Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Culinary MishMash 2/7

Miss MoneyPenny starts to panic when there is only one bag of frozen, cooked, and chopped chicken left in the freezer.  There are so many recipes that can be made with chicken and whole chicken is the best bargain at the market, so when it is on sale, especially as the loss leader, stock up.

Pictured above is my thawed chicken, ready to go in the crockpot.  You know, of course, that the way you thaw chicken is in the fridge, if you want to avoid botulism and its may friends.  In my fridge this takes three days so I gotta think ahead, which I'm usually doing because I only shop once a week, if that.

You might be wondering what the green stuff is.  Why, pesto, of course.  I had some leftover pesto from a pasta dish that I made last week and since it is my own homemade pesto from the freezer and my garden, it was just too good to waste.  I smeared it all over and under and in between that chicken and set it in my crockpot.  That was it.  No liquids of any kind.  I cooked him on high and he was done in about six hours.

The first night I ate both legs and wings.  It was that good!!  I put the rest of the chicken in a container to cool off in the fridge.  I strained the broth and put it in the fridge, also.  This is what the chicken jelly looked like when I scraped the layer of fat off and put it in a freezer container:

As you can see, this is intense chicken flavor because I didn't add any water.

I then picked the meat off of the bones and put it in labeled freezer bags:

I took everything that was left, including fat, skin, and bones and put it back in the crockpot.  I swished out the containers that had the cooked chicken and broth in them and added that to the pot with some water, as well, because that is all flavor.  I'll let it go for about eight hours, then strain the broth and cool it before I freeze it.

You can add any seasonings that you want, including any wilty looking carrots, celery, or onions, but I had a good pesto flavor going and I didn't want to gild the lily.

So, from this one chicken you can see how much food I'm getting...and no waste!!  I paid for it so I might as well use it.  Right??  Not only did I get my chicken leg dinner, I will also get a big pot of soup and a chicken dumpling dinner.

This week I took advantage of the roast that was on the BOGO sale:

When did beef get so expensive??  I paid about $13.50 for these two small roasts, and I do mean small.  They are just a touch over two pounds each.  I froze one and cut the other up for stew and curry.  I was kind of surprised at the thick layer of hard fat that I had to trim off and throw away.  Now that was waste!! but what can you do with it??  Nothing that I can think off.  Here is what I ended up with for the freezer:

This may seem like a lot of trouble but it really isn't.  I spent about 30 minutes this morning bagging all this up and it will save me time later.  If you do it yourself you don't have to fork over the money to have someone else do it.  And, of course, they can't do it as well as we can.

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