Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Baked Chicken

My job is awesome. I may have mentioned that before. Seriously though, I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to teach my kiddos life skills each and every day. We are currently working on making things for our Thanksgiving feast on Thursday. We planned our menu and went grocery shopping yesterday. The class decided on chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn casserole, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie. We will likely all be comatose in the afternoon. And yes, I will be packing my own salad and skipping the casseroles, dinner rolls and pie.

Sometimes I take for granted those skills I consider to be basic cooking skills. We baked our chickens today. I have four assistants in my room, the five of us ranging in age from early 20's to older than 40.  Is that safe enough to say? LOL. I went over my lesson plans for the chicken prep with my ladies and got some unsure looks in response. So I decided I'd write our chicken recipe instructions on the board before leaving for my meetings. The stories I got later about who was grossed out the most by whole chicken were hysterical! And the deboning was even better! I was laughing so hard I was in tears.

The whole thing made me consider my beliefs of "basic" cooking skills vs other's beliefs. Granted I work with kids with cognitive disabilities. We are usually working on skills like following pre packaged food instructions that are pretty simple. Baking a whole chicken involves removing the giblets and extra fat and skin, as well as using the oven safely. I showed them how to make their own chicken stock from the bones, a few vegetables, covering it all with water, and simmering for an 90 minutes. And the smell in our room was so fantastic and comforting. My little guy walked in my room after school and went straight back to the kitchen looking for the chicken soup.

These are not things all of my students can do independently. That's not to say they shouldn't have some experience with these skills. I want them to know how to make things from the most basic ingredients. I want them to experience a chicken they seasoned, cooked, and checked the thermometer every few minutes to see if it's done. I look forward to seeing their reaction to the taste of the dinner on Thursday as much as anything. There is great satisfaction that comes from making a meal from the most basic ingredients. I hope they feel that pride as they serve our guests and enjoy the meal themselves.

1. Rinse your chicken in the sink.
2. Remove any giblets, the neck, and extra skin.
3. Pat dry with paper towel.
4. Rub chicken with salt, pepper, onion powder, Garlic powder.
5. Place fragrent herbs such as rosemary and sage in the inner cavity. You can also add vegetables to the pan around the chicken. I like carrots, celery & onion.
6. Place chicken breast side down in a 9x13 baking pan.
7. Cover with foil and Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 2 hours.
8. Remove foil and continue cooking for 15 minutes to crisp outside skin.
9. Remove from oven and let cool.


  1. Funny, I taught my Spring Break friends to bake a whole chicken in a house on the beach a few years ago! Somehow the basics were skipped my so many. Love ya!

  2. I wish I could have told the stories from the kitchen that day, Hedy! We laughed so hard. I'd probably lose some instructional assistants if I blabbed! :)


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