Sunday, February 26, 2012

0 An easy and cheap dinner, roast chicken

Sometimes buying a whole chicken and roasting it is one of the cheapest meals, containing meat, that you can make. Not only is the chicken itself very reasonable, but you can throw the carcass into a pot and make chicken broth, or if there's enough meat still on there you can make chicken soup.

I made a roast chicken the other day when my mother came over for dinner. We both had a nice dinner that night, I had a chicken sandwich the next day, then cut off a lot of meat and made a pot pie (large enough for 2-3 people), then I boiled up the carcass and made chicken soup (enough for 4 good size bowls of soup). Now I'll admit that this was not an organic chicken, but it was on sale for only $3.50 – that comes to about .39 cents a meal. I would imagine that an organic chicken would probably run about $8 or .89 cents a meal, I don't think that price can be beat.

It might not be as tasty as a Thanksgiving turkey, but it does have a nice flavor and it's super easy to prepare. It does however take longer than picking up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. Roasting your chicken will take just a few minutes to prepare, but it will take about 2 1/2 hours to roast. But as with everything you make from scratch – you know exactly what's in it, there is no hidden salt, sugar or chemicals. Try this very basic recipe and start experimenting with new ideas later...

Roast Chicken
4-5 lb whole chicken
1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil
1 apple, quartered
1 orange, peeled & quartered
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove giblets from the chicken. Rinse chicken, be careful not to splash water onto counter or clean dishes to avoid cross contamination. Pat dry with a paper towel. Stuff the cavity with the apple and orange pieces. Put into a large roasting pan – breast side up, cut butter into small pieces and arrange on top of chicken, pour olive oil over top of chicken, sprinkle with garlic powder, salt & pepper. Roast for 2 ½ hours at 375 degrees, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven, let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving (remove and discard apple & orange).

While chicken is resting you can make a gravy to serve with it (November 19, 2011). You can also stuff the chicken with home-made stuffing (November 21, 2011) instead of the apple & orange, cut the recipe in half and cook the extra stuffing in a casserole dish to have with left-overs. Or you can roast the chicken with potatoes, carrots and onions around it too, just like the roast pork recipe (February 10, 2012).  By stuffing the chicken (or putting potatoes around it) and roasting it with vegetable you will save preparation time and still be able to serve a delicious and nutritious home cooked meal.

Serve chicken with stuffing, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes, a salad, and a steamed vegetable or two, like broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, spinach or green beans.

Don't forget that you can make a pot pie (November 28, 2011) and/or soup (January 23, 2012) too! You will have a lot less meat left over to make the pot pie, so adjust the recipe accordingly and make it in a small casserole dish or in a regular pie plate.

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  • cheap meal, healthy eating, nutrition, quick meal, roast chicken


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