I boiled a chicken last night, and as it was merrily bubbling away an idea formed.
We buy a lot of food in any given week - I love to screw around in the kitchen and we both love to eat, but more often than not a good portion of it ends up stowed in the back of the cabinet or prepared and frozen, never to be seen again. But the chicken in the pot is a substantial amount of protein - add that to the various starches and canned stuff in the pantry and I figure I can save us a sizable chunk of change this month by not going grocery shopping this week.
What the hell. Worst-case scenario, I don't fee like eating chicken for awhile.
For reference, I boiled the chicken in water and white wine with a handful of spices (basil, sage, bay leaves, garlic, celery salt and cumin) and a few almost-but-not-quite past their prime vegetables from the fridge (two onions, two carrots and a tomato). When I pulled the chicken out of the pot and separated it out into its component parts, I ended up with:
- 1 whole chicken breast, slightly dry and shredded (most of it will go to sandwiches for lunch).
- 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings, still clinging slightly to their bones.
- 8 cups half-strained stock, most of which went to the freezer.
- a whole bunch of bones, cartilage and skin.
Dinner for the night ended up as this:
Rice and beans with a twist. Nothing particularly fancy, but the simplicity of it belies the satisfaction it produces. It's the South Carolina-style barbecue sauce that makes it.
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 cup red beans
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 cups shredded dark meat chicken
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup brown mustard
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 cup water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp Tabasco
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Sour Cream and cheddar cheese as garnish
Cook the rice with the chicken broth in one pot; boil the beans in another one with a tablespoon of butter and some salt and pepper in the water. The rice should take 30 minutes or so, and the beans (assuming you didn't soak them overnight; I didn't) should take between 45 minutes and an hour.
Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a pan. Add the diced onion and the garlic and saute, then add the chicken. Heat through and set aside.
Combine the barbecue sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes or so.
Combine the three in whatever manner you see fit, top with sour cream and cheddar and serve.
This will feed 2-3, but it scales easily. It also produces a TON of leftover rice and beans; tune in tomorrow for what happens with them.