Monday, 28 January 2013

Take one chicken...

Using the chicken bought from our local butchers the other day, I decided to see how many meals I could get from it. I put the chicken on the base of my grill pan, added 1” of water, covered the whole thing with foil and baked it in a 180 Celsius oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes. After testing it was done, the now falling apart chicken was removed, wrapped in foil and covered with a towel to keep warm. All the chicken water went into a separate pan towards some soup.

DB took all the meat from the chicken and the carcass went into the chicken water (along with the smaller of the roasted beef bones). The skin was kept for use later! The stock pan was added to with the water from the partially boiled potatoes (later to be roasted) and the water from the vegetables.
Remember the beef fat I managed to save from roasting the bones the other day? Well, it was enough to do these roast potatoes.

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When the roast potatoes still had 15 minutes to go, the chicken skin was carefully laid onto silicon paper on a tray and dry roasted. Here it is draining, amazing amount of fat came out of it. It needed slightly less time than this but this was our first time cooking it.
 
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We plated up 4 roast chicken dinners, one each for tonight - shown here, another for Monday. Sunday tea would be using up last 4 faggots from a previous batch.





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The idea for another meal (plus roasting the chicken skins) came from here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jan/19/dinner-recipes-budget.


When I have made two of these (another two meals each) I'll post them here. Finally, I am planning today to make a meat and vegetable soup, enough for us two for 3 servings. With the smidgen of meat left over, I will use it in a risotto.


So 2 roast meals, 2 chicken and vegetable cobblers, 3 portions of soup each and a risotto = 6 8 meals. Not bad really is it. To think an awful lot of people eat just the breast and throw the rest away!




7 comments:

  1. I think we owe it to our purses to make every bit of money we spend go as far as we possibly can these days. Who says to eat this well has to cost a fortune, you've just proved that a single chicken can feed you well for days.

    Those roast potatoes look amazing.

    Sue xx

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    1. Thanks Sue and the roast potatoes were lovely. 2nd roast dinner tonight although as it will be warmed up the potatoes won't be crisp but still no doubt, enjoyable.

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  2. Have been frugal all my life and at this stage I am looking for pearls ( quite a few good ones on your blog) I do the chicken like you but have never roasted the skins or braised the chicken instead of roasting - will definitely try.
    Your roast potatoes look perfect ! Look forward to the chicken crumble recipe, love to bake but cant really be too bothered with pastry these days; cooking has to be simple. Never made faggots but make meatballs (Pioneer Woman) quite often and I tend to cook them in the oven after browning them. Also made chili out of Nigella s Feast - get about 14 meals out of that, great standby especially over a baked potato.

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    1. I usually roast mine as well but thought I would do it this way. It was very moist. Skins we will do again just for less time, they were yummy. Will have to have a look at the chilli recipe, although we only usually eat meat 2 - 4 times a week, sometimes less.

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  3. We get huge birds from an organic farm near us - expensive but they go a long way. I think our record is about 16 meals from one bird but it's usually 12-14 -- when each breast alone weighs nearly 1lb in weight (raw) it's quite easy! I can

    I agree with Sue that those roast potatoes look fab. I've got a bit of a craving for them now! :)

    (louisa from thereallygoodlife, in case my openid thing doesn't work!)

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    1. this chicken was around the 4lb mark I think. 12 -14 is very good value if you get such huge birds.

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  4. I'm with everyone else -- the potatoes look fabulous!

    I usually get 3 meals for 3 of us out of a decent sized chicken. One meal just as you served, one pot pie or casserole, and one chicken soup. I use the carcass stock in the soup along with any little bits of meat.

    I always cringe when people toss part of a roasted bird. My Mama, whom I love dearly, just about leaves me in tears during the holidays. She'll cook a huge turkey and refuses to eat the dark meat. In years past I've come home with enough dark meat for several meals, but for the last few years I've just cooked the turkey instead. :-)

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