I want to keep up with a regular blog entry, but don’t really have anything cloth nappy related I want to say today. So I thought I’d share with you one of my thrifty eco ideas that I regularly put into practice. The 4 meal chicken.
In the west we eat far too much animal-based protein. It’s bad for our health, it’s bad for the environment and it’s bad for our pockets! Reducing how much meat we eat is a big step towards food equality across the world. I, personally, am not prepared to become vegetarian, for a barrel load of reasons, but we do try to reduce how much meat we eat!
Two things to bear in mind as you read this. 1. I’m feeding 2 adults, 2 children and a toddler, if you are feeding teenagers or adults, you won’t get 4 meals out of one chicken! 2. If you are used to eating a lot of meat, you may have to start with a 2 meal chicken as you wean your family off!
OK, so here we go.
Bought the biggest chicken I could afford, a free range one from Morrisons (Aldi is also good for large free range chickens at a good price)
I roasted the chicken and served it as follows: 2 slices of breast meat for the adults, 1 for the children. I served it with roast potatoes, broccoli and carrots and lots of gravy (made with the juices from the chicken and the veg water). The gravy is important as it makes the meal feel meatier, even though you are using less meat. (If you have a very hungry person in your house, make Yorkshire puddings too!)
I picked the remains of the breast meat, back meat and wings and made a pie filling with the left over gravy and carrots from day 1, some mushrooms, 2 celery stalks, a glass of white wine and a blob of double cream (left over from the dessert I’d done on day one!). I used ready roll puff pastry to make a pie with the filling and served with mixed root vegetable mash (potatoes, swede and carrot)
I asked my hubby to pick the meat off the legs to make a curry, which he did and added mushrooms, peppers and some tomatoes that were past their best. As he was cooking, he used a jar of Sharwoods Tikka Masala. Served it with rice.
When I cleared up I discovered he’d only used 1 leg, so we still had the meat of one leg left…
I picked the meat off the last leg. I stirfried it with an onion, handful of mushrooms, a red pepper, 2 celery stalks and a whole head of savoy cabbage. Stirred in some hoisin sauce, soy sauce, a splash of sherry (works instead of rice wine!) and some garlic. Served with noodles.
So, that was it for the poor chicken? Well, not quite. It’s now sitting in my slow cooker, with some herbs from the garden, an onion, some peppercorns and some celery to make a stock. The stock will be combined with more celery, and any left over veg and a handful of pulses tomorrow to make a hearty soup for lunch. So maybe I should call it the 5 meal chicken!