Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Four days eating from one chicken

Our local butcher was selling organic chickens at half price at the end of last week so we’ve had a real chicken fest over the weekend. I bought a 2.2kg (roughly 4 3/4 lb) bird for just £7.82 instead of £15.64 which has so far yielded a generous 10 servings. And there’s still some superb stock left for a soup.

On Friday I roasted it with garlic and herbs and served it with a salad and broad beans in parsley sauce

On Saturday we had a salad of chicken, asparagus and crispy bacon with tarragon mayo.

On Sunday I stripped the carcass and made stock with it. I used the remaining meat, along with some more asparagus, broad beans, peas and tarragon to make a creamy pie filling using some of the stock and some added crème fraîche. I used roughly two thirds to make free form ‘pies’ for friends in the evening, baking puff pastry lids in the oven and using them to top the filling. (See above. Much quicker and more economical than making a pie as you don’t have to have the oven on for as long.)

Last night I used the last of the asparagus and tarragon to make a risotto for the two of us and stirred in the final portion of chicken pie filling. This worked really well, giving the risotto a really rich, creamy consistency. I also added a little grated pecorino which I’ve discovered is cheaper than parmesan.

I suppose the flavours of all these dishes was in a similar register but just different enough to make us feel we weren’t living off leftovers. It certainly didn’t feel remotely like frugal food.


Hippolyra said...

Well done Fiona.

I regularly pinch chicken carcasses from Sunday lunches at friend's houses to take home to make stock from! Waste not want not!


Alison said...

Congratulations, Fiona.

I tried a similar excercise a couple of weeks ago with a free range chicken of about the samne weight: roast, chicken curry, chicken pie for 3 servings each time and stock. But ....... the chicken was just under £10 reduced to 90 odd pence!

Fiona Beckett said...

Hey, well done both of you! That's a great tip, hippolyra and alison your bargain puts mine to shame. Where on earth did you get that?

SheyMouse said...

My wife and I regularly get a hot roasted chicken at Tesco for about £4 on a Friday evening. Probably nowhere near as tasty as a big organic chicken.
This combined with about £5 of vegetables, baguette and humous makes for a nice night of dipping food and sandwiches in front of the television.
The chicken lasts us until Sunday afternoon being used for stock making.

Fiona Beckett said...

Well, maybe not, Sheymouse but it sounds pretty good and you certainly get a lot of eating out of it.

We've reverted to telly suppers at the moment during Euro 2008!

Alison said...


I am shamed to say Tesco was where I bought the chicken.

Fiona Beckett said...

Well I don't think I would be too ashamed for 90p, alison. No-one could resist that!