I wanted to get my Thrifty Thursday Tip out to you though because this is something I think everyone can do and it has to do with food. You all know that I LOVE FOOD!
I roasted a chicken yesterday. If it had been a turkey this would be a Thrifty Thursday Turkey Tip but that’s too much alliteration for this page…so back on track. Roast chicken. It was Little Man’s idea since he was saying “winner winner chicken dinner” and I happen to have lots of chickens in the freezer. Just about everyone has their own way to roast chicken so I won’t post an actual recipe on here, but I like to line the pan with carrots and onions, place the chicken breast side down, and then add garlic and spices and a bit of water. Then pop it into a 550F degree oven for 30 mins before turning it back to 375F. It’s done when it reaches 160F. Resting your chicken is as important as how you cook it so aim for at least 20-30 mins. There’s a formula for figuring out how long to roast depending on stuffing or not but I’ll let you get that info from someone who is a little more precise than I am.
How does this relate to being thrifty you ask? well, depending on the size of the chicken, this will do us for 3-4 meals. Yup, you read that right, 3-4 meals for a family of 4 on one roast chicken.
The first night is the chicken dinner with veggies. When we are finished dinner and we are cleaning up I will strip all the meat off of the chicken bones. Meat goes into one container. Bones/skin goes into another. Off to the fridge that goes.
Second night is usually hot chicken sandwiches or tonight it’s chicken pot pie. I always make gravy when I roast chicken (whole or pieces) and I make enough so that there’s some leftover. If there’s not enough gravy for that I will make a chicken stirfry or quesadillas. So there’s two meals.
I know everyone is going to have a different size chicken but the principals are the same so stick with me.
By this time there’s not much meat (if any) left. If it’s not eaten in these two meals there are normally sandwiches made for lunch (which I will count as 3 meals) and of course the grazing that happens in our house. A piece here and a piece there and that chicken pile gets smaller and smaller by the hour. This leaves us with a container of bones (and possibly a bit of gravy).
Pop those bones into a stock pot, add some pepper, bay leaves, whatever other spices and vinegar you happen to like, top it up with water to just cover the bones and get that baby boiling. If I have no other uses for gravy and there’s only a bit left I’ll throw that in the pot as well. Waste Not Want Not. (but you can always pop the extra gravy into the freezer to use for another time) Once it comes to a boil, cover it and turn it down on low, kind of like making rice. Now pour yourself a cup of tea, grab a good book, set your timer for an hour and relax. *Alternatively you could put all of this into a pressure cooker for 20-30 minutes and you will get the same result just not as much reading time.*
When you are done you will have nummy chicken stock that you can use in another recipe(4 meals) that evening or freeze it or pressure can it. I tried pressure canning once before and it didn’t turn out so well so I’ve steered away from it but I do know of lots of people who are very successful with it so if you’re so inclined, give it a try!
I thought I had a post about quick chicken soup but I’ll have to find that and post it later. Ugh, maybe I need a week added to my organization challenge to deal with online clutter. I’m sure you all will find lots to do with that delicious chicken stock.
Give this a try and see how far you can stretch your meals.