Sunday, March 6, 2011

a whole chicken, a whole week

I have always wanted to eat more organic, local, free range and all that good environmental stuff.  It's definitely tough because of the prices.  Recently Ryan and I discovered that our local Loblaws carries Peterborough's Yorkshire Valley Farm organic free range chickens.  It is slightly more expensive, especially if you buy the boneless skinless packages.  But you can get a whole chicken, do the work at home and save some money.  So that's what we decided to do this weekend - get a whole organic free range chicken and use it wisely and maximally to provide multiple meals this week.  I divided the chicken into 4 parts - breast, wings, thighs, and middle bone.  Tonight I used the chicken thighs on the menu - linguine with roasted vegetable puree & roasted chicken.  I put the rest in the freezer for use later.

linguine with roasted chicken and vegetable puree
what you need:
*serves 2
  • 2 chicken thighs, skin on
  • 1 small can whole tomatoes or 2-3 fresh tomatoes quartered
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3-5 cloves garlic
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • 1-2 pinches dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 handful of linguine 
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
what to do:
  1. Rinse the chicken legs and then pat dry with paper towel.  Season with salt and pepper and a little bit of olive oil.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Chop onion, red pepper and celery roughly, about 1" thick.  Cut the carrot slightly smaller.  In a shallow baking dish, mix vegetables with garlic cloves, chili flakes, olive oil, and a little bit of salt and pepper.  Place tomatoes evenly on top of vegetables (if you're using canned, add the juice too)
  3. Place chicken thighs on top of vegetables.  Put it onto the middle rack in the oven and bake for about 1.5 hours, or until carrots are fork tender and chicken is crisp on top.
  4. Remove chicken thighs from vegetables - (you may choose to remove the skin but it is a nice treat once in awhile) 
  5. Put vegetables into a food processor or use an immersion blender to puree - this will be your sauce for the pasta.  Be really careful as it will be very hot.
  6. Cook linguine in salted boiling water for about 9 minutes (depending on the brand) - drain and place into a large serving bowl.  
  7. Add pureed vegetables to the linguine and toss to coat, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
  8. Serve chicken thighs on top of pasta - enjoy!
dividing up the chicken...
I realize this task isn't the most fun, but for about 20 minutes of work you can save a lot of money and you really take the time to appreciate the chicken and all the dishes you can create with the different parts.
this whole thing seems daunting, but if you follow the edges along
the bone you will find it's not too hard, and it doesn't have to be perfect
chicken thighs on top of vegetables, ready for the oven
chicken breasts, middle bone, and wings, ready for later

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