Monday, September 2, 2013

One chicken, four meals

Last week, in an effort to save a bit of money on our weekly shop, we bought a whole chicken, as it was cheaper than buying four breasts. We also got a lot more meals out of it than we would just buying the breasts and I always think the meat has more flavour when roasted. Sure, chicken gets a little boring meal after meal, but we are on a tight budget at the moment and actually we did pretty well in getting a good variety of dinners out of it.

Here's the roasted bird. I just kept it simple with some butter, a little oil, lots of salt and pepper and a sprinkle of oregano (we're obsessed with oregano at the moment).

On the first night I made fajitas. I have to admit straight away that I never really make fajitas authentically, and usually they include anything I need to use up in the fridge. This time I fried onion and garlic, added the chicken, some paprika, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper, then when the spices were cooked, some kidney beans and passata were added to make the bulk of the filling. Then I squeezed some lime and grated the lime zest into a small pot of natural yoghurt as we had no sour cream and topped with diced cucumber and tomato for crunch and lots of fresh coriander. Oh, and cheese, of course, lots of cheese. To go with the wraps themselves, I roasted a sweetcorn for each of us.

The second day, I made a curry. I will admit that we bought a jar of curry sauce, and it really wasn't great, plus it was the odd brown colour you can see above. But it certainly wasn't terrible, and with lots of vegetables, some chopped coriander and a naan bread on the side, I couldn't exactly complain. I just won't buy that jar again.

Day three was stir fry. We buy a pack of stir-fry veg most weeks, as it saves a lot on chopping, which I quite enjoy most of the time, but it's handy to have something in the fridge that's healthy and doesn't take too long, for those nights when we don't feel so much like cooking. Shane actually cooked this meal for me. To the pack of veg he added some shredded chicken, fresh garlic, chilli and coriander and a few cashew nuts and served it with sweet-and-sour sauce and thin egg noodles.

Finally, and this was really using up the last few scraps of chicken, I made a hearty bowl of pasta in a creamy sauce. I sliced up some mushrooms, onions and runner beans that my dad gave me (odd present, granted) and made the sauce with some leftover cream, a few sage leaves from the garden and a lot of Parmesan cheese. I like conchiglie-style pasta with creamy sauces, as the sauce snuggles inside each pasta shell and coats them evenly. Yum!

Song of the day: 'Keep the Car Running' - Arcade Fire

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