Quick and Easy Baked Chicken Recipe with No Waste

A Free Chicken Makes a Happy Meal

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Our family is both chicken-loving and thrifty. We delight in the aroma of a chicken baking in the oven, in the savory taste given up by such a simple food, and in the thanks we receive from friends and family when this delectable dish is served at the dinner table. We also delight in making sure no part of this chicken that was destined for our table is wasted. You will enjoy this quick and easy baked chicken recipe, and we hope you will also enjoy experimenting with the not-so-obvious treasures a chicken gifts us.

Trip Down Memory Lane

In the 1970s and 80s, we bought our chickens from a local farmer who came by on Thursday afternoons in his 1936 Ford truck. Bolted into the floor of the back of the truck was an ancient, hand-crafted, open cooler which was made of plank boards.At the bottom of the cooler was a block of ice. The freshly killed and bagged chickens were laid out on top of the ice and then covered with wet burlap bags.

Our farmer left the truck’s back doors open as he made his rounds. Air passing over the wet burlap bags kept the chickens fresh and cold from the farm to the kitchen.

The chickens grew up on the farm just like the farmer’s kids did—free-ranging and hormone-free. These chickens were so fresh, I swear I heard them cluck a few times as the farmer lifted them out of the cooler and carried them to our house.

Throughout the spring we’d buy several chickens a week and put the extras into our basement freezer, so that we’d have “spring” chickens all year ‘round. We’d bake them, barbeque them, stew them, fry them, and make soup and salad out of them in endless varieties.

Our Favorite Baked Chicken Recipe

My family’s favorite variety of baked chicken then is still our favorite now.  Not only is it ridiculously easy to make, it is fantastically fragrant and, for us, always brings back warm memories of the farmer, his family, and his friendship.

Ingredients

1 Whole 5 to 6-pound chicken and its parts (neck, heart, gizzard, liver)
1 Teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
2 Teaspoons dried thyme
1 Tablespoon dried marjoram
1 Teaspoon dried tarragon
1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 Cup Lea & Perrin’s White Wine Chicken Marinade

Chicken Quarter

Courtesy of straymuse at sxc.hu
Courtesy of straymuse at sxc.hu

Method

  1. Turn the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the chicken up so that you have two wings, two “quarters” (the leg and thigh together along with half the back piece is a quarter), and two breast pieces. If you are among those who don't care for this kind of hands on work, and many don't, ask your butcher to cut the chicken for you.
  3. Use a shallow baking pan (like a sheet cake pan). If you want to make clean-up a little easier, spray the pan with a non-stick spray or line the pan with aluminum foil.
  4. Arrange the chicken pieces in the pan, making sure the quarters and breasts are skin-side up. Tuck the neck, gizzard, liver, and heart here and there between the pieces.
  5. Sprinkle the herbs and pepper over the chicken pieces, distributing them evenly.
  6. Drizzle the white wine marinade evenly over all the pieces.
  7. Place the pan, uncovered, in the pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the pieces over using tongs so you don’t pierce the skin or dislodge it from the flesh.
  9. Return the pan to the oven for another 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the pan again, turn the pieces, put the pan back into the oven, and finish baking for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  11. When the chicken is done, it will have a beautiful, glistening, and crusty skin. And your kitchen will smell heavenly!
  12. Remove the pan from the oven and use the tongs to move the chicken pieces from the pan to a serving platter.

Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup

Source

Waste Not, Want Not

Beyond making sandwiches, salads, or soups from whatever chicken meat is left over, you can make wonderful secondary foods from every single part of the chicken. Nothing need go to waste.

The Chicken Fat Pour the oven pan drippings into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate. After a few hours, the chicken fat will congeal at the surface. Remove the fat, put it in a covered container, and refrigerate or freeze. You can use the fat as a replacement for butter or oil when sautéing potatoes, making potato pancakes, pan-frying boneless, skinless chicken meat, and even when mixing a batch of homemade bread dough. The fat adds flavor, and in the case of the bread, it creates a finer texture than butter.

The Chicken Stock Beneath the fat is a rich, jelled stock which will keep well in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for a few months. Use this stock as a base for gravy or soup. I often collect batches of this frozen stock in order to make a huge pot of chicken soup.

The Chicken Bones Put the bones that haven’t been gnawed by family and guests in a soup pot, add water to cover, and simmer for about five hours on the stove top. Add boiling water when needed to keep the bones covered. After this long, slow cooking, let the contents of the pot cool a bit, strain through a colander. You will be surprised at how few of the small bones are left. Chill the resulting liquid in the refrigerator and skim off whatever fat congeals. Use this final chicken stock as a snazzy sauce to pour over your dog’s dry kibble for an occasional treat.

At the end of this effort, you should have a very small pile of bones and skin to throw away.

As you say good-bye to that small pile, make sure you also say thanks to the chicken that brought your kitchen so much warmth, nutrition, and cheer.

Recipes appearing in Sally’s Trove articles are original, having been created and tested in our family kitchens, unless otherwise noted.

