Lockdown cookery tips: how to use up a whole chicken
I smoked a chicken, and my wife picked it apart.
The supermarkets are doing a little better getting food in stock, but it's still a little hit or miss. When meal planning these days, we've been peering a little harder into our freezers to see what we have on hand. And this week, it was a whole frozen chicken.
I started out by getting a fire going in my Kamado smoker with lump charcoal and apple wood for a little flavor. While the Kamado was coming up to temperature (220°F), I was in the kitchen getting our thawed chicken ready. To do that, I went with the spatchcock method: I cut out the backbone with a set of shears, the insides were cleaned out, and the tips of the wings were trimmed off. Melted butter was mixed with some FreshJax Rosy Cheeks Maple Bourbon BBQ Spice and injected into the breasts. I also rubbed some more of the FreshJax under the skin of the chicken to be absorbed while it was smoking. Onto the smoker the bird went!
Bringing the Kamado up to temperature
Spatchcock chicken, injected and rubbed
Rosy Cheeks Maple Bourbon BBQ Spice
After approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, I pulled the chicken from the Kamado at an internal temperature of 168°F; it was then wrapped in foil and stashed in a dry cooler to continue coasting up in temperature. A short time later my wife, Stacey, carved up the chicken for dinner. We served it with wild grain rice and green beans. It sure was good!
Getting all carved up...
It was very juicy! The juices were poured off and saved.
There was a lot of flavor here
This was a great, hearty meal
But wait, it doesn't end here!
My wife Stacey will make sure every part of a chicken gets used. The left over bits of the smoked chicken were retained and later turned into matzo ball soup. Stacey boiled the leftover bones with bits of meat, and used the juices that had been saved from when the chicken was carved. Carrots, celery, onion, and barley were added, along with various spices. Hand rolled matzo balls were made and the result was a flavorful matzo ball soup with a hint of smokey flavor. I love my wife's practicalness – the results taste good!
Homemade chicken soup
Steamy hot matzo ball soup