3 Things that Work in the Kitchen this Week – August 25

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

Chicken Party

Meredith and I have been having semi-regular chicken parties recently.  What’s a chicken party, you ask?

We hit up Costco and buy 4-5 chickens.  Then we bring them home and take the meat off the bones, pack it in zip top bags and stick it in the freezer.  This is one of my favorite quick cooking tips.

I used to cook chicken for stashing away, but since Costco is so close to us now I usually just buy theirs.  At $5 for a large rotisserie chicken, it’s hard to beat.

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Sometimes I buy the white meat that’s already packaged.  I then repackage that into 2-3 separate zip top bags.  Honestly, I think the taste is better when I use their whole chickens.  Maybe it’s because that also includes the dark meat.  And it’s a bit cheaper to use the whole chickens too.

We often drag other people into our chicken party.  Both Jim and Mia are great at picking the meat from the bones.  More people make for a better party ;)

One thing we haven’t tried yet is making broth from the bones.  I know this is easy and good and I have no excuse for avoiding it.  If you make broth this way, tell me about it in the comments.

Here’s a post I wrote on how to use and freeze the meat from a Costco chicken.

Picnic for the soccer game

Isaac had a soccer game in Louisville one night.  Instead of grabbing dinner at a fast food place, which would have taken more time (we were late to the game anyway!), I made a Pasta Salad.

This is one of my go-to game night meals.  I can fix it ahead of time and mix in either rotisserie or grilled chicken.  And the pasta salad recipe is so adaptable.  This time I used a little broccoli, carrots, a large tomato instead of the cherry tomatoes I usually use.  I was out of bow tie pasta, so I used shells instead.

We did stop at Culver’s after the game for frozen custard though!

New giant skillet

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I’ve been needing a large skillet for a long time.  My daughter had gotten one in a Christmas gift exchange a couple of years ago.  She kept it in her room, waiting and ready for when she was married, but I borrowed it several times.  Well, now she’s gone and she took her skillet with her!

I found this one on sale at Amazon the other day for just $18.65.  It’s a 5 quart skillet with non-stick coating.  Perfect for lots of things, including a big pan of Migas.  I don’t know how long it will be on sale, but I couldn’t resist snatching it up at that price.

What’s been working for you in the kitchen this week?

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Comments

  1. I make our broth using the bones from whole chickens. I usually make my own chicken instead of purchasing it from Costco but I’ll have to give it a try, since the time saving would be great.

    This is how I make our broth. After we have the chicken bones picked I put the bones into the slow cooker with a few onions, carrots and celery. Then I fill the slow cooker with water and let it go overnight.

    The next day I remove the bones and vegetables and freeze for soup and other dishes. If I have leftover chicken I will add a cup or two to a quart of broth and freeze for an easy soup kit or I’ve used them to make chicken pot pies too.

    Makes for an easy meal and I always have good quality broth on hand in the freezer.

  2. I use pretty much the same recipe as Shelly, but I make a turkey broth instead using leftover turkey bones from our Thanksgiving bird every year! This way those parts don’t go to waste. I use the homemade broth as a substitute for chicken broth and no one knows the difference!

    I also throw in the turkey bones, chopped carrots, heads of celery with leaves (you’re just going to disgard everything anyway and when do you ever get to use those celery heads?!), onions, and water. Then I add a couple of bay leaves, a sprig or two of thyme, and salt/pepper. Slow cook all day, drain contents, and freeze liquid when done. Easy peasy!

  3. I always make broth from the carcass of the chickens from Costco.I love to spread that 5 dollars as far as I can. :-) Sometimes all the carcasses are frozen and I make then in a large stockpot and other times I do it one carcass at a time and use the crock pot. It always turns out great and it is always on hand when I need it. I usually add an onion cut in fourths, with the skin on, a couple of carrots and the end of a bunch of celery. I also add, salt and pepper and Bay leaf to it and let it simmer all day. It is delish when I take it out that night and freeze it for future use.

  4. My method is pretty much like the others above – I strain the broth (coffee filters work great) and put in quart size plastic bags so they lie flat in the freezer. I can easily get 2-3 meals from one of these $5 chickens plus have the broth for another use. I am a senior and don’t cook as much as I used to but this stuff is so good – and so easy – I won’t give it up soon.

  5. Judy Graham says:

    The previous posts are all in sync with how I use the chickie bones for broth.
    Most importantly though, you can’t let the liquid boil, or your stock will be cloudy.
    Low and slow, simmer is the way to go!

  6. The only thing I would add to the above comments is that I refrigerate the strained broth over night. This lets the fat congeal on the surface making it easy to skim off before freezing.

  7. Miriam Kearney says:

    I also make broth from the bones of the chicken – I also save any bones when I roast chicken (whole or pieces) and the occasional rotisserie chicken. I cut the end of the celery head, onion and carrot ends and toss them in a ziplock in the freezer as well. Whenever I can get to a Kosher butcher I buy necks and feet (frozen) and keep them on hand in the freezer. They’re great for adding to soup – for flavour and nutrition – you get a lot of gelatin from the feet. Usually I just make broth and use it in cooking but last week I decided to try to make my own bullion. I just kept cooking the soup until it had thickened into almost a paste. When it had cooled it was a paste! I usually pay $7 for a small jar of Better than Bouillon and it has too much salt in it for my liking. My own paste, while tasty has no added salt at all.

  8. An extra tip: I put my broth in the refrigerator overnight. All the fat rises to the surface and thickens up. Then its super easy to scoop off and discard. Homemade low-fat chicken broth!

  9. CarrollWC says:

    I pretty much do what everyone else does, but I just take the rotisserie chickens and toss them in a large pot with water. I don’t bother to add anything, since they are usually pretty well seasoned. Then I simmer until I think it tastes like broth. I also strain it and put it in the fridge overnight so I can skim the fat off before I put it in containers – plastic or bags depending on what I feel like- for the freezer.

  10. Whenever I have a chicken or turkey carcass I make stock. Similar recipes to those above. I also let it chill overnight so I can skim off the fat. Then the stock Is put back in the pot to simmer until it is reduced to a thick stock. Once this has cooled, I pour into ice cube trays and freeze. The frozen cubes are then individually wrapped in plastic and all stored in a ziplock bag. Saves on freezer space, and an easy way to add flavor to dinners.

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