Rachel Ray taught me how to poach whole chickens. I have poached chicken breasts many times, but after trying this method, I will always poach the whole chicken. It’s a big time saver, and the bonus is all of the home made chicken stock you get from doing it this way.
Here is the recipe for Rachel Ray’s poached chickens.
I modified it for our tastes (no lemon) and you should add or subtract ingredients for your own taste. I love that I’m poaching 2 chickens at once, which yields lots of cooked meat and stock. I have a pot that’s large enough for 2 chickens.
I bought 2 approximately 4 pound chickens. Using Rachel’s method I ended up with about 8 cups of meat, and 3 1/2 quarts of stock. I portioned the meat into 2 cups per freezer bag, and froze the stock in quart jars. I make soup about once a week, so I buy chicken stock every week. From poaching my chickens I saved about $7.00 or so on purchased chicken stock.
There are so many things you can do with your cooked chicken.
Tacos and burritos
Here are 2 of our favorite casseroles using precooked chicken:
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Pasta Cordon Bleu
You’ll love the convenience of having packages of cooked chicken and chicken stock in the freezer. Don’t be put off by the thought of having to get all that chicken off the bones. It took no time at all. The chicken skin peeled right off, and the meat was falling off the bones.
This potato recipe has been making the rounds! They’re called Crash Hot Potatoes, and it seems the recipe/cooking method originated in Australia. I found that information on The Pioneer Woman’s blog, and the recipe I’m giving you is the one from her blog. These are delicious and so easy to make. I boiled the potatoes earlier in the day and that helped me out a lot when it came time to put dinner together. Make extras because they’re that good.
Crash Hot Potatoes
12 whole new potatoes (2 or 3 potatoes per serving)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Rosemary, or other herbs of choice, to taste
Boil the potatoes in salted water until fork tender
Grease a sheet pan with olive oil.
Place the boiled potatoes on the pan, leaving space between them.
Use a potato masher to gently press each potato, then rotate and press again.
Brush potatoes with olive oil, and season with salt , pepper, and herbs.
Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes until golden brown.
Just kidding, Tammy! Love those pickles!
I’m trying to play catch up. I have cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes to deal with. Our neighbors put in a nice garden this year, and they’re overloaded with produce. The zucchini are from my little plot. I got so bogged down because I spent nearly the whole month of August fighting a virus that really kicked my butt. It was mostly in my chest and throat and I lost my voice for a couple of weeks. I’m feeling better now and facing all the produce that’s piling up in my kitchen.
photo from Taste of Home
I started by making dill refrigerator pickles. I use a recipe I got from the June/July 2009 issue of Taste of Home magazine. I just looked it up online, and they have changed the recipe slightly. My original recipe does not call for sugar. This recipe makes about 4 quarts of pickles. You can find the recipe here:
Today I made tomato soup for lunch. I’ve been using this recipe for decades. I love it because I don’t have to peel or seed the tomatoes, and the soup is delicious.
2 1/2 cups tomato, cubed
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 dash garlic powder
1/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1. Place cubed tomatos in blender or food processor. No need to peel or core.
2. Add the flour, sugar and seasonings.
3. Process until smooth.
4. Put through a sieve (removes the skins and seeds) Foley food mill works great
5. Cook on low about one hour. For more than 4 quarts, cook longer. Soup should be smooth, thickened, and rich in color.
6. To serve: add milk and butter.
Makes about 1 pint.
So, that’s what I’ve gotten done so far. I shredded a large zuke and will deal with it tomorrow, along with several cucumbers I plan to make into freezer sweet pickles.
Photo from Healthy Recipes Blog
You have to make this chicken. The recipe uses chicken legs, but any chicken will do. I used legs and thighs. This was very easy to make, and I had everything on hand. It is seasoned with honey, dijon mustard, and curry powder. Make this. You’ll find the recipe here
Younger generations prefer to learn their own lessons in life. It’s always been that way. They don’t often take the advice of their elders. Do I, as an elder, have a responsibility to share the wisdom of my experience with my children and grandchildren if I know it can make their lives better? Yes, of course.
I started on this train of thought this morning. The TV was on, and there was a cooking and lifestyle program on. The host of the show is a popular local personality. I admire her and enjoy her program, and some of her recipes. This morning she made a chicken dish that contained several processed foods….Velveeta, Nacho Cheese Doritos, and a can of some kind of cream soup. This is wrong, wrong, wrong! I feel that this much loved and admired local celebrity has a perfect platform for educating the public on clean eating, whole foods, the evils of processed foods. I’d love to see her advocating for home cooked real food, and teaching young moms how to feed their children healthy and nutritional meals. I feel so strongly about this that I wrote to her this morning.
Back in the day, when I was a young mom , I cooked and prepared nearly everything that my little ones ate. Over the years, as times changed, more processed and prepared foods found their way into my kitchen. We ate out often. Healthy eating was a thing of the past. Along with the convenience came health problems including obesity and diabetes. I’d love to spare my younger family members the consequences of poor nutrition choices. I’d love to help them learn how to shop wisely and cook good meals even when they’re busy and working. I’d love to clean all the junk food out of their lives. I have a lot of experience to share and I hope that my grands will remember that I am a resource for them and always happy to help them.
If you want to get started on feeding your family real food, please visit this website. It was an eye opener for me, and will also point you to other good resources. http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/
The graphic on this page is from the government’s My Plate webpage. You can enlarge it by clicking on the picture. If you’re a fan of Pinterest there are many My Plate boards with lots of good recipes.