I have a whole chicken in the fridge and dry beans in the cupboard. I usually make chili out of ground beef/turkey or chicken but don't know where to start with a whole chicken. Any thoughts would be of great benefit to our little/hungry family of four:) This is my first time posting, so I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right thread, but I love all the fresh new meal ideas...just what I needed:)
Hello! Have you considered roasting the chicken whole? You can get many meals out of a roasted chicken. Cook it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes a pound, until the joint area of the leg bone is no longer red. You can also use a meat thermometer. Chicken is done at 180 degrees farenheit, checking where the leg connects to the bird. After you are through with eating the roast, pull off all the leftover meat and reserve it for sandwiches, stir-fries, adding to soups etc. Take the bones and leftover fat, skin, etc and place them in a big pot. Cover with water and simmer for at least 4 hours, but it can really go for longer. You will end up with a nutritious stock to make soup with. I hope some of this was useful. Congrats on your family!
thank you for the great advice...I roasted the chicken and made chicken enchiladas out of the breast...used the dark meat the second night and made a bean/veggie/chicken soup/chili type meal and used those leftovers the third night wrapped in a tortilla with lettuce and veggies on the side...for a grand total of three wholesome dinners all with one $5 chicken:) Score!!
E, wife to D, mommy to G (born March 2010).
I agree with saving the carcass! I make my own broth and freeze it, that way I always have some on hand when another recipe calls for it. The "cubes" and canned stuff is filled to the brim with garbage and you will be saving $$$.
Another vote for making stock! I have approx. 30 gallons of it going right now myself (week after a big butchering weekend). I spend 4 days total making my stock. I simmer the bones (add vinegar!) for several hours (be sure to skim top to remove crud after about the first 30 minutes of simmering), remove the bones/meat and let cool. I then remove any meat and save for later and put the bones back into the pot to simmer overnight. Then I strain and let cool. Skim the fat off, keep or discard-that's up to you, and then again back to simmering until it reduces down to about 2 inches in the pot. Let cool again (this time it will be like very thick jell-o), scoop out onto a cookie sheet with an ice cream scooper, freeze 'til solid and pop into food saver bags. That leaves me with enough stock to last 'til next butcher day (for whichever type of animal), and I can add that wonderful nutrition to anything I cook! Just add water.
If you don't have as many bones as I do at a time, just pop 'em into a bag or bucket in the freezer until you get enough saved up. Also save your onion tops, celery leaves/bottoms, carrot peels, etc. in the freezer and add to your bones.
Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids : dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)