Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chicken, Chicken, Chicken!

Chicken is definitely one of my favorite ingredients for thrifty cooking.  I don't make it that often though simply because between a half of a pig and 2/3 of a deer, we have plenty of meat around.  I finally made one last week and we ate it all week.  A free-range organic chicken from a health food store costs around 18 or so for a 6 lb chicken.  You can get them cheaper direct from the producer, but I called mine and he wasn't going to have any ready for a few weeks.  That may seem like a lot of money, and it is.  But I can feed our whole family off of that chicken for a week!  The first night we had roasted chicken with salad and something else (sorry, it has slipped my mind, kind of like the picture that was supposed to be here - oops).  I had to thaw the chicken out in the fridge for a few days first, but then I rinsed it, and took out the innards (heart, liver, neck, etc).  I put cut up a few cloves of garlic and finely chopped some fresh herbs from my garden (oregano, thyme and parsley) and mixed it all with 1/4 cup of softened butter.  Then I rubbed the chicken all over with this mixture and put it into a dutch oven.  I left the dutch oven uncovered and put it into a 400 degree oven for half an hour. Then I turned the temperature down to 275 and put the cover on.  We were gone all day - I put it in the oven around noon.  We got back around six.  I would have liked to have taken it out earlier, but that is the way it goes sometimes.  The meat was super tender and falling off of the bone.  

Anyway, the next night we had Cold Chicken with Potatoes and Anchovies.  This is a recipe that I got out of Hugh Fearnley-Whittenstall's 'River Cottage Meat Book'.  I know that I have mentioned before that he is one of my favorite chefs and cookbook authors. He has a whole chapter on Meat Thrift.  He lists a bunch of recipes for leftover meats.  This one was awesome.  I tried a bunch of new ones this time, just for something different. 

Cold Chicken with Potatoes and Anchovies

This worked out well because I used the rest of the tin of anchovies in the next recipe.

About 2 cups of roughly chopped chicken. 
1/2-1 tin of anchovies, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 winter onion/scallion
Lemon juice
3 medium potatoes, Hugh suggests a waxy potato, like Pink Fir Apple, but I just used some Russets and it worked out just fine.
a handful of parsley, chopped

Combine first five ingredients with about a TBL of olive oil, ideally from the anchovy tin, but regular olive oil works.  Let the flavors blend while you boil the potatoes until easily pierced with a fork.  Slice while they are still warm and toss with the chicken mixture and the chopped parsley.  This was a hit at my house!

The next night was Chicken with Olives, another of Fearnley-Whittenstalls brilliant leftover creations.  This one came out of 'The River Cottage Cookbook'.  He lists his top three leftover chicken recipes.  Yay!  This one Jake wasn't so wild about but the girls loved.  

Chicken and Olive Fry-up

I used about 2 cups of roughly chopped chicken, but you could use a little less or a little more. 
2 cloves of garlic, minced
12 pitted green olives, chopped
A small onion, chopped or sliced
A couple of anchovies, chopped - I always have a few tins of anchovies in my cupboard.  They aren't exactly local, but they add so much flavor, and you don't need many of them to make a big difference.

In a large frying pan saute all ingredients together with some of the oil from the anchovy tin, or a little olive oil, until chicken is beginning to brown and crisp.  Add cooked pasta and toss together. I used a pound of fetuccine, but any kind of pasta would work.  Hugh also suggests cooked Puy lentils, but I felt like pasta.  He also says that he likes to serve it with a dressed tomato salad and that it can work as a cold dish too.  My children liked it both hot and cold.

The next night was Tartiflette.  Another Hugh creation.  This is one of my regular dishes.  It is extremely versatile.  I have used bacon, venison, pork and of course chicken in it.  I used up the last of the onions that I bought at the farmer's market last fall on this, so my onions had better start growing! 


About 2 cups of leftover chicken, roughly chopped
2 onions, sliced
2 medium potatoes, about 1 1/4 lbs.
Scant 2/3 cup of heavy cream
About 1/2 lb of cheese - I usually use 1/2 medium cheddar, 1/2 mozzarella, sliced

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and add

The last thing that I made was good old vichyssoise.  This time I used chicken stock instead of pork stock. 

Happy cooking!

No comments:

Post a Comment