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Monday, May 19, 2008

One Chicken - Three Meals!

There are many reasons why I love to cook, and thats what this blog is all about. Food is our link to the earth. Eating should remind us that there is an alternative to the pleasure of satiation, and that is hunger. Every day I am thankful that we live in a country where we have such an abundance of fantastic food. There are millions of people in the world who do not, and I think that sometimes we take for granted how good we've got it here. It seems a shame that so many people lose sight of this in the rush and pressures of the world, and turn to eating instant this and express that. It's the way of things, but it doesn't always need to be.

In a society that is driven by the desire to save time to be able to do more with our lives, it seems to me that we should spend more of that time appreciating not only our food, but the process of engaging with our food.

Its the meal that matters. More on this philosophy later.

With the economy tightening around us and the price of food rising, it seems important to me that we all learn to make the most of everything we put on our tables. Our grandparents knew how to do this, and I'm ever grateful to those older generations who have shared with me over the years the secrets of making a little go a long way. It not only makes good economic sense, it also impacts on our consumption patterns and our carbon footprint.

Now watch, and believe your eyes, as one size-16 chicken makes 2 dinners for 3 adults and a one-year-old and 2 lunches for one hungry young man.


Roast a Chicken. Do a pile of roast veges, more than you need. Watch this space in the future for delectable variations on this theme. Make sure you roast at least one whole bulb of garlic and a couple of onions. you'll figure out the quantities after a couple of goes.

Meal 1: Dish up the legs, wings, and thighs with steamed and roast veges and gravy. Should serve 2 or 3 depending on how hungry you all are.

Meal 2: Reserve the breast meat, allow to cool, covered, and refrigerate. The following day, chop this up and stir through pasta with cheese sauce or something similar with fresh greens and Parmesan. Once again, watch this space for more detailed recipes.

Meal 3: Roast Vege Soup. Collect all the chicken scraps, including all the bones from the legs and wings. Combine with any vegetable water you might have. Boil for about 20 mins then allow to simmer for 1&1/2 to 2 hours. Chop the leftover roast veges up into a bowl. When the stock is ready, pour into the bowl with the veges and grind up with a hand blender. Make it as smooth or chunky as you prefer. Season to taste. Transfer to lunch size containers, to be frozen for later and eaten with toast or bagels.



Chrissy said...

mmm roast chicken :)

Liz said...

mmmm bagels!

Giffy said...

Hi, I wandered over here from Morgue :) I love the roast chicken to soup etc meals. I also find that I have enough stock leftover to be used in other foods (as base for soups or you can cook some yummy flavoured rice).

I've gotten so into it that I've been saving my carrot peelings, onion ends, sad celery sticks etc in a bag in the freezer for my next stock. Go the recylcing :)

Karen said...

Also wandering over from Morgue:-) You can cook the stock while you do baths and bedtimes, let it cool while doing chores, so it kind of works even if you're a single parent I always freeze the stock for later even if I don't have time to make soup. My wee boys (10 months and 3.25)like rice microwaved in the chicken stock, with left-over chicken and veg tossed through (frozen veg will do if you get in tired from work). We don't eat anything like a third of it in a sitting so I freeze little baggies of pre-chopped meat. I think we get about 5 meals... more if I do make soup... Yay for chickens, friend of the busy parent (and all parents of young kids are busy).

Dan said...

Thanks for the tips!

lbs said...

I roasted my chicken on Wednesday night, used the leftovers to make pasta Alfredo on Friday night, and am currently sitting at my kitchen table while the bones boil on the stove. There is a bowl of cold roasted veges in the fridge (although I might need to keep a couple of pieces of potato for cold potato, cheese and marmite sandwiches) and I think it will be roast chicken soup for dinner tonight! What a wonderful idea....