Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pantry Eating Challenge Day 5

a chicken in every pot
Pantry Challenge:  To create meals from the pantry and food storage for the month of January

 How to Stretch a Chicken  is a main stay of my monthly menu plan challenge or no challenge.  If you have not read this article it is worth a few moments of your time.  I began the day by preparing the 3.5 lb whole chicken that I took out of the freezer last night and placed in the refrigerator to thaw over night.  It still had just a bit of ice crystals inside but the washing took care of that.  The chicken was bought at .69/pound and cost $2.41.  It was cleaned by running fresh water through it and removing the innards and neck.  The giblets and neck will be boiled up for Mister T's dinner. 

The whole chicken went in the crock pot and then the leftover spaghetti sauce from last night's pizza went on top.  The chicken was further seasoned with dehydrated onion, homemade garlic salt, pepper, home grown dried oregano and a couple of shakes of hot sauce...bam.  Lid on and crock pot set for high 4 hours.  The entire process getting it ready did not take 10 minutes.

Since I plan on being home today I choose the crock pot to cook the chicken.  If I was out all day I would have gone through the same procedure but would have used the pressure cooker and in 45 minutes the chicken would have been cooked to the point of falling off the bone.  I love pressure cookers and have been collecting them for a few years.  If you are a working person then by all means try out a pressure cooker for delicious quick frugal meals.

Breakfast:  I made a cheese and egg quiche with my own homemade crust.  Usually I would get a premade crust because I thought it was easier.  It is one of those things I have wanted to master.  Well, I did it and it came out just fine.  I have a great rolling pin that my brother made for me.  He said it is a french design.  The year I got it for Christmas my first thought was that it was a weapon!  It would certainly do some damage to an intruders head!

The quiche was made from six eggs, a glug or two of 1/2 & 1/2, some mustard, homemade garlic salt,  and grated swiss cheese.  It was cooked in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  I often make quiches and use leftovers.  A quiche makes 4 really hearty meals.  Today I took the three leftover pieces and put them in a ziplock bag for breakfast or lunch later in the week. It also freezes really well and heat up quickly in a microwave. Notice the oven door is open to let out the heat in the picture.

Lunch did not happen today.  I was working on the computer and got carried away. The chicken was smelling great in the kitchen and I was satisfied with my cup of tea. Computeritis takes away my appetite.  Do you think I could figure out how to put that in a pill?

Dinner:  The crock pot Italian Chicken was excellent.  The meat was falling off the bones and was fully flavored with the seasoned spaghetti sauce.  I served some breast meat over a bit of angel hair pasta with a little sauce and it was a perfect meal.  Needless to say there is quite a bit leftover to be creative with during the rest of the week.  When it cools I will pick the chicken, save the bones for a broth and skim the fat from the remaining sauce.

This is the fifth day and I have not wanted to purchase a single thing from the market.  It will be easy to put my budgeted $50 into savings!

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