There was a time when my understanding of poultry consisted mostly of plastic-wrapped, Styrofoam trays of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Actually there was a time when my understanding of meat consisted mostly of those trays of bland protein.
A few years ago Lisa and I made two decisions that eventually changed how we eat poultry. First we started buying whole animals, or sides or quarters of animals. Our freezer was suddenly full of pork and beef and lamb, and we had much more meaty variety available to us than chicken breasts. Second, we decided that we weren’t going to buy industrially-raised chickens anymore. We now eat much, much less chicken than we used to. But we enjoy it much, much more than we used to.
Now we buy maybe one chicken every month or two. We buy whole birds from the farmers’ market, from producers like Four Whistle Farms and Nature’s Green Acres. (Yes, they’re more expensive than the birds at the grocery store, but you can alleviate the expense by buying whole birds and cutting them up yourself.) We roast it or fry it. The leftovers become chicken salad sandwiches. The carcass becomes soup. We’re able to enjoy that one bird for three meals. Buying a chicken becomes something of an event.
This poultry page also includes info on the turkey we buy for Thanksgiving, the handful of domestic geese and ducks we consume, and the few game birds that we are lucky to receive every fall from our hunter-friends.
How to Cut a Whole Bird
How to Eat a Bird
- Roast Chicken
- Fried Chicken
- Chicken Wings
- Chicken Stew
- Chicken Salad Sandwiches
- Chicken Stock and Chicken Noodle Soup
Duck, Duck, Goose