Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The Chicken Flies Again (with a Little Help from Frugal Sister)
Chicken is one of the most amazingly versatile items in the meat department. Ground beef, can just step aside. After you cook and remove the fat from a lb. of regular ground beef, you have nearly a cup (sometimes more) of artery clogging cholesterol that does not belong in anyone's body (except the cow and no one asked her permission).
On the other hand, you can bake the fat out of the chicken, then put the drippings in a bowl, place this in the freezer and peel the white patty off the top, leaving a flavor-filled bouillon with which you can make a terrific gravy. You can SEE where the fat is on the chicken and can proceed as you will. (BTW- I raised free range chickens and have no love for these animals. Not a lick. I would not like to cause them the pain of life in an overcrowded cage, but I just am not a big fan of the animal herself ).
On Sunday night we had a very moist 3.30 lb. baked chicken (on sale, $3.70 total) with acorn squash ($.99) and mashed red potatoes (5lb. bag, $2.49). The meal was, roughly $3.50 when you take into account that we only ate a third of the potatoes and a third of the chicken. Also, a small amount of milk, spices and a few pats of margarine.
For dessert, I made a simple apple crumble using the undersized red delicious that I bought on sale at the discount grocery store. This fruit is best used in recipes because of the small size, thick skins and the low sugar content. I diced up peeled apples, added oatmeal and cinnamon sugar and mixed this together in a big bowl, sprayed a large roasting pan with oil and baked until bubbling. Try to cook the whole bag because this will make an excellent quick breakfast item. I'd put the cost at about $3.00 and the portions at about 8 (unless ONE OF YOU is on a constant diet, in which case we'll call it 12 portions).
Tonight we'll have fried rice using the scraps from the chicken. I've already boiled the carcass and removed leftover meat. I cooked up a pot of rice and threw half of the contents into my pan for tonight's fried rice, and put the rest aside for tomorrow night's chicken and rice soup.
Keep things overlapping. It works wonders for the budget and cuts down significantly on the time you spend preparing meals.