Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just how far will that chicken go?

I roasted a chicken on Sunday, not something remarkable, but I always try to make it stretch as far as I possibly can. My Mum used to do this, and as much as it used to irritate me to not get second helpings of chicken, and be told to fill up on veg as a grumpy teenager, it delights me now!

(Warning- Amy, you may not want to study the next few pictures too closely! :)

Start with a nicely roasted chicken.

Add veggies for a complete roast dinner. (Well not completely complete actually as there was no gravy. The gravy SHOULD of course be made from the chicken juices but not this day I am afraid. Nigella Lawson I obviously am not!)

Then, strip the carcass of meat and place in a big pot with veggies of your choosing, onions, salt, pepper, herbs if you like, and cover with water.

Simmer for an hour or so at a low heat.

Use the leftover chicken for another meal, in this case curried chicken salad.

When cool remove the carcass and veggies. There is usually still a little meat left on the carcass after this which can be used but has little flavor left. (I have to admit I often give this, and the stock veggies to our doggies for a special treat, but that may be considered wasteful by some!) Then strain off the chicken stock through a sieve and muslin, and you are left with a couple of batches of chicken stock, (already frozen here), for use in many more delicious recipes such as soup, pasta sauce etc.

Feeling particularly productive that day I also made two more batches of pesto from my one endless and magical basil bush. That is now happily sitting in the freezer next to the stock!


leaner said...

My dog gets leftovers often. I view her as a garbage disposal. I mean I would just be throwing it in the trash and chicken isn't compostable, is it?

I have yet to make stock out of my chicken carcass. I don't know- it grosses me out for some reason. However if I am given some of the broth/stock I know it is tasty. And we used that for our cookathon a month ago. (Soon to be doing another of those!)

I haven't had luck with basil. I FINALLY have some growing in my garden, the cilantro seems to be taking off.

Mo said...

I know what you mean about the chicken stock. I am wierd about anything with stock in unless it is veggie only, but my family loves it and it saves me having to buy it.

The cookathon is such a great idea! We used to do that with cookies just before christmas and had flour and sugar all over the kitchen by the end of a very long, but fun day. Since we all had kids though it has rather fallen by the wayside sadly!

Please show some pics of your garden! :) Love cilantro but still haven't planted mine.

Amy said...

Your ingenuity makes me want to be better about not wasting food.

Jeff has an annoying habit of overfilling his plate, not eating 1/3 of the food that is on it, and throwing what he's not eaten down the garbage disposal.

He's also not good about eating leftovers. I try freezing them but he's still reluctant to eat them. Why? I don't know.

I've gotten to the point that I'm not going to make many meat dishes anymore. He's the only one that eats them (they girls aren't big on meat) and half of them seem to go to waste.

Mo said...

I only cook meat a couple of times a week because I also don't eat it. Robert is very good with leftovers though, he will eat them for days so not much gets wasted in our house.

Titania said...

You have been busy Michelle. It is perfect to make your own chicken stock and a tasty pesto. I really do not like to buy finished products, I never have.

Mo said...

Home made Pesto is definitely the best, much nicer than store bought! I hope that I will still get more until it gets cooler and my basil plant stops producing.

Mid-life Midwife said...

You can get a lot of stock out of one measly chicken carcass! I would freeze mine in 2 cup servings so that I could thaw a serving out and cook our rice in it.
Of course, ahem, there isn't any "local" rice to be had here in Michigan... but that's what I did last year. :) Very handy. Did the same with our T-Day turkey carcass too. Lots to salvage there!

Mo said...

That's a really good idea to freeze it in smaller portions! I have to say I didn't make stock from our turkey last year. Shame on me! :)

sugarcreekstuff said...

Hi Mo, I'm trying to catch up on my blog reading. I love homemade/grown pesto, its the besto!
If you add a splash of vinegar to your stock as it is cooking, it helps draw the calcium from the bones and makes for a healthier stock. You won't even taste the vinegar.

Mo said...

Thanks for that tip SCS, I will definitely try that next time! :)