Chicken is Easy

A mother of teens once told me that she had never bought a package of chicken. She didn’t even know what to do with one. I guess she always bought processed chicken products or something. I feel sorry for her family.

Assuming there are others like her out there, I decided to photograph the process of making chicken for dinner for my little family of three. I took the photos in my “gourmet kitchen” here in Flyover Land.

IMG_20151020_170906Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Get a big enough pan and grease it with some vegetable oil, then sprinkle salt and pepper on it. Open a package of chicken (I used chicken 1/4s, which are legs and thighs still attached together, plus a couple of additional bone-in thighs) and lay them down in your pan. (Please note: Amish or organic chicken is much tastier than your basic grocery store meat department chicken.)

IMG_20151020_171312Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, cover with foil, and bake for about 35 minutes (longer if your chicken was at all frozen). Then take out the pan, flip the pieces of chicken over, and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so without the foil cover.

If you want barbecued chicken, put some barbecue sauce on top of the pieces before you put the pan back in the oven. Most barbecue sauces are made with high-fructose corn syrup, but Trader Joe’s has a barbecue sauce with all-natural ingredients that’s quite tasty.

Put some extra barbecue sauce on the chicken before serving.

IMG_20151020_182134Now wasn’t that easy? And so much yummier than processed chicken products from the grocery store. I usually make enough so that we have leftovers for the lunch the next day.


When I Don’t Buy Based on Price

Amish Farms Holmes Co, Ohio by David M. Dennis
Amish Farms Holmes Co, Ohio

I usually try to get the lowest price on everything. This works fine for most things, but it occasionally backfires.

Take chicken, for instance. I always bought large quantities of it and froze it when the price was right. I didn’t care what brand it was, I just went by price.

Then I started to see Amish chickens for sale in the grocery several years back, and I thought, what a rip off! Why should I pay several dollars a pound for chicken when I can get it for 89 cents a pound? Who buys that stuff anyway?

Before long, I started seeing articles about the chicken sold in groceries and how it contains all sorts of antibiotics that are reducing our immunities, and hormones that are making little girls mature too early. And I got to thinking, maybe I should be watching what kind of chicken I buy…. 

One week the local Piggly Wiggly put the Amish chicken on sale and I splurged on some (even the sale price was higher than what I usually paid for chicken). When I baked it, the whole house soon smelled wonderful! And when we ate it, well, all I could think was that this was like I remember chicken tasting when I was a child in the 1960s.

I thought it was all in my head, but the next time we had chicken, it was my usual sale-priced store brand, and it tasted like nothing compared to that darned Amish chicken.

Since then, I’ve gotten hooked. I try to stock up when Amish chicken is on sale. Sometimes I run out before it goes on sale again, so I’m stuck with the regular stuff, which I still buy, but I don’t like nearly as well.

I’ve noticed a few name brands are now offering “all-natural, no hormones, no antibiotic” chicken, and the price is better than the Amish chicken. But you can’t match the taste. There is nothing better than Amish chicken, I’ve decided. So I buy it when it’s on sale, and I pine for it once I’ve used it all up…….