When Budgeting Goals Mean Extra Effort

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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.

Chicken Processing Cover

First,  thaw it and rinse it in a colander.

Chicken in the pot

Throw it in a large stockpot…or two.  It took us two and that was filling them pretty full!

Fill Chicken pot with water

Add water until the chicken is covered.  I did not add any herbs or spices at this time.

Chicken boil

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.

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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.

Chicken tacos

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?

 

P.S. I have Facebook now!  Don’t miss a single blog post.  Just click the button to the right and “like” my page.  I hope to see you there!

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Author: Jill Stewart

I am a 37 -year-old woman from Arkansas who is happily married to a Scottish immigrant aka “the hubby” “the hubs” or if I am calling him directly “YO YOU!” We’ve been married for 3 years and it’s been a crazy ride, and unfortunately our finances have been beat to death in the last few years. We have two dogs and a cat, no kids. The Blog- What’ll you find: Financial Information as we try to become debt free My attempts at working and trying to maintain a home to the standards I like My adventures in learning how to sew Arts and craft projects Funny tidbits from my life including living with a Scottish person, the dogs, and other oddball things that happen to me. What you won’t find: Much on children. I don’t have kids and I can’t have kids. Recipes- I don’t mind cooking, but unless it’s something really special, don’t come here looking for the weekly recipe! You won’t find it- unless you ask my husband. If you’re interested in what you see, please follow me on Facebook or sign up for emails! Most of all, leave a comment or ask a question! I am always happy to hear from you!

4 thoughts on “When Budgeting Goals Mean Extra Effort

  1. great post, I love making homemade broth. I do it and then freeze it in a muffin pan each little section is about a 3rd of a cup. Once its frozen I pop the broth cube out and seal them in a freezer zip lock. Then when I need a cup of broth for something I just grab 3 and I am good to go.

  2. I make my own baby food, and I buy chicken thighs on sale. They make great stock and I can do lots of different things with the meat. My favorite is the chicken chimichangas with sour cream sauce my husband makes.

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