Offal & Offcuts: Cooking With the Whole Chicken

Offal & Offcuts Cooking With the Whole Chicken

Offal and offcuts often conjure up an unappealing image of undesirable scraps. But, as with many seemingly unfavourable items, these culinary gems can spark some delicious recipes when used correctly.

In this article, we’ll explore cooking with the whole chicken, including everything from off-cuts, chicken testicles or other organ meats. You’ll get some ideas for creative and succulent new meals all while experiencing new ingredients.

What Are Offal & Offcuts and Why You Should Cook With Them

Offal refers to the internal organs of animals, while offcuts refer to the lesser-used parts of meat such as the cheeks, tongues, and tails. These parts are often overlooked in favour of more traditional cuts, but they offer incredible flavours and textures that can elevate any dish, not to mention the many nutritional benefits.

If you’re on the fence about using offcuts you should at least give them a go as you might be pleasantly surprised. By incorporating offal and offcuts into your cooking, you are utilising more sustainable and economical options and expanding your culinary horizons.

The Benefits of Cooking With the Whole Chicken

Cooking with a whole chicken can be an intimidating task, but it can be a great decision for several reasons.

  • Using the whole bird reduces waste since all parts can be used, including the bones for broth.
  • It’s more budget-friendly to buy a whole chicken versus individual pieces.
  • Cooking with whole chicken allows for more flavour and versatility in recipes, from roasting to slow cooking to making soups and stews.

Making use of whole chicken means getting the most out of your ingredients and creating memorable meals in the process. There’s also something satisfying about using every part of a chicken, knowing that you’re maximizing the use of your ingredients.

How to Cook Using Every Part of the Chicken

Nothing beats a nice homemade chicken dish and those looking to mix it up can start using more unconventional parts of the chicken. It’s all about being creative with what you have, all parts of the chicken can be used. For example, once you’ve cooked some chicken you could additionally cook comforting chicken soup using bones. Internal organs can be set aside for a pate or even just frying as a side dish, these all can enhance dishes.

5 Recipes to Use the Whole Chicken

These recipes offer a great way to make use of the whole chicken and enjoy delicious, flavorful meals while saving money. Give one or all of them a try and see how tasty offal and offcuts can be.

Chicken Liver Paté

This classic French dish is sure to be a hit with both adults and kids alike. A blend of cooked chicken livers, butter, cream and spices combine to create a smooth and flavorful pate that can be served as an appetizer or snack.

Hearty Chicken Giblet Gravy

Made with the gizzard, heart, and neck of the chicken along with butter, flour, herbs and seasonings this gravy makes a delicious topping for mashed potatoes or rice.

Braised Chicken Necks & Wings

An economical way to cook these often-overlooked parts of the bird; braising them in onions, garlic, wine and stock creates a richly flavoured sauce perfect for spooning over vegetables or pasta dishes.

Stewed Chicken Feet & Hearts

The feet are stuffed full of collagen which gives off gelatin when cooked low and slow creating a deliciously satisfying stew full of flavour from all the other ingredients like carrots, celery onion and garlic.

Fried Chicken Livers & Gizzards

If you want a different way to enjoy organs you can try frying them instead of the usual preparation methods. Enjoy these crispy treats fried up in seasoned flour batter then serve on their own or atop salads for extra crunch.

Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Cooked Offal & Offcuts Every Time

Cooking offal and offcuts may seem daunting, but there are some things you can do to be sure to have perfectly cooked, flavorful meat every time.

Choosing the right cooking method is crucial, offal and offcuts are best cooked low and slow, whether it be through braising, roasting, or stewing. Also, you should be generous with spices and flavours as these will often bring out and enhance the offal and offcuts. Lastly, make sure that you use the freshest meat possible, as organs tend to lose their flavour and tenderness faster than muscle meat.


Cooking with offal and offcuts can be a great way to get the most out of your food while also saving money. With just a bit of creativity, you’ll be able to prepare delicious meals using every part of the chicken. There are endless possibilities for creating flavorful dishes with these often-overlooked cuts of meat. So don’t hesitate, challenge your cooking ability and make use of all parts of your poultry.

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