Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Making The Most Of One Chicken

Make the most of these ingredients.   Suggested ideas are for 2 servings. 

Prepare your chicken for roasting.  Wash chicken inside and out.  Pat dry. Add veggies to the inside cavity.  Roast chicken at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

1st meal is Roasted chicken leg and thigh.  You can easily pull the chicken leg and thigh away from the rest of the bird.  Serve with potatoes or rice and your favorite vegetables.

2nd meal is Chicken Salad.  Pull the entire breast off the top of the chicken.  We like diced celery and mayonnaise in our chicken salad.  Use this or your favorite recipe.  

Next step is to pull the remaining chicken off the bones and refrigerate.

Making chicken stock.  Fill your pasta pot 1/2 full with water.  Place the carcus and discarded elements of your chicken into the pasta pot colander.  Set aside.

Add chopped celery, carrots and onion to your pasta pot water.  Insert the pasta basket that contains the discarded elements of your chicken.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 3 hours.  Skim any foam away that comes to the top.

Remove the pasta  colander from the pot.  The contains may now be discarded.  
Pour your soup stock through a strainer into a refrigerator-safe container. Transfer the container of stock to your refrigerator and leave it there at least overnight. Do not rush this process, as the stock needs to cool completely for best results.

Remove the container of stock from the refrigerator. You should see a solid layer of hardened fat spread across the stock's surface. Scoop this layer off with a large spoon. 
Completed chicken stock

3rd meal.  Chicken and Noodles

Place Chicken broth into a large pan to boil.  Add noodles and mushrooms.  Cook according to directions on package.  Add the chicken and veggies the last 3 minutes of cooking time.

Freeze the remaining chicken and noodles for future meals.

Mark your container with contents and directions.  Oops~I forgot to put the date made on this package.

Now for the very last step on our making the most out of one chicken.  Freezing the broth for future use.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Preserving Grey Squash

Always browse the reduced produce area at the grocery.  Grey squash  for $3.15~   Great way to stockpile your freezer.

The best way to preserve squash for the winter is to freeze it.  It is one of the cheapest ways to have a ready supply of vegetables for the supper table as long as you have room in the freezer.  Wash in cool water, and trim the ends, then slice them in evenly sized pieces.  To properly freeze vegetables, they need to be blanched in boiling water. This stops the enzyme action that takes place to ripen the produce. If you simply freeze your squash, the enzyme action continues, causing degrading in color, flavor, and texture.  I like to use my pasta pot to blanch produce.  

Prepare a large pot of water and bring it to a rolling boil. Lower a basket of squash pieces into the water.  Squash  take 3 minutes to properly blanch.  Your squash pieces will change from pale to a much brighter shade. When your squash have blanched, take the basket and plunge it into a waiting ice water bath.  For cold water bath fill your clean kitchen sink with very cold water and ice. The ice water will stop the vegetable from cooking further, and you can then freeze it in a semi-raw state. Make sure your squash are drained well and cooled  completely before bagging up for the freezer. Bag them in serving portions that will best suit your recipes. Press out as much air as possible, label your containers with contents, date and amount in the bag.  Place flat in the freezer in a single layer until they are frozen.  Thaw overnight in fridge before using.

8 bags of  grey squash blanched and ready for the freezer.