I’ve had to cut back enormously on what I used to spend, after my husband walked away from our marriage – here’s what I’m doing. In that blog I promised a blog post devoted entirely to Rubber Chicken – and here it is.
For those who don’t know, Rubber Chicken is all about making a chicken stretch as far as possible. This is my way of doing it – let me know yours! I live on my own – if you live with other people, you’ll need to buy a bigger chicken!
First things first – I buy the smallest whole chicken I can find. I shop at Aldi (other supermarkets are available, but this one is within walking distance), and the last one I bought cost £2.10. I get 6-7 meals out of it and this is how I do it –
Rubber Chicken Day One
For Day One, I roast the chicken. I cook it on a Sunday and have it for Sunday dinner. This is a proper old-fashioned family meal (yes, yes, I live on my own, I know – I don’t see why I shouldn’t enjoy a proper old-fashioned family meal!!).
I always put a centimetre or two of water at the bottom of the roasting dish – it keeps the chicken moist and then goes on to be the basis of the most wonderful gravy. And a sprinkle of salt on the skin helps it to go wonderfully crispy. OMG she eats the skin of the chicken!!! Yes, I do. It’s the best bit. The whole point of Rubber Chicken is to make a chicken stretch as far as possible – so you have to make the most of every part of it.
I have the roast chicken with potatoes and at least two veggies – this week I had potatoes boiled in their skins, swede, and white cabbage, with homemade gravy and homemade stuffing. It’s what Sundays were made for.
By the time I’ve eaten it (and maybe had a glass of something…), the rest of the chicken’s gone cold. I put it in the fridge ready for –
Rubber Chicken Day Two
Lunch – chicken sandwiches
Dinner – chicken and pasta. Or chicken curry. Or cold chicken with potatoes and veg. Or anything else you can think of that uses the other chicken breast. This is a good opportunity for ferreting around at the back of the fridge to see what else you can use up. This week I fried off an onion and some red pepper, and added some over-ripe tomatoes, some oregano, some pesto and the last of a tub of cream cheese. I cooked wholemeal pasta and mixed that in – there was enough for two meals, so I ate my fill and froze the rest. Next time I need a meal in a hurry, I’ll be able to just stick it in the microwave.
Now we have to think ahead – I’ll be making soup tomorrow, so today I have to make the stock. I take what’s left of the chicken, and divvy it up – skin and bones and anything I can’t identify goes into a big pan of water and gets boiled up for an hour. All the meat, including the legs, gets put into a bowl ready to be used tomorrow. To make the stock – it really couldn’t be simpler. I half-fill a large pan with water, and tip everything that isn’t meat into it. I get a huge feeling of satisfaction when I scrape the plate – nothing wasted! I bring it to the boil, then simmer for an hour then strain the liquid into a bowl, and when it’s cooled down put it in the fridge. This is my stock – I use it to make soup, or sometimes I make a risotto instead.
Rubber Chicken Day Three
Lunch – salad using the two chicken legs
Dinner – chunky chicken soup. I put the stock into a large pan with the cold chicken, and add any chunky veggies that I have – this week I used swede, the last of the cabbage, and an onion. I boil it until the veggies are soft – usually 20-30 minutes, but it’s not an exact science! I have a big bowl full with some homemade croutons as a main meal. I don’t eat the whole pan full – I save some for –
Rubber Chicken Day Four
Lunch – chicken soup in a mug. I reheat the soup (making sure it boils) and blitz it with a stick blender until it’s smooth. I have it in a mug with some bread and butter. It’s obviously the same soup that I had yesterday, but because the texture is different (which alters how it looks and how it tastes) it feels like I’m having a completely different meal.
So there you have it – 7 meals out of one small chicken. The chicken cost £2.10, so that’s 30p per meal on average.
What do you do with your Rubber Chicken? And what about other rubber food? Rubber pork? Rubber beef?
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