Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Frugal Files: A cheap week for meals

I've had a very cheap grocery week this week - thankfully.  It comes on the heels of some very expensive weeks with a fast, Easter and generally not much left in stock from our Costco trips.  How did I manage this cheap week?  I stretched a chicken a very, very long way.

Three of our seven meals have come from one very generous chicken.  My 2kg bird started off feeding us on Thursday night with a roast.  I've changed the way I divvy up my bird so there is more meat left for other things rather than a few scraps for lunch meat.  Dh and I used to both have a whole maryland piece each.  I now share mine with Mr Busy and somehow that small change means there is more breast meat left than there used to be.  I spirited the bird away after dinner before destructive little fingers could pick off the meat just because they like to do that!

Last night the meat left on the bird was transformed into a chicken and vegetable casserole, as pictured above.  It's a really simple recipe but one my children always seem to love.  This time it had onion, garlic, celery, carrot and corn mixed in with the chicken and white sauce base.  Last time I had a leek left so I used that instead of onion..  That was really yummy!

After I'd picked off all the meat from the carcass I threw it into the crockpot with two other carcasses I'd thrown into the freezer (again, after a roast) for just such a purpose.  I find using roasted carcasses yields a rich, clear stock without any scum to deal with.  An onion, carrot and celery went in there two and it did it's thing for about 24 hours.

Tonight I used that stock to make cauliflower soup - the first recipe from my new soup recipe book.  This soup, along with cheesy rolls made from rolls Dh got marked down that were skulking about in the freezer taking up space made for a very cheap meal indeed - but very yummy!

There you have it - three meals from a $9 chook:  roast, casserole, soup.  And there's plenty of soup leftover for lunches this week.  Awesome!

1 comment:

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Very impressive! What exactly is a "maryland piece"?