Friday, March 9, 2012

A Week of Chicken

Clockwise starting at small crock pot: broth and chicken for  soup,  crock to  fill with scraps to make more broth,  "cutting plate", pile-o-chicken to clean and separate, chicken for the freezer.
 My goal last week was to take my chicken further than ever before. I'm very happy to say that I accomplished this goal. My work began on Monday and ended on Saturday. Not hard work and in all reality the chicken SAVED me time in the kitchen and made meals a cinch. 

From my one chicken I had enough meat for five meals. I also had enough broth for 2 batches of soup, gravy for the pot pie, a quart for the frig (used this week in making rice), a pint for the freezer and a pint or more for making dog food. Every night (Tuesday through Thursday) the crock pot (on low) cooked the bones to produce the nutrient-rich, golden liquid. To learn more about the benefits of bone broth read this article.

 My most loyal friend becomes even more attentive when I'm working with chicken. He is awarded for waiting so patiently. It's always nice to have a friend hang out with me while I'm working in the kitchen.

Monday: Ok, this wasn't any work. I took my bird out of the freezer.

Tuesday: Put the chicken in the crock pot with a handful of carrots and potatoes for dinner. After dinner I added water to the remaining chicken/bones and left to cook overnight. 
Straining the broth
Wednesday: Broth removed and put into smaller crock pot for Wednesday nights soup. Cleaned all the meat off the bones. Some of the meat went into the soup pot, some reserved for Thursday nights dinner, and some went into the freezer for a later meal.  The bones went back into the crock pot and covered with water and a splash of apple cider vinegar. The acid from the vinegar draws out the minerals and nutrients from the bones. 

Thursday: Pot Pie with reserved chicken and more broth. Bones put back into the crock, topped with water and vinegar to cook on low over night.

2 qt. of broth, COFFEE, AVKO Sequential Spelling, freezer chicken, pot pie

This is what I do while the daycare kids are napping ~ drink coffee while giving a spelling lesson to the boy while making/prepping for dinner. 


Pie Crust
Veggies (I used frozen peas and carrots)
Chicken (I used about 3/4 cup)
Gravy (butter, flour and broth)
Biscuits (baking mix, coconut oil and milk)
Confession....I HATE making pie crusts. Maybe one of these days I'll devote a week to make pie crust every day so that I can perfect this art. It's not hard. It's just not something that I have the patience for. Besides the store bought crusts are fairly inexpensive and SO easy. Fill crust with veggies, chicken and gravy. To make gravy, melt 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of flour to make a roux. Add chicken broth and stir until thick. 

Top with biscuits and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Friday: Dog Food. Bones, scrap meat and broth that were soaked over night were put into a stock pot and brought to a boil. Once boiling, heat was turned down to simmer. I simmered until I was able to crush the bones by squeezing with my fingers. Once the bones were "crush-able" I pureed this mixture in the blender. I worry about bones, not only for the health of my favorite pooch but also to avoid expensive vet bills, so I actually get my fingers dirty and squeeze the puree to make sure all the bones have been completely softened/pureed. Anything that feels hard or jagged gets thrown. 

Saturday: Creamy Chicken Rice Soup
A cup of chicken, Bhutan Red Rice (my new favorite rice) and a quart of broth, sprinkle of pepper and a big sprinkle/shake of nutmeg. Make roux with 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of flour, add milk....maybe about a cup (sorry. I really need to start measuring....), stir well and add to soup. 

The view in my frig at one point during the week.

Good thing my family likes chicken. 

Shared on Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday

and on Homestead Revival's Barn Hop

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