How to Get Three Meals Out of One Chicken

I have a lot of eaters in my house. Many hungry mouths follow me around all day long making this odd noise. “I’m hungry! I’m hungry!” they whine. It costs a lot to get them to stop making that noise, but I have stumbled upon some strategies and I thought I would share my favorite.

I can make one chicken feed this large family for three nights. How? Like this:

Night One – Roast Chicken with Garlic Baked Potatoes.
Roast the entire chicken with  seven garlic bulbs. Cut the top 1/3 of the garlic bulbs off and sit them in the pan (I use my deep cast iron skillet with a lid) around the chicken. Then drizzle olive oil and salt over all, being sure to cover the garlic well. Bake at 350 degrees until done (one to one and half hours). At the same time, bake potatoes. To serve, cut chicken breasts into medium sized portions for bigger eaters and give the wings to the littles. Squeeze one entire bulb of garlic over each opened baked potato. Drizzle drippings from the pan over potato and chicken. After dinner, remove remaining meat from carcass and put in the fridge. Now make broth with the carcass.

Chicken Broth Recipe
Place chicken carcass, one onion, two carrots and two celery stalks into stock pot and add enough water to fully cover. Place over high heat until boiling; lower heat and simmer until ready to use. (A good crock pot is better than my method, but mine doesn’t simmer well enough.)

Night Two – Shredded chicken in something
On the second night, use the remaining meat (thighs and drumsticks) in some kind of chicken casserole or stir fry. My favorite choices are chicken pot pie or chicken tacos.

Night Three – Soup
Now that your broth has been cooking for about two days, it has sucked out all the yummy nutrients that the chicken carcass had hidden in its bones, grissle and skin (discard veggies and chicken remains – we just want the liquid). Time to make soup. Our favorite is my totally made up tomato soup recipe:

Tomato Soup Recipe
Grate two carrots; dice two celery stalks and an onion; saute veggies in olive oil in a good size sauce pan.
When veggies are tender, add a liberal amount of thyme, basil, and oregano; saute a little longer.
Add broth and two cans tomato sauce. (depending on how much broth there is, I may add enough water to make a enough soup for my whole crew – total needed for us is about about 10 cups of soup) Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer a little while.
Serve with biscuits or grilled cheese sandwiches or oyster crackers or whatever you have on hand.

In this way, I am able to feed seven hungry people three dinners with one chicken.
Do you have any strategies for making your grocery dollar stretch? Do share it!

Tuesdays in the Kitchen – Biscuits

I know the secret to easy, perfect biscuits. A cheese grater.

I have tried many things to get that flaky, moist biscuit that every great cook aspires to create. (Okay, maybe that was overstated, but it does make your mouth water, doesn’t it?) Pastry blenders in various shapes and materials, different kinds of fats, whole wheat vs. white wheat, …. you get the picture. After churning out millions of little white hockey pucks, I figured it out. Want the recipe? I start with my Grandma’s recipe and throw in my own little shortcuts and tips. Here you go.

A biscuit tutorial with help from The Munchkin

Grandma Hovie’s Biscuits
makes about 18

4 cups white flour
8 tsp baking powder
6 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In large bowl, mix dry ingredients together; using a cheese grater, shred the butter onto a piece of wax paper.

Add cold grated butter; break up butter bits with fork (I use my fingers).

It should look like this –

Mix eggs and milk together and add them to the butter/flour mixture.

Stir to blend; turn onto lightly floured surface and knead about ten times – just to create a nice ball. Don’t handle it too much because you want it to stay nice and cold.

Pat out to about 1/2″ thick and fold in half, then pat out to about 3/4″. (I skip the rolling pin)

Cut out and place biscuits on cookie sheet about 1″ apart.

My grandma says that you shouldn’t roll them out more than twice, so the last two are just the cut offs all squished together by hand.

Bake at 450 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Mmmm, perfection. Add a little Bree and an egg over-easy and Voila! A yummy way to start the day.