Posted by: amandaleigh1231 | February 17, 2013

The Amazing Upside-Down Chicken

At one point in his life, my husband had aspirations of becoming a chef.  You would think that this would mean that he is the main cook in our household when, in fact, the opposite is true.  I cook about 90% of our meals.  You can imagine my surprise when I arrived home from work to find that my husband had cooked a huge meal for us Roasted Garlic Chicken, Steamed Rice, and Fresh Broccoli.

Then I took a look at the food.  He had cooked the chicken upside-down, with the breast down in the pan.  I had just assumed that everyone, especially someone who had once held aspirations of becoming a professional chef, would know that it is standard to roast a chicken with the breast facing up.  Despite the fact that the chicken was cooked upside-down, it was moist, flavorful, and delicious.  Nick insists that roasting the chicken upside-down was intentional, but I know better.

The chicken was purchased for $0.99 per pound, for a total cost of $4.32.  From that four pound chicken we had several amazing meals:

  • Roasted Garlic Chicken with sides of Rice and Broccoli
  • Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry
  • Chicken Pasta Primavera
  • Chicken and Caramelized Onion Quesedilla w/ Sauteed Broccoli
  • Spicy Vegetable Soup cooked with stock made from the chicken bones and some aromatics

For me, this was the epitome of a money saving meal.  Not a bit of that chicken went to waste.  By stretching the amount of protein that was used, we included many more vegetables than we would have if we had featured meat as the centerpiece of each meal.  Most importantly, these meals tasted good and were good for us.

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Responses

  1. Sorry, but I’m with your husband on this one. I always cook a bird breast down. That’s how my mom, grandmother and MIL all do it. I believe the logic was that all the juices drain down to the breast during cooking, keeping it moist. With the shorter cooking time it may not make much difference with a chicken, but it certainly keeps the turkey breast from drying out.

    We cook a whole chicken at least once every two weeks. It’s then followed by chicken enchiladas, and either chicken tetrazini/divan/alfredo. Any remaining bits are used on chicken nachos and in soup made from the broth.

    • JMK – I do have to admit that it was the moistest chicken that I have had in a long time. There is just something about having that crispy skin with the breast meat (I know its not healthy). We might need to try a compromise where we start it breast side down, and then flip it for the last 15 minutes or so to crisp up the skin.


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