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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Use whole chicken in kitchen

There are many different ways to buy chicken in the store. The most economical way is to buy the whole bird. There are so many different ways to use it. You can keep it whole or cut it into pieces. 

Today, I thought I would share a couple of recipes using a whole chicken. The first one, Boudin Stuffed Chicken, keeps the bird in its whole state. The second one, Stewed Chicken, cuts it into individual pieces. Either way, you are getting a great meal at a good price. Grab a chicken from the store, and Let’s head to the kitchen!

Boudin Stuffed Chicken

If you want a down-home chicken dinner, look no further than this Cajun twist. It’s a great way to dress up a whole chicken. Boudin makes a great stuffing.

1 (6-pound) whole chicken, giblets removed

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped yellow onions

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped tricolor bell peppers

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 pound boudin sausage, casings removed

3 1/2 cups (1-inch) cubed toasted French bread

2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme

4 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, divided

1 cup chicken stock, divided

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

4 tablespoons butter, melted and divided

Thoroughly pat chicken dry; discard excess fat and any remaining pin feathers. Let chicken stand at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325℉. Line a large roasting pan with foil; top with a wire rack.

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper; sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crispy-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 2 minutes more. (Reduce heat as necessary to prevent over browning.) Stir in boudin.

Place bread in a large bowl; add boudin mixture, thyme, and 1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning. Stir in 1/2 cup of stock until mixture is moistened. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired.

Brush chicken skin with 2 tablespoons melted butter; sprinkle with remaining 3 teaspoons Creole seasoning. Stuff chicken with boudin mixture; tie legs together with kitchen twine. Place chicken, breast side up, on prepared rack. Pour remaining 1/2 stock around chicken.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in stuffing registers 165℉, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, basting occasionally with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Let chicken rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Stewed Chicken

One of my favorite childhood dishes was my mother’s chicken stew. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a written version of it. Here’s a variation that taste almost as good.

1 (5-pound) stewing hen, cut into pieces

Creole seasoning

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 medium onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

4 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon thyme

Hot cooked rice

Season chicken pieces with Creole seasoning. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat; add seasoned chicken and brown on both sides. Cover skillet with lid or foil and reduce heat to low; cook for 25 minutes, checking periodically to ensure nothing sticks or burns. Remove chicken and reserve.

Add flour to skillet with chicken drippings; whisk well. Increase heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until roux is golden brown. Add onions, sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Deglaze with stock; bring to a boil, stirring well. Add parsley, thyme, and reserved chicken; stir well. Return to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve over hot cooked rice.

As versatile as chicken is, I think I could eat it every day of the week. It is such a great protein to experiment with. There is so much you can do with the whole chicken. As the weather gets warmer, the grills start to heat up. I have a great way to use a whole bird on the pit. Stay tuned!

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