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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Roasted Chicken (Whole Chicken Sale)

A few years ago when the threat of swine flu (renamed H1N1) was at it's peak and misinformation ran amuck, many Canadian pig farmers gave up raising pigs.  This resulted in the price of pork products plummeting.  Concerned consumers misinformed that they could contract the flu via eating pork hastily switched to other meats causing their prices to rise considerable.  Pork roasts were going for as low as 99¢ per lb but chicken pieces with backs attached that normally went on sale for 49¢ per lb increased to a new low price of 69¢ with the sales becoming less frequent.  It has been virtually impossible to get whole chickens here for a decent price for a couple of years now.   Of course, whole chickens are what I've been trying to find on sale for grilling.  Finally, I found whole chickens at a stock up price.

whole chicken sale
The local Wal*marts (Canada) are currently running a sale of two whole chickens for $10.  The surprising part is regardless of the size of the prepackaged two pack the price is $10.  This means a frugal shopper will search through the packages to find the heaviest weight ones.  My husband picked up a 3.46 kg package.   The chickens are packaged on a foam tray wrapped with plastic (not my favourite packaging).  They have been cleaned so no necks or giblets but they are trussed with twine for easy roasting.

A nice sized whole chicken will make two to four dinners.  At the sale price that ends up being between $1.25 and $2.50 for the meat portion of the meal.  I can stretch it a bit further if I make soup or stew.  In addition to that depending on what I make, the carcass can be used to make chicken stock furthering the savings.  In comparison to other meats it is still a rather good deal.

roasted chicken
I put one of the chickens in the freezer and roasted the other.  I roast chicken very much the same way I roast a turkey, low and slow then increasing the temperature towards the end for browning.  I usually stuff the birds.  That is I make stuffing (in the bird) rather than dressing (outside the bird).  Stuffing is an excellent substitution for bread or rolls for the meal.  My stuffing is about as simple as you can get, exactly the way my Mom made it.  I use day old bread, chopped onion, poultry seasoning, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and butter.  Then I stuff the bird in both cavities (breast, neck) as full as I can get it.  After roasting I remove the bird from the oven and scoop out the stuffing into a serving bowl.  I use the pan drippings to make gravy.

roasted chicken dinner
Roasted chicken is not a meal that needs to be restricted to weekends only.  It is quite easy to make during the week as well.  It's even easier if you keep the sides simple like baked potatoes that can be cooked during the last 45 minutes of the chicken roasting time.  I served the chicken with baked potatoes, home frozen niblet corn and freezer pickles.  This really is a comfort meal during the winter months.

My husband is going to pick up a couple more packages of the chickens before the sale ends.  So far this year the sales seem to be focusing on chicken so perhaps that will be the bargin meat of 2011.  All food sales are cyclic and they are usually triggered by external forces.  It will be interesting to see if the chicken sales continue.  Chicken will be a nice change from pork that has held the cheap meat crown for the last couple of years.


2 food lovers commented:

Jing said...

Well, I'm off to my nearest Walmart to buy a few chickens to freeze!

Garden Gnome said...

Well it was a local Canadian Wal*Mart sale that has already passed. Sorry about that but perhaps another sale will come along.