions, cilantro, and crispy fried shallots to my congee.
Simple Chicken Congee
• 1 cup leftover long-grain or jasmine rice
• 2 cups chicken broth
• Salt to taste
• 1/2 chicken thigh, shredded
• Scallions, to garnish
• Cilantro, to garnish
• Fried shallots, to garnish
• 1/2 tsp cannabis-infused sesame oil, optional
• 1/2 tsp cannabis-infused chili oil, optional
1. Add rice and chicken stock into a heavy-bottom pot. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low. Using a hand blender, give the rice a blitz until some of the grains are broken. Alternatively, you can use the back of a large spoon to give the softened rice a mash.
2. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until it reaches your desired consistency. I like mine thick and chunky. Season to taste.
Taiwanese fried chicken
Taiwanese fried chicken is something that I crave every so often especially once the weekend rolls around. Taiwanese fried chicken uses coarse sweet potato starch in the coating, adding a unique touch that enhances the crunchiness to a whole new level! Topped with fried basil and the optional cannabis leaves, it’s a symphony of flavors and textures.
Sous Weed Taiwanese Fried Chicken
Sous Vide Chicken Ingredients:
• 2 whole chicken wings
• 2 drumsticks
• 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
• 1 Tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
• 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
• 1/4 tsp five-spice powder
• 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 Tbsp cannabis-infused butter
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup water
• 2 Tbsp cornstarch
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
• Basil leaves, washed and dried
• Fresh cannabis leaves, washed and dried
• Canola oil
• 1 cup coarse sweet potato starch
• Salt, to taste
• White pepper powder, to taste
1. In a vacuum seal bag, add all sous vide chicken ingredients. Vacuum seal. Sous vide at 149ºF (65ºC) for 2 hours. After 2 hours, drop the bags into an ice bath to stop the cooking and refrigerate until it’s time to use.
2. Combine the flour, water, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and white pepper in a medium bowl. Open the bag of sous vide chicken and pour everything into the bowl, including the liquid. Mix well until the chicken is coated.
3. Add canola oil to a medium saucepan, about 2-3 inches, and bring it to 350°F (175°C) over medium heat. Fry the basil and cannabis leaves until they turn crisp and dark green. Gently strain and set aside on a paper towel.
4. One by one, coat a piece of battered chicken in the coarse sweet potato starch and gently lower it into the oil. Fry for 1 minute. Remove the chicken from the oil, and set aside on a cooling rack. Continue frying subsequent pieces of chicken, for 1 minute for each.
5. After a rest on the cooling rack, it’s time for the second fry for extra crispy skin. This time fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Place back on cooling rack and sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Serve with crispy herbs.
Storing leftover chicken properly is essential to maintain its quality and ensure food safety.
Here's a simple guide on how to store any leftover chicken:
1. Allow the chicken to cool: Before storing, let the leftover chicken cool down to room temperature. Avoid leaving it at room temperature for more than two hours to prevent bacterial growth.
2. Separate into portions: If you have a large amount of leftover chicken, consider portioning it into smaller servings. This makes it easier to store and reheat only the amount you need, minimizing waste.
3. Use airtight containers: Transfer the leftover chicken to airtight containers or vacuum sealed bags.
4. Refrigerate promptly: Place the sealed containers or vacuum sealed bags in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Ideally, refrigerate within two hours of cooking.
5. Label and date: It's helpful to label the sealed bags with the contents and the date of storage. This ensures you can easily identify and use the leftovers within a safe timeframe.
6. Store properly: Store the leftover chicken in the refrigerator for up to three to four days. If you plan to use it beyond that, consider freezing it for longer-term storage.
7. Freezing (optional): To freeze leftover chicken, ensure it is vacuum sealed, to prevent freezer burn and lock in freshness.
8. Thawing and reheating: When you're ready to use the leftover chicken, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave. The chicken can be defrosted directly in the vacuum sealed bag as long as a venting slot has been cut.
By following these guidelines, you can store leftover chicken safely and enjoy it in future meals while minimizing food waste.
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