Tag Archives: chicken

The great chicken plan

10 Jul
English: Chicken and rabbit meat pie

Ah, yes, and chicken pie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s cunning. It’s cheap, easy, delicious and cheap. Did I mention easy? This is my once-a-week thing.

Step 1 – acquire chicken.

Step 2 – put chicken in big pot and fill with water.

Step 3 – bring to boil then simmer for 2 hours on low-ish heat.

Step 3 – let it cool in the pot

Step 4 – when cool, take most of meat off bones for humans and put in fridge

Step 5 – take all the rest of the meat, gristle, skin, unidentifiable brown bits from inside, put in another container in fridge.

Step 6 – put bones, now reduced to small heap, in third container, in fridge.

Step 7 – pour delicious rich stock into container and put in fridge.

Now you have:

a) tender meat for making into risotto, pasta sauce, pate, potted chicken, sandwiches, salads, stir fries, fricassee, etc.

b) stock for soup, risotto, etc

c) bits of meat that you would discard that your pets will eat with enormous pleasure

d) heap of soft bones for stray dogs or foxes – or if none of those hungry creatures are local to you, for the dustbin.

Result: every day I have soup for lunch, made from the chicken stock, a little seasoning, any leftover rice, barley, pasta, potato, white sauce, cream cheese etc that’s in the fridge, and a bit of fresh or leftover veg. Cram in small saucepan, heat through till everything’s yummy, and eat.

I also have the makings of creamy chicken risotto, quick sandwiches, salad of chicken bits, leaves, cucumber, celery, fresh herbs, with olive oil and fresh lime juice dressing; there’s my delish coronation slaw, too (more later).

Cats are veryvery happy with their bits, and hungry dogs get the bones – soft enough not to splinter and choke them.

Everyone wins (except the chicken).

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Comfort food – chicken and beetroot in white sauce

30 May
CDC beets

CDC beets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my top comfort dishes from childhood sounds unlikely, but it’s scrumptious, and rather pretty.

What?

1 chicken

several raw beetroot (beets, in US)

white sauce

rice

How?

Simmer the chicken in water until the meat almost falls off the bone, and you have a good chicken stock as well.

Cook the rice (when I was a kid, it was white long-grain, but I now prefer brown basmati) as per packet instructions.

Cook the beetroot – boil it (scrubbed but skin on) or roast it (peeled and coated in olive oil and herbs). This takes the longest (over an hour), especially boiling. Put the beetroot on at the same time as the chicken.

Make the white sauce (what the French call Sauce anglaise): oil or butter in a small pan, with enough flour to soak up the oil/butter. Cook gently over a low heat for two or three minutes till the oily flour mix bubbles and looks like a honeycomb. Add milk and whisk to blend it with the flour and butter. Keep adding milk as the sauce thickens, until you get to the consistency of double cream. Season with a bit of salt, black pepper, perhaps a few chopped herbs eg basil and thyme. Keep stirring and if you get lumps, whisk in the pan till smooth. If the sauce is ready before anything else, you can turn the heat off and leave it till it’s all ready to serve.

Once the chicken, beetroot and rice are done (all very forgiving if your timing is a bit out of sync), take chunks off the chicken (carving is a bit redundant as it’s so eager to part with the bone), put on a bed of rice with a serving of beetroot, drizzle white sauce in an artistic fashion (or, as I call it, a blanket), and eat. Green salad makes it look even prettier.

Not low-carb or low-anything much, but the beetroot’s fabulously good for you, and it’s a meal that leaves you comforted and cheered.

The chicken stock is brilliant for soups and sauces for several days. The juice from boiling the beetroot is full of minerals, so drink it, or add it to veg soup. Don’t waste it!