One chicken = four meals

One chicken = four meals

If you have not gotten sick of my food posts, now will be the time. Cause there is even more!

Food prices have gone wild here over the last year or so. It is out of control. I feel every time I step into the grocery store, a tiny little person jumps in my bag and pulls out all the money out of it and uses its tiny little thin lips to suck the contents of my cards too. And that is before I have even reached the checkout. I can be frequently seen there with my mouth open when I am presented with what my handful of items total to – no less than an arm and a leg. Ever.

In the end, food is the one thing we dont skimp on. We will serve ourselves crap only when there is no other option left. Still, I love it when I think of a way to save a buck on the food bill. And here is my latest. Simple, but so satisfying, both in taste and in the level of glee at being frugal.

I dont usually buy a whole chicken. Once in awhile I may do so for a whole baked chicken in beer. Otherwise I would get what I need – breast, drumsticks, mince. The other day they had sale on the good chicken we buy and I saw it just as I was reaching for the pack of cut up one. The whole chicken was for just under $10, while the big breast I was about to pick was about the same price.

Then I had to think of what to do with it.

And here is how it went:

First I cut out the breasts and put them aside for another day.

Then I put the rest of the chicken in a pot and made up a stock by boiling it with onion, garlic, bay leaves, pepper corns, celery.

When done, I pulled out all the left over meat to make a braid, as per this recipe at Mangio da Sola. Although I changed the filling as I am not a fan of bbq sauce. I caramelized some onion and capsicum. Then put in the meat and browned a bit. Some garlic and salt and lots of pepper. Took off the heat and mixed in some Dijon mustard:

Braided my rolls:

And the result was deeeelicious.

This is a wonderful way to use ingredients one has in the fridge.

No.1

From half the stock, I made a quick soba noodle soup with broccoli, cabbage and other greens.

No.2

Remember the two saved breasts? They came in handy for some red Thai curry, served with dhal and pappadoms. The pieces were a bit small, so I fluffed up the curry with a few potatoes and my carving skills have a need for sharpening, but overall this is more than workable.

No.3

And lastly, the rest of the stock went for another soup. This time it was mushroom soba noodles. We usually dont put the spring onions in this one and its probably better that way, but I had some left over and just chuck  them in.

No. 4

I am sure I am not discovering the wheel here, dont worry.  I do find this very refreshing though. It makes me think of ways to use ingredients and make them work for us. Also, this particular approach, makes splurging on organic chicken much more palatable.

Now I wonder what else I can do this with…any ideas? What are your food frugal secrets?

P.S. Sick of food yet? ;)