Sunday, October 26, 2008

a chicken in every (crock) pot

The economy is in the toilet. Let's face it: the world is goin' to hell in a handbasket, and the results of the looming presidential election could signal either a journey into a brighter future or a long dark march into chaos.

Food prices are skyrocketing. Everybody's hunkering down for what could be a very long winter. A few of my neighbors have yet to turn on the heat, and everyone I know is cutting back wherever they can.

It's a been a challenge to stay positive lately, but I'm determined to do my best to conserve resources, and reduce waste.

So this week I'm seeing how far I can stretch a whole chicken, and I'll keep you posted as I go along.

Saturday, I bought a whole chicken for $3.75. It was a small one, but since there are only two of us living here at the moment, I didn't want to commit to anything bigger. I thought I'd try roasting it, and decided to see how the beer can method worked in a regular oven instead of on the grill. I stuck it over a can filled halfway with orange juice (we're out of beer), slathered it with a dry rub consisting of paprika, kosher salt, brown sugar and black pepper, put it in a roasting pan and threw in some chopped potatoes, carrots and not so fresh cauliflower tossed with herbs from the garden and olive oil. Roasted at 400 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes. Pretty easy.

Meal #1

After dinner, I stripped off all the meat and dumped the body/ carcass/remains (sorry, but those other words just give me the willies) into the crockpot with half an old onion, a fairly decrepit and definitely past its prime leek, some limp celery and a couple of elderly carrots, then covered it with water and left it overnight to simmer.

A chicken in my crockpot

I love my crockpot! The next morning the house smelled like my grandmother had been up all night making me chicken soup. I let it cool a bit, then strained off all the solid bits with a colander. The kitties and the pups got a treat with their breakfast (does that count as a meal?).
After skimming off the fat and straining it again through a fine mesh, I poured the lovely golden liquid into jars and froze it for safekeeping. (Any bets on whether I'll remember it's in there?)


Last night we had chicken pot pie, easy comfort food. I say it's easy, because I cheat. My pie crust making skill is legendary - meaning I'm so bad at it, I gave up trying to make it from scratch long ago. Pillsbury does it best, in my opinion. Hey, I made my own chicken stock...that counts for something, doesn't it? Anyway, I'll post my pie recipe later if anyone wants it. Just leave a comment.

Meal #2

The pot pie will probably be meals #3, 4 and 5. There's still quite a bit more chicken in the fridge. I'm sensing tacos or enchiladas in our future, along with a stir fry or two...I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, check out Bossy's latest poverty post, where she cooks up the entire contents of her kitchen.


Caine Mutiny said...

I'd give anything to pay $3.75 for a chicken. On this island, the cheapest is $10.00

BOSSY said...

About your roasted chicken?Bossy just wants to say: that chicken has better posture than Bossy's Dane.

Avanti Avanti said...

Holey Moley Petunia, you make me hungry! What a work of edible art!

Is it our background, or do others cook like you and me? I do the same things. No measuring necessary. It is all in the feel as a result of many years of knowing what to use, what we like, what we love.

Gorgeous spread, hugs, Michele