Healthy Eating on a Budget Tip #2
Use whole chickens. Organic chickens from Costco cost about $2.49/pound, so approximately $14 each. That means for $14 you can get the meat for 6 big meals, about 3/4 a gallon of bone broth, and "gravy" for pets.
I remember the first time I touched raw chicken meat, I was horrified. Before that I had only cooked the neatly frozen chicken tenders that came in large bags. And look at me now, I'm not even afraid to pull the giblets out of the inside of a whole chicken! Now it's even one of my favorite things to cook.
On a near-weekly basis, I cook a whole chicken and not a piece of it goes to waste. I buy my organic chickens from Costco. They are $2.49/pound, so this one was approximately $14. That means for $14 I get the meat for 6 big meals, about 3/4 a gallon of bone broth, and "gravy" for my pets. Let me show you how!
First, I roast the chicken using my favorite recipe. It's from Katie Wellness Mamma, see the link below. It creates an irresistible aroma in my kitchen and it's torture waiting for it to cool down. Once it's cool enough, I immediately start to eat the delicious crispy skin while my husband calls from the other room asking if dinner is ready... nope, not yet. Then I start dipping pieces of the chicken in the drippings... mmm :) Eventually we throw it over a big salad.
My husband usually uses some of the leftovers to make salads for lunch the next day. Then we use the rest of the leftovers for another tasty dinner. This time I tried a new recipe. I thinly sliced raw beets, carrots, and zucchini using my mandolin. I tossed that with some cilantro from my garden, sesame seeds, and a homemade Asian sesame dressing (recipe below). It was super fresh and light.
That night I toss all the bones in my crock pot to start the bone broth. Then I add some vegetables, usually carrots and onions, and some apple cider vinegar. I set my crock pot on low for 12 hours. The next morning I throw in a variety of herbs and spices. This time I did thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, a bay leaf, salt and pepper. I then reset my crock pot to stay on for 12 more hours... I've learned to reset it so that it goes off when I'm home... I've lost a few that went off while I was at work :(
Later that evening I strain it into jars. While straining it, I save all of the bones and veggies for my next use. I throw out the onions however, because I'm not sure if a lot is good for dogs. I usually separate it into a half gallon mason jar to enjoy during the week, a pint sized jar to freeze, and then I pour myself a nice steaming mug. I usually add more salt before I drink it.
The next day, I dump my leftover bones and veggies into my Vitamix, add a little water, and puree :) Then I pour it over my dogs' food. Inevitably while I'm outside feeding the dogs, Alvin, my cat is inside crying at me, reminding me not to forget about him. Once inside, Alvin promptly leads me to his food bowl and I oblige.
The husband is happy. The dogs are happy. The cat is happy. Not bad for $14.
Asian Sesame Dressing
- Toasted sesame seed oil
- Coconut aminos
- Apple cider vinegar
I hate measuring things, it takes too long. My guess is that it's approximately 1/3 each of the liquids (probably a little less apple cider vinegar) and two large pinches of salt. Shake it up and enjoy.
Rotisserie Style Chicken (from Katie Wellness Mama)