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February 13, 2013

It was a chicken-tastic day!

We've been working our way thru the winter meat chickens so this week has been about parting up heaps of meat. I had a complete and total chicken-tastic day on Monday. It was epic.

 Cats love chicken-tastic days. Here they are polishing off some extra broth.

I made curried chicken salad, chicken stock, and fried chicken. It was all chicken, all day - it was amazing.
Don't forget to render all the fat! Look at that!

Several of the meats were what we've been calling "3 or 4 meal-ers." They are huge! The two of us will get 3 or 4 meals out of one bird. And that doesn't include the stock, the good leavings for us which will become chicken salad or egg rolls....and also the not-so-good leavings which are for the cats. It's a terrific food value.

That's a dinner plate, folks. Check out those breasts!

Parting up the meats usually goes like this:

1. Take off the huge legs - either the thighs get cut up into "stir fry size" chunks or the whole leg goes into the crock pot to cook over night. This way I'm getting a double dip - I fill the crock pot with cold water and get a nice whack of luscious stock.... and also cooked chicken for extremely quick meals (nachos, eggrolls, chicken salad, chicken and noodles, etc.).

Chicken chunks for stir fry.

2. Take off the enormous breasts and freeze whole or cut up into fillets. We use these to make chicken piccata, or our favorite - fried chicken. I like to use boneless pieces because they cook so quickly. Soaked in buttermilk, dipped in flour, and fried in lard - this version of fried chicken is just delish.

3. Put the rest of the carcass into the stock pot, cover with cold water, and simmer all nite. I get some good meat for us from this pot... but most of this goes to the cats. The stock is all ours tho.

4. Don't forget to render all the fat! I love using chicken fat for frying. 

Cats get lots of leavings. Our grumpiest cat, Teddi, is finally happy. She loves the necks.

The cut up chicken is portioned into servings and goes into freezer bags. The cooked chicken also goes into freezer bags (for us) or into tubs for the cats. Then I can all the stock. My best idea was to can half pint jars of stock. This is perfect for when I need just a little bit and don't want to open a whole jar.

We still have about 10 creepy meats to go. They will be in the freezer - and the stock pot - soon.  And then we'll start working on those winter pigz......

Happy Wednesday everyone! Anybody else having a chicken-tastic day?