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What Can You Do with a Whole Chicken?

| October 4, 2013 | 10 Comments


So you have a whole chicken to cook and are not sure what to do with it…

I found myself in this situation earlier this week. We had a couple of whole chickens in the freezer and it was my job to figure out how to cook them. I came across a couple of delish (and pretty simple) dishes that are sure to please! I will share the recipes with you, but first I will address the job of cutting up a chicken.

I have to admit that I saw cutting up a whole chicken as a pretty scary job—one that I might leave to Papa. However, I figured it couldn’t be that difficult and was a skill I should learn. Google is a beautiful thing! You can learn how to do almost anything by performing a simple Google search. My hubby was able to find a video on how to dress a deer that he shot last year.

I came across a great video on You Tube, uploaded by Gourmet Magazine. Here is the link:

The magazine’s food editor, Ian Knauer, takes you through a 4 min video that demonstrates how to simply cut a whole chicken. He also points out that a whole chicken contains guidelines that you can follow to make cutting up the chicken easier. Before you start, you need the following tools: a sharp knife, cutting board and kitchen scissors. I found it handy to have these items at hand so you are not running around looking for them with chicken juice on your hands!

I often pull my weekly meals from some favorite cookbooks. The first book is from Chef Michael Smith.

The recipe I took from his book, ‘The Best of Chef at Home’, was Classic Chicken Stew.


This was a yummy dish, along the lines of Chicken A La King. My only recommendation would be to use boneless chicken breasts or thighs as dealing with the bones and skin was a bit tricky.

The next dish, involving cutting up a whole chicken, I took from a new favorite cookbook written by Deb Perelman titled,  ‘The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook’.

Deb Perelman’s recipe, Harvest Roast Chicken with Grapes, Olives and Rosemary, is an easy recipe that is sure to impress (good recipe to pull out when important folks come to dinner!).


Once you have the hang of cutting up a whole chicken, this recipe is easy and impressive! It has made its way to our regular rota of recipes. The interesting combination of grapes and olives may raise some eyebrows, but is sure to please!

Photo credit: hermitsmoores / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA


Category: Food, Friday Food Frenzy, Main Dish, Recipes, Weekly Themes

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Comments (10)

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  1. Cheryl (@loucheryl) says:

    Thanks for the awesome ideas for cooking whole chickens!

  2. Julie Hutson says:

    Great information and recipes! Now I don’t have to steer clear of whole chickens.

  3. Tara Gauthier says:

    I have never cut up a chicken before. My favorite thing to do with a whole chicken is wrap potatoes and carrots in separate tinfoil pouches. Place those on bottom of crock pot with butter inside. Place seasoned chicken on top and cook on low!

  4. Judy C (Cowan) says:

    Thanks for the information. Usually with a whole chicken I roast it, use the leftover cooked meat for casseroles and then boil the bones for soup/broth.

  5. Rick F says:

    These look really good.

  6. kathy downey says:

    yum,this looks so good

  7. kathy downey says:

    Wow,these sure are some awesome ideas for cooking whole chickens!

  8. kathy downey says:

    I just wanted to pop-in and say we loved the Harvest Roast Chicken with Grapes, Olives and Rosemary it was delicious

  9. kathy downey says:

    Cant wait to try these recipes

  10. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Great recipes. One of my daughters used to always cut up a chicken (cheapest way to buy it) as she was on her own. I marvelled at how quick and neatly she did it too. Taught her old mum something but I still can’t do it as well as she does 🙂

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