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7lb chicken: Best use(s)?

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I couldn't resist. A local supermarket had a cooler full of these big birds at 5.99 each. They looked fine, felt plump and meaty.

Now, I've never tangled with a hen this size before. I assume at this weight these are mature birds. Another clue is that the Portuguese on the price sticker reads "Galinha da sopa" (which I translate as "soup chicken"). I'm fine with making a hearty stock but I was wondering if there are other viable recipes for a specimen this large?

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  1. Braise it, something like: coq au vin, chicken fricassee, chicken pot pie, anything cooked slow and moist. It will probably be hard to piece out, more like a small turkey than a chicken, I bet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dkenworthy

      I was just going to post with 'coq au vin' when you beat me to it...also good old-fashioned chicken with dumplings or perhaps a fricasee. if you fancy an Italian version, try chicken cacciatorre (or any variation on 'hunter's' chicken).

    2. Could it be a capon? Size suggests that. I've had great results roasting capons, and the leftovers are great in sandwiches and of course soup.
      Have a party.

      1. I recently wowed my guests with slow roasted chicken. It was supposed to be like the supermarket chickens, but it was SO much better, if I do say so myself. I used two four pound chickens, so you might need to add cooking time. The method: Marinate the chicken overnight in lemon lime soda, garlic and onion. Seven hours before service, remove from marinade and pat dry. Rub inside and out with whatever rub you like, but I used one with kosher salt, cracked pepper, garlic, onion, thyme, paprika (for color I used quite a lot) and a bit of cayenne. Then I placed it on a rack over a roasting pan (max air contact) and roasted my two chickens at 250 degrees for five hours. A seven pounder would probably be seven hours or more. It was probably the most phenomenal, tender, moist chicken I have ever eaten, and I am a humble person...really ! The last two hours, I lifted up the rack and stuck some quartered red potatoes in the drippings and let them roast.

        I think I need to go to the grocery store....

        1. Gumbo. My best chicken and andouille gumbos start with a big fat hen.

          1. You've got an old one suited to braising (e.g., coq au vin), stewing, or making our national ahiaco or sancocho.

            1. I've made a 7-8 lb chicken for a large crowd of people. Roasted it like I would a chicken. The thing looked like a small turkey. The breast were a bit dry but not too bad. Carved it up as you would a turkey. It had great crisp skin and I'm a fan of wings and thighs and they were good.

              1. Thanks to all for the suggestions. Yes, it does look like a small turkey or a capon but the label "galinha da sopa" had me wondering as to its succulence after normal roasting. I think I'll opt for jointing the bird and preparing slow cooked meals from the parts: coq au vin (as a couple of people suggested; a cacciatore/chasseur preparation (also suggested); chicken curry; deboned and velveted breast for stir-fry; and stock from the the wings and the back (which looks to have as much meat as some birds half it's size provide by way of breast meat).

                I'm still open to suggestions though, because the behemoth presently sits in my fridge in its entirety.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mrbozo

                  You know the large size could make it ideal for brining. May help pump up the moisture level in the bird after cooked.

                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    Interesting thought. Taken under advisement.