Monday, March 5, 2012

Chicken-- what I do with it.

Last week sometime, I posted that I would write about what I do with a whole chicken when I buy a chicken. I will try to recap what I have done with the last few, so that you can maybe get some ideas. One thing I always do is make broth.  I have been making broth in my crock pot overnight with really great results.  I will go through that later too.

Chicken #1
Meal 1-- Roasted chicken, butternut squash, stuffing and gravy
Meal 2-- Salad with chicken, cous cous, hard boiled eggs and homemade Caesar dressing
Broth-- Three scant quarts canned

Chicken #2
Meal 1-- Roasted chicken, broccoli and french fries (potato wedges)
Meal 2-- Chicken tacos, rice pudding
Broth-- Four quarts canned

Chicken #3
Meal 1-- Chicken, quiona and chickpea pilaf
Meal 2-- Chicken and waffles, corn
Broth-- Four quarts canned

Chicken #4
Meal 1-- Chicken, mashed potatoes, cauliflower
Meal 2-- Chicken rice and corn soup
Broth-- Four quarts canned

Chicken #5
Meal 1-- Chicken, Carrots, asparagus, cranberry relish
Meal 2-- Beans and rice with chicken and spinach, green beans
Meal 3-- Chicken salad sandwiches, acorn squash
Broth-- Three or four quarts

So, I just went back through my food log calendar.  We have eaten six whole chickens this year so far (I only remember exactly what happened to five of them, so I didn't write down the sixth).

I would like to try and stretch more of my chickens to three meals and broth, but that requires me cooking the chicken and picking it and cooking something else that has chicken in it for dinner.  That is a lot of extra prep, that I have not had the time or energy to attempt recently.  I'm thinking we'll table that idea for the next five or six months at this point.  :-)

About my broth-- I have been using the crock pot to make my broth overnight, which is great, because I don't have to constantly check on it, and the stove doesn't have to be on, and I don't have to even be home if I don't want to be.  (Ask Chris about how I put on a pot of beans and took a nap and he came home to smoking beans on the stove because the water all cooked off.... oops.)

  1. First I pick all the meat off the bones and put it in a bag or something to make into another meal.  
  2. Then, I put the bones, a carrot or two, an onion (or half, if I'm feeling stingy), and a stalk of celery into the crock pot with about a tablespoon of salt.  I fill up the crockpot with water.  I add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to the water and leave it sit until I am ready to go to bed.  Adding the vinegar helps pull out the gelatin from the bones-- the part of broth that is really good for you.  I was skeptical of this step when I first started doing it recently (I read about it in Nourishing Traditions), but I kept doing it because the bones were actually kind of floppy when I fished them out the next day.  
  3. Turn the crock pot on low at bedtime.  
  4. In the morning, or whenever I get to it the next day, I strain it through a mesh strainer.  
  5. Can or freeze the broth.  I usually can mine in quart jars, which I try to do as soon as I can after straining it, so it doesn't get cold.  But, you can also freeze it.  In that case, you will want to let it cool before putting it in containers and putting it in the freezer. 
  6. Use broth to make delicious soups or when you are making rice for dinner. I have been using mine at lunch a lot to make quick soups that the kids really like.  Corn/peas/carrots/alphabet noodles is a favorite lunch time soup right now.  :-)
Well, I feel like this was a long and wordy post.  I hope you got something out of it, even if it was just a meal idea or a laugh at my stupidity with beans.  :-)

Happy cooking!

1 comment:

  1. The wordy posts just balance with the adorable product ads! :)