A little while ago I bought a chicken and decided to cut it up into the individual parts so that I could cook them separately when I wanted to, otherwise they were stored in the freezer. However since my knife proved it wasn’t up to the job, I thought this time I would roast the chicken whole and them portion it off afterwards. Doing this saves a lot of money if you buy a lot of pre-packed chicken meals and means you always have something in the freezer for back up! I like to buy the free-range chicken and if you can get it discounted, even better (I bought mine £1.50 off per kilo) – so you end up paying just over £5 for a whole chicken basically. Anyhoo, this is what I did to marinate the chicken:
1. Season with salt and pepper and some dried herbs. Pat into chicken and leave in the fridge for as long as you have (overnight is ideal).
2. I popped a few cloves of fresh garlic inside the chicken too just to give it some extra flavour. Drizzle some oil over the chicken and place on an ovenproof dish. You could also add some onions and other vegetables in the dish if you wanted and other seasonings. I cooked it for about an hour at 200-220 degrees Celsius. To check when your chicken is done, insert a sharp knife into the body and see whether the juices run clear (yep done) or red (it needs a little more cooking).
3. After cooking you can then start shredding it and taking of the meat – I ended up getting about 8 individual portions from it (with the help of recycled pasta bags for storage in the freezer)!
4. Make sure you save the residue from the oven dish as you can just run a little water onto it and scrape of the remainder into a large pot for stock (keep the bones and any leftover bits of meat too as they really enhance the flavour).