Friday, June 11, 2010

Cheap Things To Do With A Chicken

I bought a 5 lb. chicken recently for 69¢ a pound. Adapting a few recipes (recipes and links below), here's how I stretched the $3.50 bird:

1) Adapted version of Easy Baked Whole Chicken.

2) Adapted version of Easy Chicken Casserole.

3) An impromptu version of Chicken Fried Rice.

 4) There was just a bit of chicken left, so with the addition of a little more (that I had previously cooked, shredded and frozen), I made Mary's wonderful Chicken and Dumpling Bake. This one is perfect for leftover chicken, but it's so delicious that it's definitely worth making as a "first time around" dish, too.

Easy Baked Whole Chicken(Adapted from The Amish Cook at Home; my adaptations in red)

1 whole chicken, 2-1/2 to 3 pounds (I used a 5-lb chicken)
1 10-3/4 oz. can of condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper (I used seasoned salt for color and flavor)
Cornstarch, as needed

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place chicken in an 8-cup baking dish.  Combine the soup, milk and 1/2 cup of the cheese in a medium bowl.  Stir to blend.  Pour over the chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover the dish and bake for 60 minutes.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top.  Bake until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes longer.

Measure the pan drippings, and for each cup of drippings, place 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch in a separate pan.  Gradually stir drippings into cornstarch, bring to a simmer, and cook until gravy thickens.

Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

Makes 6-8 servings. (We ate about half of this chicken, saving the rest for other meals.)

Easy Chicken Casserole
(Adapted from The Amish Cook at Home; my adaptations in red)

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter*
1/3 cup all-purpose flour*
1 cup milk*
2 cups chicken broth*
1-1/2 teaspoons salt*
1/2 teaspoon pepper*
1 3-ounce can mushrooms or 3 ounces fresh mushrooms (I omitted because I didn't have any)
2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I shredded mine)
8 ounces noodles, cooked and drained (I used homemade)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease an 8-cup casserole.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, then whisk in the flour until smooth.  Gradually whisk the milk, then the broth, and cook until thickened.  Stir in the salt, pepper and mushrooms. 
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth (homemade from simmering the leftover bones from the baked chicken)
any leftover chicken gravy from the baked chicken meal

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, then whisk in the flour until smooth.  Gradually whisk the milk, then the broth, then the leftover gravy (omitting additional salt and pepper).
Add the chicken, cooked noodles and cheese.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish.  Bake until bubbly and golden, about 45 minutes.

Makes 6 servings. 

Impromptu Chicken Fried Rice

2 eggs, beaten
1-2 cups of fresh, frozen or leftover cooked veggies of your choice
1 cup shredded or cubed cooked chicken
2 cups cooked rice, cold
Minced garlic or dry granulated garlic, to taste
Soy sauce, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

In wok or large skillet, cook beaten eggs in a small amount of oil (I like peanut oil for this) until set and use spoon or spatula to cut up into small pieces.  Remove from skillet or push to sides of wok.

Add just a small amount of additional oil to pan or wok, then add veggies.  If they are uncooked, be sure to add thicker, tougher vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) to the pan first, adding more tender veggies (bok choy, green onions, anything already cooked, etc.) after a few minutes.  Stir-fry until vegetables are tender crisp.

Add cooked chicken.  Stir to heat through.

Add cooked, cold rice.  Return egg to the pan, and add garlic   Stir-fry all until heated through.  Add soy sauce to taste and give one final stir before serving.

Makes 2-3 entree-sized servings.

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McVal said...

From the title, I thought it was something dirty...

These look yummy! I'm going to have to try some!

Annie Jones said...

McVal! I would expect that from SonyaAnn, but not from you! ;)

They were all good, but I think the Chicken and Dumpling Bake was the best of the four. I'm making it again next week.

Callista said...

make sure you boil the carcass to make chicken broth. then you can add some celery seed, chicken bits and a handful of egg noodles and you have.... HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP!!!

Annie Jones said...

Good frugal idea, Calista!

This time I boiled the carcass, and used up most of the homemade broth in both the Chicken Casserole and the Chicken and Dumpling Bake.

Frances said...

Yummy! Now I want some chicken!

Sheila said...

These all look good!! Of course, you know we love the chicken and dumpling bake--but you can never have too many chicken recipes. I don't know why I never add chicken to my fried rice but I will next time.