The Family Homestead Archives #2 - How to use 10lbs of Chicken

The Family Homestead Archives #2
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How to use 10lbs of Chicken

On a recent trip to the grocery store I found 10lb packages of chicken quarters (these are the leg/thigh pieces) on sale for an exceptionally good price. I bought 3 packages of them. I put two in the freezer and cooked up the remaining package into meal starters. A meal starter is simply something that has been prepared ahead of time to make your cooking time go smoother and more quickly. 



This month I thought I would share some basic info and recipes on how and what to do with a bulk amount of chicken.

There are a couple of different ways you can cook the chicken. I have put all the chicken into a roasting pan with chopped up veggies, covered it with a lid or foil and then let this cook for several hours at about 325 degrees.

The easiest way and my most common method is to simply boil it. Doing it this way means you will end up with some yummy chicken broth.

To boil the chicken you will need to put the chicken into a large pot or even two smaller pots if you don’t have one big enough to hold all the chicken. Cover this with water and about 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot with a lid and let this simmer for several hours; until the meat is falling off the bone. If you want more flavorful broth you can add a chopped up onion, chopped up carrot and even some garlic to the broth.

When the chicken has finished cooking you can use a slotted spoon and fork to fish out the meat. I then strain the broth through a colander into another bowl to make sure I get all the meat and bone pieces as well as catching any of the veggies I may have added. Those veggies are added for flavor and can be tossed at this point.

Let the chicken meat cool. As soon as it is cool enough to handle begin removing the meat from the bones. You will now have a large bowl full of chicken meat pieces. I then cut the chicken meat into small pieces.

Now the meat can be frozen for meat starters. I freeze about 2 cups of chopped chicken each in quart size freezer bags. Label the bag with the contents, the date and how much chicken is in the bag. This will help later on when you need it.

For the chicken broth, I put this in the refrigerator overnight so the fat can congeal on the top. The next day I remove the fat and divide the broth into freezer bags. I put about 2 cups in each bag. This can be used in recipes calling for 1 can of chicken broth.




Here are a few suggestions:

Chicken n’ Noodles

This is an easy, simple dish to prepare. I like to make this when I have been cooking a quantity of chicken. Here are my basic directions and you can adjust amounts to fit your situation.


I use about 6 to 8 cups of chicken broth, usually broth that is from the boiling of several chickens (to be used in other meals), into a cooking pot and sit it on the stove. I bring the broth on the stove to a boil and add some chicken broth seasoning powder and about 3 to 4 cups of whole wheat macaroni noodles. I let this boil about 10 minutes and I then add about 3 to 4 cups of chopped cooked chicken. This is thicker than soup so that is why I call it “Chicken and Noodles”. My family enjoys this meal along with a large tossed green salad and slices of home baked bread.

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Chicken n' Gravy

4 cups cooked and diced chicken
4 cups chicken broth ( made with bouillon cubes or homemade)
2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

Heat chicken broth on stove. Mix flour and milk together well. Add to chicken broth and bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. Add cooked chicken. Serve over biscuits, mashed potatoes or noodles. Notes: amount of chicken can be decreased depending on desire or budget!

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Sweet and Sour Chicken
Crystal Miller

2 cups cut up chicken pieces, cooked
1 T olive oil
1 cup celery, chopped
½ cup green pepper, chopped
1 small to medium sweet onion, sliced thinly
1 20 oz. can pineapple, drain and save juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup honey
2 T soy sauce
2 T cornstarch

In a large frying pan heat oil and add celery, green pepper and onion.  Cook until veggies are tender and onion is transparent.  Add chicken meat to this and heat up on low. 

Take drained pineapple juice and add water if necessary to make one cup.  In a small bowl mix pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, soy sauce and cornstarch. 

Add the pineapple juice mixture to the veggies and chicken and heat and stir on medium high until the sauce is thickened.  Add the pineapple. 

Serve this over brown rice.


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Chicken Lasagna
Crystal Miller


7 to 9 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or equivalent breast pieces), cooked and cubed
1 16oz package frozen broccoli (or 4 cups chopped, fresh broccoli pieces), cooked
3 large eggs
1 T Dijon style mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
½ of a large onion, chopped
½ c chopped mushrooms
olive oil
2 c mozzarella cheese, or less (also optional)
8 to 10 whole wheat or spinach lasagna noodles, cooked

Chicken Lasagna Sauce (recipe follows) (Hint: This sauce can be prepared while you are cooking your chicken, broccoli and noodles in preparation for this recipe)

In a large bowl combine cooked and cubed chicken, cooked broccoli, eggs, mustard, salt and pepper. In a frying pan sauté onions and mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil. Add sautéed onions and mushrooms to the chicken mixture.

Set this aside and prepare sauce.

In a 9x13 pan put a layer of lasagna noodles to cover the bottom of the pan. Put half of the chicken mixture on top of the noodles. Spoon half the sauce over the chicken and then half the cheese. Repeat layers and cover loosely with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until everything is hot and bubbly. You can remove the foil during the last 10 minutes, if desired.

Serve this with French bread and a nice big green salad!!


Chicken Lasagna Sauce
½ c butter (1 cube or stick)
½ cup flour
4 cups milk
2 chicken boullion cubes
1 t (heaping) chopped garlic
½ t onion powder
½ t dried parsley
½ t salt
½ t seasoning salt
½ t pepper

In a sauce pan over medium high heat, melt butter. Add flour. Stir and cook until smooth and thick. Reduce heat to medium and add milk all at once and stir with wire whisk combine well. Add spices and continue cooking and stirring until mixture thickens up and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to use in Chicken Lasagna.
 

 


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