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What to do with a 7lb chicken

RedHouse Jul 21, 2010 11:36 AM

So we got this whopper of a chicken from the farmers market last week. It's 7.22 lbs, and I'm going to have it for supper on Friday.

I'm just not sure what's the best way to cook such a large bird? Might be kinda tough to roast it? I'm also serving fusilli with a tomato cream sauce at my wife's request, so any ideas that might pair well with that would be appreciated.


  1. r
    RedHouse Jul 25, 2010 07:01 AM

    ok...so my concerns over the age/tenderness of this chicken were unfounded. I ended up doing a brine and roasting this bird indirect on the Weber for a couple of hours. Stuffed some rosemary, thyme, S&P, and lemon in the cavity. I rubbed the outside with olive oil and rubbed some more rosemary, thyme and S&P on the skin.

    Came out really tender and juicy....and lot's of leftovers!

    Thanks for the help!

    1. Veggo Jul 22, 2010 11:22 AM

      The weight limit for Lincoln log chicken is about 5 pounds. Maybe beer can chicken, with a 24 oz. can of Fosters?

      1. r
        RedHouse Jul 22, 2010 11:07 AM

        Thanks for all the help! I'll be sure post my cooking method, and how it turns out.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RedHouse
          coll Jul 22, 2010 11:43 AM

          Forgot to mention, I usually do my Oven Stuffers in the Popeil rotisserie, just have to tie it up real tight.

        2. d
          davecrf Jul 22, 2010 06:49 AM

          If It's a roaster I would brine and grill it.But I would cut the breast off leaving the wings on and start them 15-20 min after the hindquarters.

          1. Hank Hanover Jul 21, 2010 10:20 PM

            Not sure but I would think a 7 lb chicken is pretty old so maybe this is an excellent time for Coq au vin. I am probably being silly. It probably just came from a large breed of chicken.

            If it were still alive, I would say to have it beat up the dog next door!

            1. 4
              4Snisl Jul 21, 2010 05:46 PM

              Perhaps you could butterfly the chicken, then marinate with lemon zest, olive oil, garlic and Italian herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme would be lovely). Then roast (or grill, if it's too hot to turn on the oven)! Since it sounds so large, will give a chance for more even cooking.....

              1. ipsedixit Jul 21, 2010 03:28 PM

                7.22 lbs??!!

                Are you sure it's not a turkey? Maybe save it for Thanksgiving ...

                2 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit
                  ospreycove Jul 21, 2010 03:44 PM

                  I agree with watticetti; look up some recipes for capon; there are a few good ones in "Splendid Table", by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Slow roasting moist heat may very well bewnefit this noble fowl!!

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    coll Jul 22, 2010 04:55 AM

                    The Oven Roasters I pick up (on sale this week 39 cents a lb!) are always at least 8 lb, sometimes 9. Scary! But supposedly they just let them live 8 weeks instead of 6, so as tender as can be.

                  2. visciole Jul 21, 2010 02:30 PM

                    A bird that big is begging to be stuffed. Of course, I'm biased, since I adore stuffing. But it would seem a waste of a perfectly good, generous cavity not to make a nice bread stuffing.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: visciole
                      greygarious Jul 21, 2010 02:51 PM

                      I entirely agree but in-bird stuffing has largely fallen out of favor so I didn't mention it. Also, in summer the extra oven time is not a selling point. When I roast chix or turkey I stuff the cavity AND make an external pan of dressing. From scratch, natch! And stock from the carcass and giblets.

                      1. re: visciole
                        John E. Jul 21, 2010 03:20 PM

                        I don't generally stuff the birds anymore, but I also love stuffing. I now use a technique I learned from America's Test Kitchen. I make the bread stuffing as usual bu instead of stuffing the cavity I pile it on a disposable aluminum roasting pan and drape a butterflied/spatchcocked bird over it. I've done this with both turkeys and chickens. The birds take much less time to cook and the stuffing benefits from the bird's juices.

                        Believe it or not, these young chickens can get to be this big if their held from the market for a few more weeks. If it's an old hen, well I think chicken and dumplings or coq au vin are in order (even if it's not a rooster).

                        1. re: John E.
                          Gio Jul 22, 2010 01:17 PM

                          Your method reminds me of a Jacque Pepon technique. He debones a whole turkey and then stuffs and roasts it.

                          1. re: Gio
                            JungMann Jul 22, 2010 01:41 PM

                            In my house, we debone large chickens from the inside out and stuff them with ground meat, sausages and hard boiled eggs before roasting. We serve a soy garlic gravy on the side.

                      2. greygarious Jul 21, 2010 11:48 AM

                        If it was sold as a roaster it should still be young and you should roast it. Feel the cartilege at the end of the breastbone (this is at the opening of the cavity so you can reach it without cutting). Is it flexible or rigid? If the former, it's young. If the latter, it's old and should be stewed or used for soup. Obviously, it takes longer to roast than a smaller bird so a brine should be considered, to increase the moistness.

                        Personally, I would not do the pasta dish in the same meal as the chicken. The bird will give you a lot of leftovers. On another day, top the pasta with sliced breast meat from which you've removed the skin.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: greygarious
                          RedHouse Jul 21, 2010 02:25 PM

                          Thanks for the tip. I'll try the checking the cartilidge once the bird thaws out.

                          And I'm doing the pasta too because one of the girls coming over doesn't eat meat.

                        2. w
                          wattacetti Jul 21, 2010 11:45 AM

                          I roast capons about this size (you can stuff it with slices of foie gras) but is this a tough old bird that would perhaps benefit from cutting up and braising?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: wattacetti
                            RedHouse Jul 21, 2010 02:24 PM

                            Braising was another idea I had if it can't be roasted. Thanks.

                          2. Gio Jul 21, 2010 11:45 AM

                            If you have an outdoor grill (Weber, Big Egg, etc) use that. I've grilled large chickens, turkeys and standing rib roasts in the past and they were fantastic. Instead of putting the meat directly on the grate, I placed it in a roasting pan with a V-rack just as I do for the indoor oven, and roast by indirect heat. If no grill is available roast in the oven as usual but I would keep the seasoning limited to those which go well with the tomato cream sauce. S & P, thyme, rosemary, that kind of thing. BTW... it shouldn't be tough at all if it's a roasting chicken.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Gio
                              RedHouse Jul 21, 2010 02:23 PM

                              Brining and roasting on my Weber was my first thought....just wasn't sure if it would be too tough. I'm not sure if it's a roaster....nothing on the package except for a weight label. I''ll see if I cant find out what farm we got it from and contact them.

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