How to cook chicken? Need help for today!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
4 replies 666 views
oldMcDonaldoldMcDonald Forumite
1.9K Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
I have been a vegetarian for around 25 years, I have no idea how to cook any form of meat as both my DH and my children are all vegetarians as well - I have never had any need to cook meat before.

I have a whole chicken coming from MrTs later today that I need to cook. What do I do with it? How do I prepare it and how long does it take? Once I have stripped the meat, how do I make stock from it? I don't want a salty stock or one with added veg to flavour - I just want to get as much nutrition from the chicken as possible. I am clueless!

Can it be cooked in a slow cooker rather than the oven (I have a huge slow cooker and it is so hot today I don't want to put the oven on if I can help it!) I really need some advice!

Not wanting any ethical arguements from other veggies with regard to my cooking chicken - I have a very poorly dog who has cancer and is fast losing her appetite, I need to get some food cooked that she has interest in.

Thanks for any help with this.


  • ~Chameleon~~Chameleon~ Forumite
    12K Posts
    If it's for your dog then I would simply place it in a large pan, cover with water and simmer for an hour or so. You will know when it's done when the meat falls easily from the bone. Test it with a knife to see if it pulls away from leg bones. The stock can be further reduced if necessary (I assume this is also for you dog?) to concentrate, obviously not adding any salt or seasoning to it.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your dog but well done you for putting aside your beliefs to help her :A

    PS - just noticed you also have a slow coooker so yes, this would be perfect for it. Just cover with water as I said above and leave it on low for 6-8hrs or when the meat falls off the bone to indicate it's cooked :)
    “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”
  • PiggybankerPiggybanker Forumite
    172 Posts

    You can cook it in a slow cooker but it depends how much time you have, as when I do it I cook it for 9 hours. If you want to do that then it's easy - just put whole into the slow cooker with a little liquid to cover the bottom of the dish and forget about it. I use wine, but water may be all you want to use for your dog? I also sometimes add garlic, onion, herbs etc but again that's not compulsory and you may just be looking for the plain meat.

    In the oven I cook for 190C for 20 mins per 450g plus an extra 20 mins. I then stab the leg to make sure the juices are clear. If not it needs a bit longer. In the oven you'll want to baste it a couple if times once it gets going by spooning the fat back over the chicken. Some people cover with foil for part of the time, but I don't bother.

    Good luck

  • edited 30 May 2009 at 12:00PM
    shelovestobuystuffshelovestobuystuff Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 30 May 2009 at 12:00PM
    The packaging,reverse of the label on tesco chickens, will have the oven instructions for the weight .No need to wash it.Make sure you get the soak pad of the bottom of the chicken,it usually sticks to the bottom of the bird rather than stay in the tray so easily missed if you dont know to look for it.If theres a bag of giblets inside remove them but most chickens dont come with the giblets these days anyway.
    Remove the elastic ties from the legs and put on a deep sided baking tray with wire grill,pour a mug of water into the tray so its under the bird,cover the bird and tray with FOIL SHINY SIDE IN(press it tight around the edge of the tray to seal in the steam to keep it moist) and make sure theres plenty of space in the foil so the legs dont poke through while its cooking.
    You can take the foil off for the last 10 mins to brown the skin if you want but the dog wont mind if its white.
    Once its cooked and you are stripping the meat remember theres lots of meat under the bird too.
    For stock throw everything left,including the liquid in the cooking tray,into a big pot with lots of water.I usually add a few garlic cloves to the pot and dogs love garlic to I am sure yours would appreciate that too.Just keep it simmering and topped up with water until the carcus basically collapses,the cartilage will turn to jelly.Strain it through a seive to get the liquid and jelly for the dog and at this stage if you can bear to pick through the contents of the seive you will get some more meat too.
    Forgot to say that if there is a bag of giblets add the contents to the pot with the carcuss to get your stock.
    If your dog cannot manage solids then blend the meat too and spoon feed her if need be.
    If you can allow your dog to be in or close to the kitchen while its cooking she may get interested in the smell and be more likely to eat something.Good luck and sorry to hear about your dog.Our last dog had throat cancer and so I understand your pain.

    If you dog is able to eat any solids have a go at baking some biscuits for her too.Dogs love smelly stuff so smelly cheese and garlic biscuits go down well.They do with my boys anyway.Oh and these are okay for humans to eat too.
    2 cup Unsifted all-purpose flour(wholemeal or refined/white)
    1/4 cup Shredded cheddar or mature cheese(for dogs the smellier/stronger the cheese the better)
    20 ml Garlic-finely chopped
    1/2 cup Vegetable or olive oil
    Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, cheese, garlic and oil in container of food processor. Cover; whirl until mixture is consistency of coarse meal. With machine on, slowly add water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll out each to 1/2" thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheet. Cook at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until bottom of cookies are lightly browned. Carefully transfer to wire rack and cool completely. OR BY HAND: Combine flour, cheese, garlaic & oil, knead well, add water if needed to form stiff dough. Roll out on floured surface to 1/2" thick, cut into shapes. Cook as above... REFRIGERATE IN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER.
    "Reaching out to touch the stars dont forget the flowers at your feet".
  • edited 30 May 2009 at 3:25PM
    oldMcDonaldoldMcDonald Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    edited 30 May 2009 at 3:25PM
    Thank you so much for your help :)

    I have the chicken on the hob now, boiling away, and I have copied down your replies so I will know what I am doing with the stock! Next time I will have a go at cooking it in the slow cooker but I need it ASAP today. Hopefully she will eat it, the smell of it cooking is currently driving both of my Springers wild, so I am quite sure she is interested!

    With regard to the cooked meat, can I freeze it, and if so, can it be eaten when defrosted or does it need to be heated through first? As I said in the OP, I have no experience with cooking meat and I'm a little scared of chicken because of the food poisoning stories you hear of.

    Shelovestobuystuff - thank you for the biscuit recipe. She is eating solids at the moment but is fussing, so I will have a go with these biccies tomorrow (they do sound yum, so I am sure I will sample one or two with her tomorrow - this may help as all dogs prefer 'human food' treats to 'doggy food treats', don't they?;))

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