Monday, August 23, 2004

Five Dinners Out of One Chicken

(OK, it only works for a small family, 2 adults and 1 baby. Larger families may need to use multiple chickens and/or eat the food in three days.)

You can do this even more cheaply with all or part of a 10-lb bag of chicken legs, if your family doesn't mind dark meat. I get these at Wal-Mart for around $4.

Day 1: Roast Chicken With Winter Vegetables.
One whole chicken
a Squash
2 Onions
(you can also use potatoes or any other winter vegetables)
4 cloves of Garlic
Olive Oil
fresh Parsley

Cut the veggies into chunks. In a large roasting pan, place the chicken and the cut-up veggies. Drizzle with olive oil. Mince the garlic and parsley and sprinkle them over everything. Roast at 350 degrees until chicken is done, usually about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Tonight, everyone eats a piece of chicken and some vegetables. After dinner, pick the meat off all the chicken bones (except for 1 drumstick) and chop it into pieces. Save the bones and the skin and the remaining drumstick.

Baby Food:
Remove the skin from the squash and grind it in a baby food grinder (or puree it in the blender). Freeze the puree in ice cube trays, pop out the squash cubes and put them in a bag in the freezer.

Day 2: Chicken Pot Pie
1 cup chicken meat (pick the meat off the leftover roast chicken)
1 can mixed vegetables or small package of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 c. Bisquick or other biscuit mix
1/2 c. milk
1 egg

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix chicken, vegetables, and soup in 9" pie plate. In separate bowl, mix Bisquick, milk and egg. Pour into pie plate over chicken mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Day 3: Leftover Pot Pie

Put the bones, skin, and drumstick in a large pot with:
2 carrots, chopped in a few large pieces
2 onions, chopped in a few large pieces
1 stalk of celery, chopped in a few large pieces
1 bay leaf
sprigs of fresh thyme and parsley
Cover with water. Boil for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the veggies and herbs, bones, skin, and drumstick and save the carrots and the meat from the drumstick, which by now should be falling off the bone. This makes the broth and this part can be done in advance so that you can refrigerate it and take the fat off the top, if you want.

Add water to the broth if necessary to make 5 cups.

Baby Food:
Take the drumstick meat, which by now is really soft and overcooked, and grind it in the baby food grinder for the baby. Grind the carrots also. Freeze any baby food you're not going to use right away.

Day 4: Curry Chicken Soup In Bread Bowls
2 Tbsp. butter
1 carrot, chopped finer
1 onion, chopped finer
1 stalk of celery, chopped finer
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. curry powder
5 cups broth from above
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup white rice
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 c. cream or plain yogurt

Saute the vegetables in the melted butter. Blend in curry powder and saute 1 minute more. Add the 5 cups of broth, bay leaf, and the rest of the picked-off chicken meat from Day 1. Simmer covered for 7-10 minutes. Add rice, cover, and boil 12-15 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Mix cornstarch into cream, and blend into soup. Cook 2 minutes to thicken slightly. Serve in bread bowls.

Day 5: Leftovers
Eat the leftover soup with the remaining bread bowls.