I cook for two and the most bang for my buck has been roast chicken. On Sunday, when I have some extra time, I make this for dinner with the usual sides (mashed potatoes, salad, veggies). We eat what we want off of the roast chicken. After dinner, I strip the extra meat off. The extra chicken I use for casserole, chicken salad, chicken nachos, or anything else that uses pre-cooked chicken. Then, I throw the bones/scraps into my crock pot with some onions, carrots, salt, pepper, bay leaf or anything else I can find, cover with water and cook. When I wake up the next morning, I have homemade broth that I can use immediately for soup or freeze for a later use.
I have found this to be multiple meals in one. When cooking for a small crowd, I can't think of a more affordable diverse dish! Plus, my roast chicken always tastes better than the overly dried out rotisserie chickens you buy in the deli!
Source: I started doing this at the start of the year, what a great idea!
By Adrianne from Adrian, Michigan
By Tina (Guest Post) 12/19/2008
Adrianne, I'd like some pointers in roasting chicken. Mine is never as tender as the store bought.
Adrianne: I love making roast chicken, and always need ideas for the leftovers. Thanks for the idea with the bones and leftovers in a crockpot...what a great idea! Thanks!
By Dinah (Guest Post) 12/29/2008
I do the same thing with turkey, or any other meat that comes on the bone. I cook, then cut the meat off the bone, careful to leave just a little. I serve whatever people want, but am careful to put the rest away immediately after dinner. When I want to use the leftovers, I put all the bones and skins into the crock pot. I also add the tip-ends of carrots, onion skins, mushroom stems, bell pepper tops, parsley and cilantro stems -- sometimes even apple and pear cores, which add a fresh, juicy taste to the whole.
Then I put in a cloth teabag filled with peppercorns, fresh and dried herbs and spices, whatever I've got. I'll let that sit overnight, and in the morning I simply strain it. Half gets cooled, then put into freezer bags or containers for later. The other half, I use for that day's lunch and/or that night's dinner.
I find that a little of this "sweep-the-kitchen" stock plus a can of tomato paste will make couscous, rice, millet, barley, or pasta a pretty exciting thing to eat, to say nothing of what it'll do for plain dried beans.
There are two in my family and we do this also. I debone it while it is still warm so I can remove any fat from my packages. One breast is a meal for the two of us. The dark meat gets divided into 3-4 packages and then frozen for future meals that need chopped chicken. I also wash and freeze grapes in season and store in a freezer bag. We then have chicken sandwiches whenever we want (chicken, celery, grapes, mayo, mustard, red onion).
I do this with roast Beef, only 1 of me. Only way I can have roast beef. Doesn't pay to cook for 1 unless you can freeze and stretch it out; too much waste in the world as it is.
There's a store out my way called Sav-A-Lot, it's like Aldi and they sell in 10 lb packages chicken leg and thighs at an unbeatable price of 49 to 69 cents a pound. I break it up into 2 packs use one and one for later,goes in freezer.
you average about 10 to 12 pieces per ten pounds. That gives you 5 to 6 per meal. Cook with celery, carrots, onion,
spuds, your own seasoning and some water. Cover with aluminum in the oven at 350 degrees F, about 1-1/2 hours. You got a good feast waiting for you.
Seems like great minds think alike! There are only two of us as well and I do this too! Saves time and money.
Even though, I have a big family, I also use this method as a means of savings. Whether it is a whole chicken, pork tenderloin, ham or roast beef, I make several meals out of them. With whole chicken, we would have it with potatoes and carrots one day and the next have the leftover pieces of chicken in a stuffing, mixed veggies and chicken casserole. The same for roast beef. One day roast with potatoes and the next day roast beef sandwiches or fajitas. You are right, it is a money-saver and there are no wastes involved.