Friday, December 2, 2011

Chicken meals in a hurry

Okay, so I found this great tip for preparing meals for days from a couple of roasted chickens.  This has made cooking decent meals during the week so much easier and I had to share! 

Step 1:  Get 2 (or more) roasted chickens.  Either roast them yourself or do what I do and get what I call "lazy chicken" already roasted from the supermarket. (Note:  If you do roast them yourself, use Julia Child's recipe.  You will not believe how good it is!  I call it "succulent chicken of awesomeness".)

Step 2:  Cut off the wings, legs, and thighs and freeze them in ziploc bags for future meals.  All you have to do is zap them in the microwave and add some frozen mixed vegetables (I like the California mix), and you'll have a meal.

Step 3:  Cut off the breasts and have some for dinner tonight.  What you don't eat, you can cut up for salads.

Step 4:  Cut up the remaining chicken breasts and get whatever random chicken meat you can get from the carcasses.  Store for future use in salads or soup or whatever.  You can add some chopped celery, grapes, pecans, and a dollop of mayonnaise for a delicious chicken salad!  Eat it with crackers, on salad greens, or in a sandwich.

Step 5:  Make stock with the chicken bones and carcasses.  (I used to think this was hard but it's super easy!)  Put the carcasses in a big pot.  Add the juice of one lemon, carrots, celery, parsley, onion, garlic, pepper corns, and a bay leaf.  Fill with water and boil for an hour.  (The acid in the lemon juice draws the good stuff out of the bones and into the water.)  You can either freeze this stock for future use or make soup the next day.  (Strain and skim first!)  I added some of the cut up chicken meat, zucchini, basil, and leeks for a delicious soup.  I love making soup because you can use whatever vegetables you have around that are about to go bad.

If you do this as soon as you get home from grocery shopping, you'll have several meals ready to go with little prep.  Yay!