Thursday, July 31, 2008

One Chicken - Many Meals

Let me just start out by saying my family isn't vegetarian. I know a lot of you out there are, but living in a house with 5 men means big meals, big servings and lots of protein. And, I know, I know you can get lots of protein from eggs, beans, legumes and a variety of other foods, but my picky eaters think lentils were sent here from outer space.

We don't eat meat every meal or even every day. We eat a lot of pancakes for dinner, pasta, omelets and sandwiches. We love cereal, oatmeal, salads and could pretty much make a meal out of plain 'ol potatoes. Once in awhile we eat meat. Not regular, out of the Costco cold case meat, but locally raised, ethically farmed and pastured organic meat. And, not to worry, with the prices they charge - and rightly so - that pretty much guarantees our meat consumption stays in check.

So, as part of my challenge to practice discretionary eating, I took on the all-mighty chicken. When I got home from work I chopped a few fresh onions, grabbed a handful of herbs from my porch and some random carrot tops, greens and veggie scraps and threw it all into my stock pot with a whole chicken and some water.

A couple of hours later I have enough chicken to make two chicken and noodle casseroles - one to eat this weekend, one to freeze for a busy workday. I also ended up with 13 cups of homemade stock to use for at least two more big batches of soup. Not bad for one little chicken (OK, so that organic bird was HUGE) and a couple hours of time. One chicken can feed my family for many meals and, around here, that's a big compliment!

6 comments:

Heather @ SGF said...

That chicken noodle casserole sounds really good! My mom made one when we were kids with spaghetti noodles and cheddar on top. Mmmm....

organicneedle said...

I get a lot of mileage out of a chicken too. I roast it with root veggies. We devour a good portion of it for dinner. My husband takes the legs for lunch with whatever oddball rejects are floating around the fridge. I then boil what is left down, toss in some carrots, and serve over rice or noodles. This gives at least another lunch to my husband and two dinners to the little guys. I was a veggie for 15 years...I find I can't take a chicken too casually.

ib mommy said...

Good Lord, woman! You're taunting me with that chicken..... jeez, I can practically smell it.

What was I thinking? Where's my Excedrine??

Wendy said...

We raised our own meat chickens this year, and when raised with plenty of sunshine, lots of fresh air, access to fresh water 100% of the time, and with enough room to walk around, they do get HUGE. Fully "dressed" we had about 5 lbs of meat per bird.

Those birds make no less than four meals for our family of five.

Bobbi said...

Chicken is the main meat our family consumes, and like the rest of the commentors, we can make several meals from one chicken.

Joan said...

We're not vegetarians either. My son is a big guy trying to bulk up for football. I try to buy local organic chicken or at least organic. Tonight we are having chicken & dumplings.