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Comments 45 comments

Proudgrandpa 6 years ago

Yummy. It is dinner time on the east coast and thanks to you I am about to call my wife and remind her I have frozen some of the Chicken Stoop that I made the other night. They are calling for snow (Sorry, that may still be a bad word where you are) but some warmed up Stoop and some hearty whole grain bread and a lap tray in front of the fireplace. It doesn't get any better than that!!

We had our own chickens when we first moved to North Carolina and I concur, the fresh free range chickens have a great deal more flavor than the supermarket ones.

Thanks for another good hub. NEIL


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Chicken Stoop. Love it, or as my kid would say, lurve it.

There are a few more stories about these chickens from the long-ago farmer, one of them involving a frozen spring chicken that wasn't thawed until 10 years later. When it was, it was snatched up by a cougar. The point for now is that the free-rangers have something special going to keep them attractive after ten years of being frozen.

Thank you my friend for your awesome comment and for adding to the richness of good living. Enjoy your Stoop and beautiful bread in front of the fireplace, and don't talk to me about snow. :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Sally's Trove, when we still lived on the big farm up north I raised our own free-range meat birds along with the egg chicken. It was never my favorite job having to kill and dress them (undress them) but I always rejoiced in the thought that no matter what I was able to put some healthy meals in front of my kids. (teenagers with hollow leg syndrome) Neither was it a big deal when a whole big slew of their friends stayed over for dinner.

Great hub as always.

My mouth is watering I think I will have chicken for dinner tomorrow night. (naturally the free range kind)

greetings Zsuzsy


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Zsuzsy, I admire you. Although I don't mind cutting up a dead raw chicken, I know I could never end one's life, unless there were extraordinary circumstances. Clearly, I don't share that particular ability gene with you, although I think you share it with my father's mother, who when she was about 90 and living with her daughter in town went out to a farm auction with her grandson and the two of them came back with about 30 chickens in crates ready to slaughter. Vick helped grandma sharpen the old axe and set up a stump slab from the woodpile when the daughter came home from work, saw what was about to go on, and just about died. Aunt Katie wasn't going to have any of that chicken mayhem in her city backyard. Needless to say, the chickens and crates were returned to the farm.

As always, it's such a pleasure to hear from you. Best wishes for lots of good chicken dinners ahead. ~Sherri


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

Hello ST! As you are aware, I'm not the world's most enthusiastic cook, though I think even I could manage chicken! :P

But I do love reading about food, and your hubs are always so interesting! I love the bit about the chickens growing up as the farmer's kids did...free-range and hormone free!!! :)


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Great hub, I enjoyed reading about your chicken no waste. I am not into cooking at all, but this was really good, thanks...


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Feline, yes, I'm aware. :p But really, this is so quick and so easy, so painless you won't even know you did it! Thanks so much for the good words. I'm always pleased to find one of your thoughtful and uplifting comments appended to one of my Hubs. :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Darlene, you are so welcome. It's a real honor to me that you enjoyed this read, especially since you are "not into cooking at all!" :)


billy sidhu profile image

billy sidhu 6 years ago

gonna try it for sure sally- thanks-


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Billy, I'm glad it sounds appealing to you. You know, this recipe evolved from what was fresh in the garden and in our local markets. I can imagine that you've got a simple method for baking or roasting chicken that takes advantage of herbs and spices local to you. Maybe you'll write a Goa version? :)


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

This sounds yummy. Thank you for sharing and for tips to use everything.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You are so welcome!


Lgali profile image

Lgali 6 years ago

very nice hub i will try in weekend


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks, Lgali. I know you'll like it.


FlyingPanther profile image

FlyingPanther 6 years ago from here today gone tomorrow!!

Sally, Thank you for sharing this lovely hub with us and i always enjoyed you chicken when i would visit you.Great work my friend.

Love always.

FlyingPanther


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Yep, FlyingPanther, you know me and chicken. Wish you could be here for the making. We'd hang around the stove for hours. And then finish off the night with a glazed fruit tart pie. :)


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago

My dear friend,

We both were raised with the waste not, want not philosophy. You took it to heart, I did not lol. I was simply content to watch my mom, grandma and aunt do all the work and I'd sit back and enjoy their efforts. I remember seeing strange things in my grandma's kitchen, stuff skimmed from a pot, and jars filled with strange colorful jelly stuff. I seem to remember her making soap from lard, but that's another hub.

All I can say is you are a superb cook and I've enjoyed many meals with you. I especially love that you are a big fan of marinades, store bought or home-made. What wonderful results and I've been the lucky beneficiary of the results.

I'm not recalling this particular recipe, so put this on your list for my next visit. I'll make mashed potatoes or something :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

OK, I'll make the chicken and watch you peel, cut, and mash the potatoes. My job will be easier than yours. LOL

Thanks, my dearest friend, for your comments. You always find memories to share that enrich any topic.

