Wednesday, August 5, 2009

10 Pounds of Chicken Legs @ 59¢/lb.!

Every once in awhile the Piggly Wiggly (don't you love that name for a grocery store chain!) has ridiculous sales in the meat department! This week it was big bags of fresh chicken leg quarters. You can get lots of meals and lots of variety from such a haul!

To cook that amount of chicken takes several roasting or lasagna pans. When I wash the chicken parts I do try to remove the biggest globs of fat so I can just set the chicken quarters on the floor of the pans. Don't crowd the leg quarters.

Washed, trimmed of fat, with salt and pepper on them, the quarters bake up tasty and moist at 400°F for 45-60 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the thighs to assure the chicken is fully cooked. The USDA recommends cooking chicken until it reaches 165°F.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, it's time to "disassemble" it. I sort it into three piles:
  • bones headed to the stock pot,
  • skin & fat headed to the trash, and
  • meat headed to the freezer in meal-sized zipper bags.
Chicken dark meat is too strong for some folks when eaten plain but it holds up well in soup and as pulled chicken in barbecue sauce. And it makes a great base for chicken salad sandwiches.

Chicken Leg on Foodista

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.