I'm back with Part 2 of "Here's Why I Buy Whole Chicken (And You Should Too!)". In the first episode, I took you on a journey of getting a whole chicken, properly breaking it down, making a couple of dishes, and saving the rest. Well, now I'm going to show you two delicious chicken dishes using two of the darker cuts of meat... the leg & the thighs.
Dark meat can handle long cooking times and extremely high heat while still being insanely moist and juicy. So we are going to use this to our advantage! The first dish I'm going to make is a batch of better than take out orange chicken with broccolini where we double fry our chicken thighs and then sauté in an orange sauce with broccolini. The next dish is an amped up homemade chicken soup with an unlikely combination of vegetables. My goal in this series is to inspire you to get out of the 12 pack piece of chicken mindset and get those creative juices flowing to use a whole chicken instead. Check out Part 2 of "Here's Why I Buy Whole Chicken (And You Should Too!)" to see how everything came out!
Orange Chicken with Broccolini
2 chicken thighs
1 head of broccolini, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoon of soy sauce
1/2 cup of cornstarch
1 small knob of ginger
2 teaspoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 stalk of scallion, sliced
1 dried chili
Start by prepping your chicken thighs by taking off the skin and cutting them into bite sized pieces. Cut the chicken skin into small pieces and save for later.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 egg, 2 tablespoon of soy sauce, and 1/2 cup of cornstarch until you get a thick mixture. It will have the color and texture of thick butterscotch. Drop in all your chicken thighs and mix until each chicken is well coated. Cover and set aside.
In a jar, zest in the peel of 1 orange and 1 teaspoon of ginger. Add the juice of 1 orange along with 2 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Seal the jar and shake until there are no lumps and is well combined. Set aside.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop in your broccolini. Let it cook for 3 - 4 minutes before dropping them into an ice bath to stop them from over cooking.
Next, bring a pot of oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and drop in your chicken pieces. Let them cook until they are lightly golden brown. Be sure to not over crowd the pan. Once they are done, drain them onto a paper towel.
Bring the oil to 375 - 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the chicken until golden brown and crispy. Approx. 3 - 4 minutes. Once they are done, drain them onto a paper towel again.
In a sauce pan on medium heat, add in the reserved chicken skin and cook until the fat renders out and the skin becomes crispy. Next, add in your diced scallions and rip up a dried chili into small pieces. Let them sauté for just a few minutes then add in your orange sauce. Continuously stir this since it will thicken up quickly.
Add in your broccolini and chicken. Toss to coat, sprinkle on some sesame seeds, and serve over warm & fluffy rice.
Chicken Noodle Soup
1 teaspoon of chicken fat or oil
2 chicken legs
1 onion, peeled & diced*
3 carrots, peeled & diced*
1 fennel, trimmed & diced*
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 corn, kernels cut off
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup of dried short cut noodles
Start by seasoning your chicken legs with a bit of salt.
In a pot on medium to high heat, add in some fat and your chicken legs. Sear on each side for 2 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Add in 1 tablespoon of oil, and add in the diced onions, carrot, and fennel. Lower the heat to a medium low and add in a pinch of salt to help bring out the moisture of the veggies. After 15 minutes have passed add in your finely diced garlic and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. In the meantime prep your other veggies if you haven't done so already.
Add in your chicken legs and all its juices, 1 1/2 cup of chicken broth, and 1 1/2 cups of water. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the meat is falling off the bone.
Take out the chicken bones and add inyour corn kernels, bite sized cauliflower, and dried noodles. Let this cook for 7 -1 0 minutes.
Sprinkle in some salt, cracker pepper, and chopped parsley. Serve hot and enjoy!
*Be sure to dice the onion, carrots, & fennel into equal sized pieces*