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May 26, 2008 01:20 PM

7lb chicken: Best use(s)?

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.