Chicken .……. again? !!The proper, efficient way to butcher a chicken and 4 easy meals to make out of it.

 Chicken Stock / Chicken Noodle Soup

 Chicken Confit

 Coconut Curry Braised Chicken with Basmati Rice

 Bacon Crusted Chicken Breast with Quick Braised Chard

Chicken Stock:  Yield: 2 quarts  Prep time: 10 minutes  Total time: 3 hours 10 minutes
1 T. vegetable oil
1 onion, rough chopped
3 carrots, peeled and rough chopped
3 ribs celery, rough chopped
2 oz. dry white wine
1 chicken carcass, including wings
8 black peppercorns
1 bay leave
2 quarts (+) water
Directions:  In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and cook for 2 more minutes. Add carcass, peppercorns, bay and enough water, if necessary add enough water to cover carcass by one inch. Adjust heat to high and bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 hours. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and skim the fat from the top.  *If you have time to allow to cool completely, the fat will rise to the top and can be easily scraped from the stock. Be sure to reserve all fat for other purposes such as chicken confit.

 Chicken Confit
½ c. chicken fat
4 chicken legs
1 t. salt
1 t. mustard seeds
Pre-heat oven to 200*. Combine all ingredients in a small oven safe dish. Cover with foil and cook for 8 hours. The fat can be strained and used once more. It freezes well for up to a month.  *I like to pull the meat form the bone and use it for a variety of things; on a salad, in chicken salad, soup, sandwiches, etc.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Yield: 2 quarts  Prep time: 10 minutes  Total time: 1 hour
2 T. butter
½ yellow onion, small dice
2 ribs celery, small dice
2 carrots, small dice
2 T. flour
2 qt. chicken stock
2 c. pasta, such as campanelle, rigatoni or rotini
1 T. chopped herbs mix, such as parsley, thyme, winter savory and sage
1T. celery heart leaves, chopped
1 c. pulled cooked chicken
Kosher salt, to taste
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Directions:  In a medium pot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the vegetable and sweat, careful not to color, until translucent. Dust the flour into the pan and stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated and there are no visible lumps. Add the stock and raise heat to bring to a boil. Add the pasta and simmer until cooked through. Add the chicken and herbs.  * Always freeze one serving of this. When you need it, you’ll be happy its there!

Coconut Curry Braised Chicken with Basmati Rice
Yield: 4 servings  Prep time: 20 minutes  Total tome 2 hours 20 minutes:
This is a one-pot wonder that you won’t forget. It makes me actually get excited about the cold weather! There isn’t much more comfort than presenting this on the table in a steaming Dutch oven.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 chicken thighs
2 potatoes, medium dice
2 carrots, peeled and medium dice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white wine
3 cup Chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk
1.5 cup rinsed Basmati rice
1 tablespoon toasted coconut
2 tablespoon golden raisins
4 Basil Leaves (+ more for garnish)
1 tablespoon Curry Powder
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Fresh Lime slices to garnish
Directions:  Pre-heat oven to 300* Heat the oil over medium-heat in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear skin side down for 3-4 minutes until golden-brown and crisp, flip to the flesh side and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, add the potatoes and carrots to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, add the vinegar and wine and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the curry powder. Next, add the coconut milk, rice, coconut and raisins and stir all together. Arrange the chicken in the pan skin side up over the rice mixture and add the basil leaves. Cover and cook in oven for 2 hours.

Bacon Crusted Chicken Breast

 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Chicken Breasts skin and wing bone on
2 tablespoons mixed chopped herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, savory and alike)
2 slices fresh bacon, cut in half
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Directions:  Preheat oven to 400*.  Season both sides of the breast with salt and pepper.
Carefully pull back the skin from one side of each breast. Rub under the skin with herbs and insert two halves of bacon under the skin in a single layer.
Tuck the thinner end of the breast underneath and truss the breasts neatly with butcher’s twine to maintain a consistent shape.
Heat the oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Place the breast in the pan skin side down and slowly sear until golden brown and crispy. Think of this as if you’re rendering bacon. Take your time. For a crispy skin, this step should take no less than 10 minutes. Flip the breast and finish in the oven until an internal temperature of 155* is reached.Allow the breast to rest for a few minutes and it will carry the additional 15* to 165* safe cooking temperature.