When next we get together, we will talk about the colorful jelly stuff we remember from our grandmothers' kitchens.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago

Oh! I should have known I'd be relegated to chopping, peeling, mashing and your 'go-to' gal! But that's ok, as long as I can reap the benefits :)

Looks like we'll have to make do with an ordinary two day weekend with the way things are going here :(

But, that's better than no weekend.


proudgrandpa profile image

proudgrandpa 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC

I just read Anne's story about her father. You should be proud of yourself for raising such a loving and lovable young lady. This apple never fell from the tree. Good going MOM!! NEIL


borge_009 profile image

borge_009 6 years ago from Philippines

Wow, i love chicken..........thanks for this


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 6 years ago from Philly Burbs

As you know, sometimes I get unnerved by the "carcass" aspect of chicken-baking... but my mouth is watering now!!

It's hard to pick a favorite memory of our neighborhood farmer, but I rather liked being "delivered" at the end of the truck route back to my house along with the sweet sweet fresh-picked corn I had put on the truck that morning...

Just one teensy suggestion for this excellent recipe... I learned this the hard way... don't forget to remove the bag of parts FROM the chicken before baking... they don't stew too well inside plastic...

Lurve you, lurve your hubs.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Borge_009, you are welcome!

Annemaeve, lol about leaving the chicken parts in the bag. I'd quite forgotten about doing that, but it takes only once to make sure it doesn't happen again! And I lurve how much you enrich these tellings with your thoughts and memories. Love you very much.


Mary Perry 6 years ago

Throw some vinegar into the stock pot (a little adds no real tang) with the bones and the bones will be soft and easily eaten by people, a good source of calcium, better than milk because less phosphorus (bad).


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Mary, thanks for the tip. Next time I'll definitely try it.


ahmadraza212 profile image

ahmadraza212 6 years ago from Pakistan

dear thanks for this articles


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You are so welcome!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

This is not unlike the way I do it. I like the gizzards and liver, but the heart I only use in gravy or stock. Sounds delicious right about now!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I'm disappointed when there's no heart with the chicken. I like it as much as the liver. Gizzards I don't care for, so the doggie gets that part right away. Nice to see you, stranger!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Well now.. I am a recent convert to cooking for reasons not pertinent here and Ihave copied your recipe to surprise my wife with. And may God have mercy on our souls :-)

Thank you for this


loveofnight profile image

loveofnight 6 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

i will be saying this at the end thank you........

thanks to the chicken that brought your kitchen so much warmth, nutrition, and cheer.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

De Greek, love your tongue in cheek. I think you can't go wrong with this, and your wife will love you even more for your efforts. The good news is that even if you manage to overcook it, it's still great. Just don't undercook it! LOL


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

loveofnight, thank you so much for your comment. I am not a hunter, but a dear friend of mine is, and before he makes the kill, he says his thanks. I do say a blessing for every piece of meat that arrives on my table to sustain the body and bring warmth to the kitchen.

You have offered a wonderful insight.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Sherri - I think this is going to be a family favourite here also! Thanks for sharing this yummy sounding recipe. Bookmarked.

And a blessing said every time, every time!

Love and peace

Tony


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Tony, I wonder if your Pretoria chickens taste different from the ones we have here? A few years ago, during a vacation in Mexico, we stayed in a villa that had a kitchen and we had a lot of fun going to the local markets for food to cook. I'll never forget the chicken we baked one day. It had a most unusual flavor and aroma, very earthy, almost musky, and utterly heavenly. I never tasted a chicken like that again.

Agreed--blessings said every time!


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Yummy recipe. I will have to try it.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 6 years ago from Virginia

Bookmarked! I like easy chicken recipes and this one seems easy and tasty--two of my favorite combinations! :) I especially appreciate your tips for what to do with the drippings, bones and such. I always waste that stuff. : / Very nice Sally!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Hi Pam! So glad you found this recipe to be interesting. Nothing goes to waste here...if I can't use something right away, it goes into the freezer for later.

Easy and tasty, excellent criteria for choosing recipes! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

I do similar things with turkey carcasses. For extra flavor, I roast the bones before boiling them. Makes a rich and hearty stock! Excellent hub. I too would find it difficult actually killing an animal.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

What a good idea to roast the bones before boiling. I can see how that would add richness. Glad you enjoyed the read!


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 6 years ago from USA

This is one of the first recipes I'm trying out when I have my dental work complete! Thank you for sharing the story of the How the Chicken Met the Table.

ahahah, poor chicken, lucky us! I can't wait to dive in!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

There is a lot to say about reducing the bones to a texture that's edible (if not palatable, unless you are a dog, of course).

Marisue, those chickens of long ago were the absolute best. One day I'll have to tell the story of how one of the farmer's chickens stayed in our freezer for 15 years and met an entirely different table at the end. :)


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

MMM MMM sounds so great...I'll have to try some of your ideas... I can almost smell it cooking now and I haven't started yet...


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I know you are baking a chicken tonight, and I am so jealous! There's just something about cold weather and roasting chicken. Glad you will try the other ideas...Kitty may very much like the bone juice. I freeze it in ice cube trays, defrost a cube or two in the microwave, and pour it over dry food.

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