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Nov 14, 2006 12:16 AM

Chicken for One

I'm a vegetarian who lives with a non-vegetarian. My partner really needs to gain weight (I know, I know), and I don't mind cooking meat for her. However, since I don't eat it myself, I don't want to cook a huge amount at once. Specifically, I would like to throw two chicken drumsticks (or drumstick-thigh combos)into our toaster oven and bake them, but I have no idea how long to bake them for, at what temperature, and what to put on them (glaze, oil, butter, etc.). I'm a very good cook but have no clues with meat. Any suggestions? All the recipes I see are for large quantities, so I need something for just one or two drumsticks.

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  1. I usually make chicken pieces for one, and I tend to take a recipe made for a whole cut up chicken and cut it in half, and use four thighs, or two thighs and two drumsticks (I get my butcher to give me two legs and cut them, it's cheaper that way), and then there are two for that night and leftovers for the next day. This recipe for slow roasted chicken pieces is easy http://www.nigella.com/recipes/recipe... and I'd also look around for other recipes that call for a whole cut up chicken. Something else that I tend to do that's easy is to mix together some olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice, minced or smashed garlic and salt and pepper, rub it over the chicken and under the skin, let that sit for about 30 minutes, then put in a roasting pan with a little more oil, and bake at 400 for about 40ish minutes (a little wine/beer/stock at the end is good here). Even if the recipes that you see are for larger quantities, the cooking time will be the same for the chicken pieces, so just cut them down as far as the ingredients but keep the time/temp the same.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JasmineG

      Thanks so much; this is exactly what I need. I would try game hens, but I'm trying to cut a few corners here (I've noticed that thighs and drumsticks are often sold cheaply).

      1. re: guspup

        It's true that thighs and drumstick pieces are sold cheaper. But nothing is going to be cheaper than a whole chicken that you cut up yourself. Most cookbooks have a section on how to cut it up right.

        The good thing about this is that you can freeze several pieces in plastic freezer bags and defrost pretty quickly in ice cold water (never use hot water). You may want to bone up on saftey regarding chicken too.

        Dark meat will take longer to cook than white meat. If your partner needs to gain weight, I would suggest coating the chicken in seasoned flour and frying the chicken in lard. Always works to put the pounds on. You may also want to consider other meats as well.

        1. re: guspup

          I really like to use chicken thighs as they lend themselves to a lot of uses. As bryan notes above, buying whole chickens and cutting them up is cheaper and you have that good carcass to make stock, but the packages of chicken thighs are great if you don't have time. Try baking two of the thighs rubbed with olive oil, salted and peppered, with some fresh or dried rosemary, some crushed garlic, and half a lemon. Bake at 375 degrees, until you prick them and the juices are clear. Or cut along the bone and see if there is any pink left - there shouldn't be. This is my favorite, but you can also brown them in a little skillet, then cover and simmer with one of the simmer sauces or marinades, or a jarred marinara sauce. There are a number of good recipes for chicken thighs in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.

      2. Don't know, but maybe try cornish game hens. There ought to be recipes out there, and I think roasting time is usually printed on the bag. And they are cute.