I'm a huge fan of cooking big meals, or batch meals, so I can have lots of leftovers to eat the next week. And pack for lunches. And serve my family. Why cook 3 times per day when you can just re-heat really great food you already cooked?
As a result, my refrigerator is usually pretty full of leftovers. Delicious, easy leftovers.
One thing I really like to cook is whole chicken. Why? Because it's super versatile, economical (usually less per lb than just cuts of meat) and the bones can be re-used to make broth. Genius! And don't forget it feeds a small army (or my family for several days).
Sometimes we hear that VitaClay pots are "too small." I guess they don't look huge when you open the box, but they actually are bigger than they seem.
Did you know our 8 cup versions (VM7900-8, VF7700-8) can both fit an entire chicken, along with veggies and some liquid, which can be made into a soup or done more like roast chicken? Not only that, we just came out with an even larger pot, the Stock & Slow Cooker, which can fit 2 chickens! Who cooks 2 chickens? I don’t know! But it can be done!
I always use organic chicken (because there is arsenic in it otherwise) but I started to wonder about the difference between air-chilled and regular (which is usually brined or has some salt water brine injected into it). The air-chilled is usually more expensive, but that makes sense, since you’re not paying per-lb for all that extra water.
I decided to do a little experiment, cooking whole chickens in VitaClay, roast-chicken style. One chicken was air-chilled, and the other was not. Here are the results:
The first chicken was air chilled. I put it in the cooker with some spices like turmeric, pepper, salt, and a no-salt blend, as well as a splash of wine and broth. This is what it looked like after I cooked it for 2 hours on “stew”:
I did the same thing with the 2nd chicken, which was organic but not “air-chilled.” I was interested to see if there would be much more liquid in the 2nd chicken after cooking. Here it is:
As you can see, they both ended up with about the same amount of liquid in the pot in the end.
Neither was soggy (I hate soggy chicken) and both tasted great. I do like the flavor of the air-chilled better than the other, but as far as this experiment goes, they were about equal.