The Cost of a Farmers Market Chicken and Roast Chicken



For me the cost was $15.11 for a 4.65 lb chicken or $3.25 per pound.  I know it is expensive compared to a grocery store one you could get for maybe half that price but to me the cost is worth it.  I won’t pretend I always buy my chicken from a local farmer that practices humane, hormone free growing but I try too more and more every year.  It is easy to say you will only buy organic, local, humanely raised food and grow your own food but it is far harder to live that everyday especially working on a tight budget.  Our goal as a family is to do a little more month after month, year after year until we reach a point where we are happy and comfortable with the balance we created for ourselves in our food system.

So how do we justify spending twice the cost of a regular grocery store chicken on one from a farmer we know raises his chickens in a far more humane way, then big food companies do?   I wanted to put it into dollars and cents perspective.

So we dropped $15 on a nice big chicken.  What are our plans for it now? The plan is to get 5 meals from it with chicken being the main protein and hopefully get a few leftover lunches too.  I have 4 mouths to feed including my own (The baby still gets her meals from the milk tap!) 4 mouths times 3 meals a day, times 7 days a week, means I need to come up with 84 plates of food not including snacks in a week. Time to get to work on this chicken!

First up for this chicken is to roast it for a great Sunday supper!  I absolutely love big afternoon Sunday meals.  The kind where you do nothing all day afterward and relax to get ready for another week.  Those suppers remind me of going to my grandmothers on Sunday after church and being presented with a large ham or roast beef. Needless to say I didn’t appreciate this family time until I was much older but I always remember appreciating the food.

In terms of large Sunday suppers Roast Chicken is actually 4th on my list of preferences but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.  For me the list goes…

  1. Baked Ham
  2. Roast Turkey
  3. Roast Beef
  4. Roast Chicken
  5. Meatloaf

My plan is to roast the chicken with a whole bunch of vegetables and only serve less then half the chicken meat.  The rest will be used in other recipes during the week which I will post later on this site.

I have never done anything fancy roasting chicken.  I love the taste of chicken and I don’t like covering it up with a lot of seasonings or spices.  After removing the giblets I rub softened butter all over the outside and put a dab inside.  Then sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and little dried thyme from the garden.  Into my baking pan with a metal tray to keep the chicken off the bottom of the pan to let the juices run off.


Next up is the vegetables.  I purchased rainbow carrots and large red onions from the farmers market as well.  I cut them into large chunks and place them around chicken.  The carrot tops without greens I sliced off and stuffed inside the chicken as well as the ends of the onion I sliced off.  They can season the chicken from the inside and get discarded once done.  Then I cut 3-4 potatoes into large cubes and placed them around the chicken and drizzled a little oil olive on the veggies and sprinkled with a little salt and pepper.  Into the oven the pan goes at 350 degrees.

For me this chicken took 2.25 hours.  I use a instant read meat thermometer on the breast and then the thigh,  it takes longer for the thigh to cook.  I look for 180 degrees and then take it out and cover with tin foil to rest for 10 minutes.  Now instead of making gravy (I don’t like gravy) I take the metal stand out of the pan once I have removed chicken to cutting board and throw the veggies back into pan with drippings.  Then I put the pan back into oven under broiler for a couple minutes to char the veggies a little and let them soak up the dripping from pan.

Now I carving and serving this Sunday feast! 80 percent of the butter crisped chicken skin I will sneakily eat while no one is looking, I honestly can’t help it, it is the best part!  One breast, thigh, drumstick, wing will get sliced and split between the four of us.  I can get away with this because Spencer won’t eat a lot and Norah will certainly be focused on the stuffing made.  I do realize this plan for 5 meals from one chicken will become much harder the older they get but for now it works for us.

The other half of the chicken will sit on the board until after dinner when it has cooled and we will pick off the rest of the meat.  I got 3 containers each with 4 oz assorted meat in them to put in the fridge and the chicken carcass and all other bones goes into a large freezer bag and also put in the fridge to make stock with tomorrow.

Tonight we feast and tomorrow we will get to work on our other chicken recipes.  In the next few weeks I will post the other recipes made from this chicken.  They will be…

So from this chicken we will get 5 meal featuring the chicken as protein.  The 4 of us times 5 meals is 20 of our meals will be made with the $15.11 chicken.  We also got 4 lunch plates from leftover Chicken Noodle Soup and I stayed up late and polished off the Chicken Pizza but I won’t count that! 24 plates of 84 taken care of with this bird or about 29% of our meals for the week.  I am happy with the cost, knowing the benefit to our community and the lesson it teaches our kids.  This fits with our goal of making more responsible food choices without breaking our budget.  We just had to get a little creative! 🙂



Roast Chicken
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Blogging with Apples
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 2 hours 15 mins
Total time: 2 hours 35 mins
Serves: 4
An easy Sunday supper roast chicken with leftovers for the week!
  • 1 4.65lbs whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 large carrots cut into chunks
  • 1 large red onion cut into chunks
  • 4 large potatoes cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place cleaned chicken in roasting pan and rub exterior and interior with softened butter
  3. Sprinkle the thyme on chicken and half the salt and pepper
  4. Place vegetable around chicken in pan and drizzle with olive oil and the rest of the salt and pepper
  5. Place vegetable scraps in chicken cavity
  6. Cook in oven approx 2.25 until chicken is done
  7. Let chicken rest under tin foil and return veggies and drippings to oven under broiler for 1-2 minutes until charred
  8. Remove scraps from inside chicken and discard
  9. Slice and serve!


Jeff McIntosh

About Jeff McIntosh

Jeff's family lives in his childhood home on a 1/4 acre in town lot. Despite the small space to work with, they have challenged ourselves to produce as much of our own food as possible — and cook it! They document their journey at Blogging with Apples.