I’ve been in a chicken conundrum for the past few years and purposefully sabotaged myself by avoiding the delicious bird except for the odd occasion. The reason being is that I find it hard to stomach chicken that hasn’t had a decent life, and either opt for organic or at the very least free range.
Now, I’m not overly fussy or the preachy type, but, in my view, organic chicken just tastes so much better than the average sorry looking creature you find in supermarkets. I rear chickens myself, just for eggs, and have become more aware of their needs and can fully understand why the organic/free range bird tastes better. Generally, I find the meat goes a lot further and the stock that you can make from boiling the carcass provides a great base for many meals to come.
This indulgence does come at a price and so I only treat myself to a roast once in a while. Unfortunately though, because organic or free range chicken breasts, legs or thighs on their own are tricky enough to find and often too expensive; I end up eating some variety of whole cooked chicken.
I have, however, discovered a way of fulfilling all my chicken dreams and save on money and packaging at the same time. Simply, buy the organic bird and cut it up yourself. This may seem obvious to many but it never struck me before. The results are magic; I get more good meat for my money because I get to keep the bits the butcher throws away but for the most part I get to eat the best quality bird without choking on my own sense of guilt and grief.
If you would like to know how to cut up a chicken; check out this demonstration on Gourmet Magazine.