Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How I Stretched an $8 chicken

This week, I picked up a couple of whole chickens at one of the local Kosher grocery stores for $1.99/lb. What a great deal! I also came across a new blog with a post on how to stretch a chicken into many different meals. She worked with a 7lb chicken, and the biggest I could find was 4 lb, so I wasn't able to do quite as much, but I'm pretty proud with everything I did!

The main reason I loved this idea is because I'm letting my slow cooker do all the work. If you know me, you know how much I love my slow cooker, so this is really a perfect match. Here's how my day went:

7:00 am: Placed the whole chicken in the slow cooker and seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika. I wanted to keep it bland so I could use for other recipes. I set the slow cooker to low, got the boy ready and off to daycare/work we went.

12:00 pm: Got excited that I had a whole chicken cooking in my slow cooker and it would smell so good when I got home!

5:00 pm: Sent hubby a text message to ask him to shut the slow cooker off and take out some chicken for ds (dear son - I'm going to start using blog lingo because I'm that cool).

6:00 pm: Got home and enjoyed the lovely smell from the kitchen. DS surprisingly ate all the chicken that DH (figure that one out) put out. I took the chicken out of the slow cooker and started separating some of the meat from the bone. It was literally falling off the bone.

6:15 pm: There were a lot of chicken juices in the crock pot so I used some as a gravy and a couple of cups to cook some quinoa for a dinner side tonight and tomorrow. Also cooked up some green beans.

6:30 pm: I was starving so I ate my portion of chicken, quinoa and green beans for dinner while DH and DS played downstairs.

7:00 pm: DS eats what seems like a cup of quinoa and then goes to bed. DH takes out what he wants to eat for dinner. Basically what was left of the chicken were some side bones with meat and the breast portion.

7:30 pm: I separated all the meat from the bones and put the bones in the crock pot. I decided to take the meat and freeze it for a later date. I think I will probably use it for a big pot of chicken soup at a later date.

7:40 pm: Now the best part. I put all the bones back in my crock pot, added an onion, a bay leaf, some seasoning and 8 cups of water and set to low to cook a chicken stock overnight. I have never made homemade stock before so I'm really excited to see how it turns out!

So, that's how I stretched my $8 chicken. How do you stretch your food? I would love to hear your ideas, especially because I have another 4 lber in the freezer!

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