My two main methods, given the nicer weather:
1) Grilling large amounts outdoors.
2) Baking indoors at 400 degrees F for roughly 45 minutes, usually with some vegetables in the baking pan and a little white wine and lemon juice.
In both cases, I'm using boneless chicken breasts, and I keep them in Tupperware until they're all eaten up...which usually only takes me a few days. :)
Two words: slow cooker.
You can toss a whole FROZEN chicken in in the morning and have delicious, juicy, cooked chicken for supper. Nothing simpler. Easy, cheap, perfectly cooked.
I always put my bird in breast side down and cover with whatever veg strikes my fancy (Carrots? Celery? Rutabegas? Turnips? Onion! Garlic! Etc. If you eat nightshades they do well, too). Make sure to drain off the lovely, fatty broth before you devour your bird. Makes a wonderful clear soup! :)
I think it depends on how you like your chicken. I roast a whole chicken about once a week using various seasonings. After the initial meal, I "pick" the meat off the chicken and store it in the fridge for salads, curries, sautes and what have you. Then I throw the carcass in the freezer until I have enough bones to make a batch of stock.
At a restaurant I worked at, that's pretty much how we handled having pre-cooked chicken for our chicken salad, chicken canneloni, etc. We used white meat and dark meat for separate recipes. Except we roasted the seasoned chicken on a bed of celery, carrots and onions and after picking the meat off, water was added to the pan of bones and veggies and immediately placed back in the oven to make stock.
I think an excellent way to cook a chicken for salads is to just make stock using 1 or 2 whole chickens. This way not only will you get the meat but you will also get the stock. The meat falls of the bone and has a shredded look. If you have so much chicken or stock left over you can always freeze it.
I get the organic thighs from Sprouts and throw them in the crockpot with some stock, lots of garlic, chili powder, black pepper, and whatever veggies I have - onion, mushrooms, a can of crushed tomato's - this is so yummy when I get home and for the next few meals. I tend to stay away from the breast meat now - just not as good as though thighs
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