I decided I wanted to cook the chicken I had in the freezer today. Problem was, it was still in the freezer. Last time I defrosted a whole chicken in the fridge, it took two days. Microwave defrost bothers me for some reason, as does cold water defrosting for a whole bird - plus that would still take a long time. The solution? Just put the whole thing in a pot to boil. Waited about an hour from the start of heat-up to pull the innards out - two sets of tongs were handy for this. Added salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, a couple squares of no-salt-added vegetable bouillon, and turmeric to the pot, and boiled for about two hours.
The only drawback I saw to this whole production was the loss of the skin being crispy if I had baked it. My solution? When it was done and I was pulling everything apart, I peeled the skin off and set it to the side. Once all the meat was off and he carcass back in the pot to make stock, I put the pieces of skin on a baking sheet, sprinkled as lightly as possible with Lawry’s seasoned salt, and baked at 450 for about 5-7 minutes.
I couldn’t believe how - bacony - it turned out. A bit of a treat. The stock’s still on for another hour or so.
I’m pretty sure this is the laziest way to cook a whole chicken. Darned easy!
My favorite way, though it doesn’t work for a frozen bird, is from the Frugal Gourmet, back in the day when it was okay to like him. You bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Plop in the chicken, and bring the water back to a boil. Cover the pot, turn the heat off and let it set for an hour. Moist, tender, perfectly cooked chicken for chicken salad, casseroles, etc.
I’m going to have to try your chicken skin idea!
Lazier cook = buy rotisserie chicken at the grocery store for $5.
The folks at Cook’s Illustrated related in one of their cookbooks that while searching for the perfect roast chicken recipe, they tried removing the raw skin and stretching it out with toothpicks to roast it separately from the bird.
While it worked well, it was deemed an idea too stupid to live, and they went with something else. Shame, really. Seems fairly brilliant to me!
Great idea. Since I learned to brine turkey before smoking it I’ve had to do the same to get the skin crispy. I’ll air dry the bird in the refrigerator overnight before cooking it, but it still doesn’t get that nice crispy texture unless I oven bake the skin after the fact.
Hmm… could this thread be expanded to include more lazy cook tasty tips?
Just out of scientific interest ya know.
When I was back in grade school (!) in our English book were short stories we were to read and study, and one of them was about an American born Chinese girl who cooked the chicken as kittenblue up above described. Served sliced with soy sauce and scallions. (but a frozen bird? NO!) Frozen - I would soak in a big pot of cold water until the innards loosed up and could be pulled out, and soaked some more.
The bird turned out great, btw, and the stock gelled nicely in the fridge - I got 4 quarts of stock. It was a 5-pound chicken, so trying to defrost in cold water first would have taken more hours than it took to just boil it from the beginning (two hours for the meat, and two more hours for the stock). So lazy.
My sous vide cookbook has recipes where the poultry skin is removed from the meat and then cooked separately in a pan and put back on the meat when served. This always struck me as way too much trouble. Perhaps I will have to try it someday.