Poultry - Whole chicken
Where on animal


There are literally hundreds of different breeds of poultry around the world. For thousands of years, chickens have been domesticated for a variety of reasons, whether for their eggs, meat or feather – some even for fighting! But many other birds are harvested for their eggs, meat and other produce, including duck, goose, turkey, ostrich, rhea, Indian peafowl, pigeon, pheasant and guinea fowl.

Keep in mind

A whole chicken will often taste more and better than, for example, fillets of chicken breast. Much of the flavor in chicken comes from the skin, the fat, the connective tissue and the bones.

A chicken with a deeper color will taste better than a pale one. Ecological chicken is usually from the same breed as other chickens, but reared on eco-friendly feed and given more space to roam about in, indoors and outside.

Some people claim they can taste the difference between an ecological chicken and an ordinary one, some say they cannot. Whatever is correct, we believe it is positive to support more ecological farming.

How to cook a whole chicken

Learn how to cut a chicken and then buy a whole one. You get a better price, more beautiful pieces (with the skin) and you can prepare perhaps the most useful broth in the kitchen from the bones. Boil the bones with an onion and a carrot. Turn off the stove and let it rest overnight. Bring to boil again the next morning and drain through a sieve. You now have a perfect broth for a variety of dishes.

If you buy a low quality chicken, the best alternative is always to roast it whole. The taste and the juiciness are found in the skin and you get most of it when the chicken is roasted in the oven.

Good to know: The dark meat on the legs can take higher temperatures (about 70°)  than the lean, white meat on the breasts (about 65°). In other words you should place your thermometer in the breast – but make sure the legs are also done (which they usually are, being smaller).

The classic

Whole, oven roasted chicken. Mac Donald Lundgren at Tranan in Stockholm recommends that you soak the entire chicken in a brine (1 dl salt and 0,2 dl sugar per liter of water) for one to two days . You will notice that the salt has penetrated and enhances the chicken’s own taste. The skin also becomes crispy and delicious. If possible, roast the entire chicken the French way, above an oven tray with potatoes and/or root vegetables and coarse wedges of onion.

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