13 September 2010

Chicken, four ways

Every time I cook I try to produce something delicious, with no nasty additives, that gives me value for the money and time I put into it. Chicken is one of those things that can be cooked in a number of ways, it is excellent as a leftover, can be used on sandwiches and the bones can be boiled to make chicken stock - the basis of many a good soup. The chicken I had last week was a 2kg/4.5lb local bird. It cost $10 and made 4 meals for the two of us, plus 2 litres of chicken stock.

We love roast chicken, but last week I boiled the full chicken in a large stockpot, with the addition of an onion, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. When it was cooked, I had a very moist cooked chicken and two litres of good chicken stock; the kind that turns to jelly when it's cold. Delicious! I used a small amount of the stock for the sauce I made, the rest went in the freezer.

So, what did I do with the cooked chicken? I made a very nice tomato, pasta and chicken dish, enough for 2 meals for the two of us. The remaining chicken was wrapped tightly, and kept in the fridge. Two nights later we had chicken spring rolls, the night after that, chicken soup, using the final pieces of chicken, vegetables from the garden and the chicken stock.

  • Make a sauce using a chopped onion, garlic, celery, capsicums/peppers. Fry the vegetables together until they become transparent.
  • Add salt and pepper and whatever herbs you have on hand - either fresh or dried. Basil, parsley, chives, thyme, oregano or marjoram would all suit extremely well.
  • Add a tablespoon of tomato paste and stir in, cook it for a minute of so, making sure it doesn't burn.
  • Add a can of tomatoes, one ladle of chicken stock and stir in.
  • Cook pasta and add this to the sauce.
  • Finally, add chopped cooked chicken.
Boiling a chicken like this usually produces a moist chicken suitable for any number of dishes - including curry. The stock that results can also be used in a number of ways. The only limit is your imagination.

How do you cook chicken to get the maximum value from it?

This is the lemon butter ice cream I made last week. It's just a cup of lemon butter mixed with a cup of cream, then frozen. You can also use buttermilk or milk for a delicious treat. The ice cream is not too sweet and has a delicious tang.

Thank you for the wonderful and thought provoking comments you leave. I can't tell you how interested I am in your views. I don't have a lot of time during the day to respond to the comments but I read every one and am thankful you take the time to connect with me. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.

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