It’s not very often that I take the time to do any kind of bulk cooking. However, our local grocery store had chicken leg quarters on sale in 10 lb bags for $3.90. In an attempt to keep our grocery budget as low as possible, we purchased 20 lbs of chicken and spent some time this weekend processing the first batch. The other is securely stashed away in our deep freezer.
It’s really amazing how many meals you can make out of a bargain like this. So, many times we purchase items because they’re cheaper with a coupon and think it’s the best deal or we think we don’t have the time it takes to process food ourselves. I personally, never learned how to process food in this manner until I was older, somewhere around 30. We tell ourselves it’s much easier to buy a boneless skinless chicken breast than this process, but let’s see what it really takes. As a FYI, you can do the same thing with any type of chicken as long as it has the bone in. If you prefer breast meat, that’s fine. We just went for overall savings.
First, thaw it and rinse it in a colander.
Throw it in a large stockpot…or two. It took us two and that was filling them pretty full!
Add water until the chicken is covered. I did not add any herbs or spices at this time.
Turn the burner on high until the water starts boiling. Then, I turned it down to a heavy simmer or almost a rolling boil and let it cook for about 45 minutes. My husband says it only takes about 20 minutes, but ours was fine at 45. I also tipped the lid a tiny bit while it was cooking to keep it from boiling over.
This is when my husband jumped in and took over because he was hungry and I was distracted by Pinterest in another room. So, photos are missing.
After all was said and done, he put a colander in a very large mixing bowl and drained all of the delicious broth into the bowl. He sat the chicken to the side and let it cool until he could touch it. He then poured all of the broth back into the largest stockpot.
Next, he picked all of the meat off of the bones, but set 2 leg quarters to the side for dinner. He spoils me like that. Weirdly, it smelled like a Thanksgiving turkey in my house during the whole process.
After everything was picked clean and our chicken was stored in an air tight container, he threw all of the bones into the stockpot along with the broth. We let it simmer away while we had dinner and went about our evening.
Until a few hours later when I looked at him and said “I think your broth boiled dry. I hear bones popping!” Sure enough, we had a serious reduction, but we simply added more water into the pot and let it go to work again. I think this happy accident will be intentional in the future.
It was THE BEST BROTH ever! He added a tiny bit of salt, some green onion, pepper, garlic and carrots. The broth reminded me of egg drop soup, only a healthier homemade version. So far, we’ve had the following meals out of it:
BBQ chicken- Oddly shaped chicken pieces are cooked perfectly if you boil then grill them. It was tender and delicious!
Chicken sandwiches- Fresh lunch meat anyone?
Chicken, Barely and Carrot soup- delicious. We were able to freeze 2 smaller portions for individual meals and a HUGE portion in case we have company or don’t mind eating it again for leftovers.
We still have at least 2-3 cups of chicken for another meal. I will probably break those up into sandwich sized freezer bags or a chicken spaghetti or as extra lunch meat.
Total: $4.21 including tax
10 meals (estimated minimum): $.42 each
Per Person: $.26 each
(Prices are only relative to the actual chicken and not the entire ingredient list)
The whole process with the exception of forgetting about the broth took less than 1 hour on a Saturday afternoon.
Tell me now, do you have time for that?
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