Quick and Easy Ideas for Cooking a Bird

Good morning!

I’m super excited about the new offerings we have from Miller Amish Country Poultry! We love chicken in our house because it’s usually quick to cook, and it tends to be very affordable. Although, chicken breast is our biggest seller, there are many other cuts that provide more flavor and are cheaper on the wallet!

We offer chicken from three local farms: Gunthorp Farms, IN; King’s Poultry Farm, OH; and Miller Amish Country Poultry, IN. All three of our chicken farmers use GMO-free chicken feed that is a mix of corn and soybean seeds, vitamins and minerals. There are no fillers, animal by-products or colorings added to their feed, and their chickens are never given antibiotics, steroids, or hormones.

Between the three farms we have several different cuts to choose from and we even have the whole bird! Here are three of my family’s favorite chicken recipes. Enjoy!

Whole Bird

I love cooking whole chickens because they provide my family of five with two dinners or one dinner and several lunches. Plus, I make a gallon of bone broth from the spent frame. When a whole chicken costs anywhere from $12-$16, it makes for an extremely economical protein to feed your family!

During the fall and winter, it’s common for me to slow-roast a chicken in the oven on a lazy Sunday afternoon. My favorite oven roasted chicken recipe is from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Jennifer McGruther. This recipe comes from her most recent cookbook, Broth and Stock from the Nourished Kitchen. Heavily salted and stuffed with lemons and onions, the whole roasted chicken is fall off the bone tender but still has a crispy skin.

1 lemon, quartered
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 whole chicken, 3 to 5 pounds
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 heaping tablespoons coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 275°F. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the lemon and onion. Tie the legs together with cotton cooking twine (this will help keep the lemon and onions inside). Place the bird in a large Dutch oven, breast side up. Drizzle with oil and then sprinkle with it with the salt and pepper. Pour wine in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Cover with a lid and roast for 3 hours. Remove the lid and turn the heat up to 400°F, continue roasting for 45 minutes, or until the skin is amber brown and crispy. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Place bird on a carving board and cut into individual pieces. Ladle sauce from the bottom of the Dutch oven over the chicken and serve! Save those bones and spent frame to make bone broth!

Chicken Thighs:

Chicken thighs are hands down my favorite part of the bird. The dark meat is more flavorful and less likely to dry out when cooking. Plus, they are super wallet-friendly which makes them great for feeding a big family or a house full of guests.  

I’m slightly partial to bone-in and skin-on mainly because I love crispy, salty chicken skin. But, marinating boneless, skinless chicken thighs and simmering them in a sauce is equally as loved in our house. We eat chicken thighs once a week and Ranch Chicken is the most requested recipe from my family.

The recipe takes about 30 minutes which is perfect for a week night meal. My favorite way to prepare bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs is to sear first then finish in the oven. This method makes crispy, juicy chicken thighs every time!

Ranch Chicken

3-4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
Drizzle of avocado oil
1 packet Simply Organic—ranch dip mix
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 tablespoons chicken bone broth

Preheat oven to 450°F. Dry the chicken using paper towel then season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat up a large cast iron (or stainless steel that can go in the oven; you may need two pans depending on large yours are) over medium to medium-high heat. Let it get really hot then drizzle a thin layer of avocado oil in the pan. Add the chicken thighs, skin-side down. Sear undisturbed for 10 minutes. Do not peek, move, or lift searing thighs!

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ranch dip mix, the oil, and the broth. It should resemble a thick liquid (like pancake batter) not a paste. Set aside.

After the 10 minutes, flip the chicken, turn off the heat and pour the ranch dressing mix over the top. Transfer the whole skillet to the hot oven and roast for 15-20 minutes (chicken should register 165°F in the thickest part). Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes then enjoy!

Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are the perfect party food, but they also make a great dinner option! There are endless ways to prepare them, they are delicious, and they are cheap! I like to make them in the oven which is a no-fuss way to prepare them. Adding a little bit of tapioca flour (starch) and cooking them at a high temp gets the wings nice and crispy. And, with about 40 minutes in the oven, this gives me plenty of time to throw together cole slaw or a salad to serve alongside.

I like to cook my wings whole and then separate them into drumettes and wingettes after they are done cooking. They are easier to cut into and I save the tips to use in making bone broth (the roasted tips provide a boost of flavor to my broth).

I usually make chicken wings 2 ways—spicy for me and the huzz (Dark Star Sriracha heated together with unsalted butter in a 2 to 1 ratio (Sriracha to butter) and LocalFolks Foods Honey Bar-Bee-Q for the kiddos! I warm up the different sauces in pans and pour our sauce over the top of our wings and serve the kids’ wings with a side of dipping sauce.

Oven Roasted Wings

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon tapioca starch
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 pounds chicken wings

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix the salt, tapioca starch, and garlic powder together in a large plastic bag. Add the chicken wings and toss to coat. Spread the chicken wings evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes (flipping halfway through cooking time). Broil for a couple minutes if you like your wings super crisp but watch them carefully because they can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes then separate into pieces using a sharp chef’s knife. Pour warmed sauce over the top and serve!

Beth Blessing (Organic Beth) has a Masters in Nutrition and is the co-founder of Green Bean Delivery. She is a mother of three that loves supporting family farms and searching for unique, artisanal products. Her goal is to help others eat better and live a more natural, holistic life through healthy recipes and practical tips. Follow her on Facebook: @OrganicBeth