Hello Friends! I am so excited to tell you about 3 really good meals IN A ROW that we have fairly often at our house. “IN A ROW” is key because when I start this process, I know I have dinner planned out for at least 3-5 days depending on leftovers. I love these meals because:
- they all come from 1 chicken (lately I have purchased some really big chickens),
- they all taste great,
- the soup is just plain healing to the bones,
- AND you really can’t screw them up.
Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots
Chicken Pie. And yes, it is easy too.
A little of this. A little of that.
Now don’t start hyperventilating on me. I know. I am normally one that likes to have it all written down with the exact measurements. When my husband starts saying “Oh just add some _____.” My next questions is ALWAYS “How much? Just tell me how much?” But believe me when I say you will be just fine on these recipes.
I did not figure out how to make these recipes until an embarrassing number of years of marriage went by (much less my 16 years of single adulthood. I’m wondering what kinds of food I survived on back then.) And because of that, I’m guessing there are others of you in the same boat. I mean I can read any recipe and make it, but I’m talking about having that deep knowing about HOW to do these things. The way Grandma knew.
Don’t be embarrassed
As I think of my expert cooking friends, I imagine they are thinking “What? You are kidding me? You are just now figuring this out?” Well, a few years ago, but yes, it’s true. Hey – I had other things on my radar screen. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
One More Caveat
I have to say that these pictures are just not very pretty. Actually the whole chicken thing can be kind of gross at times and so I feel I must warn you of impending images that you may not want to see.
Trilogy Of A Chicken
1. Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots.
From these leftovers you will make:
2. Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.
From these leftovers you will make:
3. Homemade Chicken Pie (Yummmm!)
Do those sound good or what!
Here we go:
Roast Chicken With Potatoes and Carrots
Life doesn’t get much easier than this. Grab your roasting pan. I got this cheap thing at Walmart for about $25 probably 8 years ago. It works just fine.
Unwrap your whole chicken and toss it in the pan.
Frozen. Yep. Don’t even have to think about thawing it out. You don’t need to put anything into the bottom of the pan. The liquid from the frozen chicken will make broth on it’s own. See, there it is.
You have probably heard me say we are in serious budget mode these days. Dave Ramsey style. I anticipate that will continue after we have paid off our house because it just feels like the right thing to do in terms of being a good steward of the money we have been blessed with, BUT there are a few things that I do like to buy organic and whole chickens are one of them.
If I’m going to the trouble of cooking something that has healing attributes to it, then I want to make it worth my while. Here is a link called Chicken Soup – Nature’s Best Cold and Flu Remedy? And I’m sure you have heard about the nasty places regular chickens are raised these days, soooooo, let’s just not talk about that right now. Ok? Moving on.
Add The Potatoes and Carrots
Rub butter on top of the chicken and salt and pepper it. Then cut some potatoes in half and throw them in. I used Yukon Gold here, but any will do. Peel and cut some carrots in thirds and throw them in. Put in as many as will fit in your pan. I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture before it went into the oven, but don’t worry. It will be ok. That’s it guys! Put the lid on.
This time I put it in the oven at 325 degrees and it cooked about 4-5 hours. But you could cook it longer at a lower temp or quicker at a higher temp.
I cut into this before I got a picture, but read below to see why it looks kind of weird.
Ok, This Really IS Embarrassing
I pulled the roasting pan out of the oven and as I’m starting to cut it, I’m thinking “Where the heck is the meat on this thing. Good grief, this is an 8 lb chicken.” And then as I dug around for a while I realized I put the chicken in upside down! Now doesn’t that makes for a delightful picture of a beautifully cooked roast chicken for my blog. Oh well, I’m shooting it anyway.
Matt said, “Yeah I think you did that last time too.” I mutter “Yeah, I think you’re right. I did.” as I try to figure out how I could’ve done that. Twice. It looked right when it was frozen. Hmmm. Very strange. Oh well. So I turned it over and it is not pretty. In fact, not pretty at all.
Oh Well. Onward and upward. Start cuttin’ and servin’.
This might be my husband’s favorite meal.
The chicken is always very moist. Everytime I use chicken breasts, they are always dry. I’m sure there is some great recipe out there, but it hasn’t arrived into my “please make this dinner easy and good” repertoire.
And Now For Your After Dinner Duties To Prep For Meal #2
Chicken Noodle Soup
What you do during the cleanup of this dinner is important for your next meals. You can throw everything in the fridge and do this tomorrow or you can do it now.
First debone the chicken.
This really grosses me out and I hate to do it. So I have a great answer to this problem. If you have children, find the one that loves to get dirty, play in the mud, fingerpaint, just basically make a mess with everything he or she does.
Yes all children are like that to a certain extent, but I know deep down you are thinking of one particular child, just like I am. That would be my 2nd daughter Meg. She is now our master deboner.
Put all the good pieces in one bowl and all the gross stuff in another bowl.
Really piece through that whole chicken and get all the meat. Not the skin or fat. Just the good stuff. Don’t throw away the gross stuff though, because you are going to use it. I know. Just do what I say and you will be happy. (Hmmm, I think I say that to my children a lot.)
Next, put a sieve over a bowl and pour the liquid gold, I mean the juice from the bottom of the roasting pan into it.
Dump that chicken stuff in the sieve into your “gross chicken parts” bowl. Then pour the broth that is in the bowl into a glass jar with a lid and put it in the fridge. You will use it for the next recipe – the soup.
You might want to label this jar, because I just hate it when I look at unlabeled jars and wonder what the heck they are. Permanent marker on the lid works for me.
Then, take the gross stuff in that bowl and dump it into a big pot.
Cover it with water.
Put the lid on and just let it sit on your stove overnight. Tomorrow you will let it simmer for a few hours to use in the soup. If you want to do that now though, go ahead.
After the simmering, before bed, just put your sieve over a bowl again, dump the mixture in your pot into the sieve.
Throw out that nasty stuff and bottle your new, homemade, healthy-as-all-get-out, FREE chicken broth.
Oh and as long as we are talking about gross chicken parts,
I went to great pains to take a picture of something really disgusting. Want to see it? Sorry. I’m just kind of like that. Check this out. It’s almost enough to make me want to be a vegetarian, but not quite. I guess it would be great for science class. I mean what the heck is all that stuff. Ok, I don’t want to know.
You are now ready to make tomorrow’s delicious Chicken Noodle Soup. I highly recommend you also make this recipe for Homemade Soda Bread to go with it. Very easy recipe. Mix a very few ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon, dump it into the bread pan and bake for an hour.