Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday splitting the chicken and cooking like Mama

Today I COOKED!   I am not much of a cook but I did and I have to admit it felt good!

For breakfast the kids had milk, cereal, and some berry dessert my mom gave me last night.  I don't normally feed my kids dessert for breakfast (our sleepover guest asked so I gladly said yes to all the kids).  

Lunch was sandwiches and or hot dogs with grapes, pineapple, bananas, and pretzels.

For snack time the kids ate every last bit of that berry dessert (I will get the recipe from her and share it with everyone).  My kids and our visitor LOVED it!  They also had fruit, fudge pops, and lots of cookies.  It was a big snack day today!

Dinner!   I cooked and cooked!  

One full bag of frozen corn, mashed potatoes, homemade stuffing, roasted chicken breast, gravy, bread and butter with Koolaid to drink.

I have a lot of corn, gravy, and mashed potatoes left over (my hubby will eat leftover mashed potatoes as long as we have gravy) so expect to see some of this food again.   I served lots of bread and butter because my two youngest kids don't like stuffing (bread helps make the food go further).  This was my first time ever making my own stuffing from scratch (I was worried it wouldn't be good so the extra bread was ready to replace the stuffing for everyone)!   The meat I served was ONLY 1 chicken breast.  I cut the one breast off the chicken and told the family if they were still hungry I would cut off more but I would like them to eat all the side dishes and see how hungry they were when done.  I also reminded them that we had lots of cookies to pick from after dinner.   I didn't have to cut anymore meat off the bird.  I actually ended up with left over chicken (enough for a sandwich or two) from this one breast!  I made my own gravy (saving us more money). 

If you don't already know gravy is easy to make.  Just take the liquid from the bottom of your roasting pan (after you take out your roasted chicken).  Pour it in a pot.   Take any kind of plastic container with a lid and put some flour in it (I use prob. about 1/4 a cup) add in a cup of water.  Put lid on the plastic container and shake hard.  Make sure you have no lumps in the flour/water mixture.   Put your pot of chicken liquid on med heat.  Stir with a fork as you slowly pour in your flour-water mixture.   Continue to stir until it gets thick (a gravy thickness) add salt and pepper and BAM you have gravy!

Stuffing was a new adventure for me and I'm happy to say my family LOVED it (well the 3 of us that like stuffing loved it).   All I did was cut up 6-8 pieces of bread (I didn't count) into 1/4 inch cubes.  I put them on a cookie sheet to crisp them some in the oven (about 10 minutes at 350).    I cut a stick of celery and  1/2 a large onion into tiny bits.  I tossed onion and celery into a fry pan  with a bit of butter (did this while the bread cubes were in the oven).  Once I had the onions and celery cooked I buttered a baking dish, dumped in bread cubes, mixed in the celery & onion, then added in some seasonings (I didn't have the seasonings listed in the recipes I found online so I added a bit of what I had (I freely tossed in whatever looked good thinking if it didn't turn out loosing a few slices of bread wouldn't be too much of a loss in this food stretching adventure).  I then spooned a bit of the drippings (liquid I took from the bottom of the cooked chicken pan before I made gravy) until it was all damp but not real wet (no pools of water in the dish).  I put the the dish in the oven and baked until it turned brown and looked done.   My husband ate a big plate of seconds with the stuffing and asked that I never buy Stove Top again!   WAY TO SAVE!   WOOT!

After dinner I got to work picking every bit of meat off that chicken!  I really want to get several meals from this one bird!

My future chicken plans are to serve the other chicken breast for dinner.  The meat from the legs and back of the chicken I put in the freezer.  My family doesn't like dark meat, BUT! If I take the dark meat and heat it in gravy for hot chicken sandwiches  OR heat it in BBQ sauce for chicken BBQ sandwiches they will enjoy eating it (never seeing or tasting the dark meat).  ;-)

The left over bits of chicken from the one breast we had tonight I plan to serve on top of a tossed salad with some garlic bread for a meal one night this week. 

I saved all the bones (and bits of meat and fat on the carcass)  I have it all in the slow cooker with 1/2 of a large onion (other half from the stuffing) and some carrots (handful of baby carrots).  I filled the pot with water and plan to make lots of soup for a few more meals.  I plan to stretch this chicken as far as I can.  I'll share how it all works out. 

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