I like to stock up on chicken when it goes on sale. Generally, I consider a great deal on chicken to be less than the amounts listed below:
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: $2.00/lb
Bone-in chicken breasts, legs or thighs: $1.00/lb
Whole broiler-fryer chickens: $0.80/lb
I always stock up when I can get chicken for these deals, and frankly, I don’t really spend my money on chicken when I can’t get it for really cheap.
I always freeze any chicken that I am not planning on using within the next couple of days. If the package is small enough, I might freeze the whole package of chicken. Otherwise, I put some wax paper or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and lay each piece of chicken separately on the sheet. I freeze these for a couple hours, take them off of the sheet, and place them in a freezer bag before returning them to the freezer. This gives me individually frozen chicken pieces that are a lot handier than a big frozen chicken hunk. I don’t usually find chicken is as inexpensive when it is already individually frozen. However, whenever it is just as cheap, I make sure to buy extra.
Whenever I find whole chickens at a really good deal, I buy two or three of them. At $0.69/lb I can get a whole chicken for about two bucks! I might cook one in the next couple of days and keep the others in the freezer. These whole birds take a few days to defrost in your fridge, so you have to plan ahead to eat them. I nearly always use one of these birds for an easy Crockpot meal. I’ll call it something creative like, well. . .
Bird in a Crockpot:
1 whole broiler-fryer chicken (3-4 lbs or whatever, as long as it fits in your Crockpot with room to spare)
4-8 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 in. chunks
4-6 potatoes, scrubbed and cut in big pieces (3rds or 4ths)
Salt and pepper, plus whatever other seasonings you like—maybe rosemary or bay leaves
2 onions, sliced thickly and rings separated
Place vegetables into the Crockpot. Reach into cavity of chicken and pull out innards and discard. Place chicken over vegetables and sprinkle with seasonings. Cook on low setting all day, maybe 8-10 hours, or on high setting for about 5 hours*. Take bird and veggies out of pot and leave broth for gravy, if desired. The recipe below is for about 2 c broth. If you have less broth, add water to make 2 cups:
Super Easy Gravy
Strain broth into medium saucepan. Start heating broth on the stove. While the broth is heating, mix 2 T cornstarch with 2 T water until cornstarch is dissolved. Pour cornstarch mixture into broth and heat to boiling, stirring often. Boil and stir 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once gravy cools a bit it will thicken even more.
*Note: If you cook with your crockpot on high, you probably should add a little water (1/2-1 cup) to the Crockpot at the beginning to keep the bird moist.