Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's time...

...to pick-a-chicken, and I don't mean from out of the barn yard, although that day is coming.  (More on that another time) Stay tuned.  I am talking about my version of trying to be frugal (I wonder if this counts as being "green"?) in the kitchen.  For whatever reason, I decided that this has become my new favorite,  rather " not so", but yes! favorite way to keep cooked chicken on hand.   I say that because it's a gross, and somewhat time-consuming job. And, I shouldn't even say "new way", because I've been doing it this way for a really long time. It's just so good, and so worth it, that I just deal with it.
You know how it is, a recipe always calls for that cup or two of cooked chicken, and you realize you forgot to thaw the chicken out, to even start with, let alone follow through with all the steps to get to cooked chicken.  Well, I don't know how you go about supplying that ingredient, but here's how I do it.  First I start with a few really good sized meaty roasters... that I'll try to find "on sale".  Throw `em into the freezer until I'm ready to "pick-a-chicken".  Other times I'll plan to roast chicken for supper and then of course, what we don't eat, gets picked off and into the freezer it goes.
This bowl, as you can see, is what I use for my roaster pan. It is from Pampered Chef and if this bowl ever decides to "fly to coop" - meaning to break on me, I am a dead duck.  
I Absolutley LOVE this BAKER BOWL & LID.  I hope I didn't just jinx myself, because it is no longer available with Pampered Chef.  But this works great for me because the bird fits perfectly inside.  I just pour a little bit (glug, glug- ahh, maybe another glug) of lemon juice over the chicken and then rather generously sprinkle Lemon Pepper seasoning over it. 
I throw it into the oven at 350* for about 3 hours.  I do not add any other liquid and you can see what kind of broth comes out of it.  The meat will literally fall off the bone.  I do try to let it cool down some, but it's easiest to seperate the meat (what doesn't fall off) from the bones, etc., while the meat is hot (Be Careful, it's HOT!).  I then let it cool down enough to finish handling it, I bag it up (2 cups worth) in freezer bags or containers and I think -depending on the size of the bird- I average about 6-8 cups of meat.  At times, I will even save the broth, as well to save for Chicken Noodle Soup or whatever. This depends on how greasy the chicken was.
There is nothing like going to the freezer for a "quick fix" solution of cooked, chunked/shredded chicken, that is full of homemade flavor to "impress" the taste buds.  NOW.  I also have a couple of go-to recipes that I will use this chicken for.  One is Poppy Seed Chicken or this one, my new favorite, I thought I would share with you, called:
~Chicken Zucchini Casserole~

3 cups stuffing mix ( I used one box of Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing mix
1/4 cup melted butter
3 cups zucchini, diced
1 med. carrot, grated
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups cooked, chunked chicken
1 (10.5oz) can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream. ( I didn't have any sour cream on hand so I melted about 4 oz. of cream cheese - and it worked fabulous)
Mix stuffing together with butter.  Set 1/2 cup aside.  Mix remaining ingredients together and put into a greased 2 quart (I used a 11x7 baking pan) casserole, top with reserved stuffing.  Bake at 350* for 40-45 minutes.

WOW!!  This was such a hit with us.  And, with the abundance of zucchini this time of year, it's great to come up with a "new" recipe to enjoy. I have to say this.  It was funny.  My brother, Justin, was over for the evening.  He doesn't usually like zucchini and let's just say - he was converted. 

4 comments:

  1. Yes!!!! Another zucchini recipe!! And I do chicken the same way....except in the summer it has been too hot to fire up the oven.....but now, let the roasters go on sale!! Over the summer I've been cooking chicken tenders in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil...then add diced onion, zucchini, mushrooms, kosher salt and melt grated cheddar cheese on top : ) Simple, quick one pot meal that uses the goodness from the garden. Praise Jesus!
    Bev, I will try your recipe to convert my son : ) kim.

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  2. I am very familiar with 'Chicken-Cooking Day'. I cook three or four chickens at once, pick off and freeze the meat in 2-cup portions. It is such a messy job that I like to do a bunch of chickens at once. One time the checker lady at the grocery store even asked me why I thought I needed four chickens! Blessing to your for planning ahead,
    Tracy

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  3. I too do this, but find it hard to do when I am pregnant, the smell of chicken cooking is so gross. I also make poppy seed chicken, so yummmy and such a hit with company:)
    MIssy

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  4. This sounds great and I am definitely going to try it. I love your recipes and every one that I have tried out has become a family favorite. Thanks for posting them!

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