With antibiotics, GMO’s and unhealthy living conditions common in today’s grocery store meats, we really want to keep our meat as grass fed and/or organic as possible. On a $400 monthly grocery budget this means we really can’t afford $5-$7 pound boneless skinless breast and honestly, I ate more than enough chicken drumsticks growing up. How do you feed 7 kids? Drumsticks and thighs of course – cheaper and it stretches farther.
I priced organic chicken and you know the best deal is organic chicken drumsticks for $1.99 pound (Trader Joe’s and Wegman’s). I resigned myself and decided to give myself a challenge. How many meals could I get out of those 8 pounds of chicken? I wish I had counted the “after de-boning weight”. I have to say I did pretty good. 5 meals for 5 people plus several days of leftovers for my husband and a few days of soup in the freezer for my lunches is pretty good. It would also make 5 great chicken freezer meals.
So incredibly easy – just wait and see. Grab a 6-7 quart slow cooker and let’s go. If you don’t have a slow cooker you need one. I am rather partial to the 7 qt. slow cooker Calphalon sent me. Empty the chicken into the slow cooker and cover with water. I went about 1/2 inch over the chicken. Set on high for 1 hour and switch to low. I prefer to slow cook overnight and due to church in the AM it ended up slow cooking for over 12 hours. It was a beautiful thing. All moist, tender and falling off the bone. This made it easier to de-bone. I stripped all the meat off the bones, broke the bones and tossed them into a stock pot. Then I poured 6 cups of water over them, brought it to a boil then simmered for 2 hours. This guaranteed every last bit of flavor was pulled from them.
I ended up with around 12 cups of stock and 6 cups of chicken bone water – I didn’t add any other amazing things to make it a broth since I wanted to keep it as versatile as possible. The best part is that since we made the meals with different flavors no one even complained “Chicken AGAIN?!”
Great Chicken Freezer Meals
Day 3 – Chicken Cheddar Ziti
Day 4 – Southwestern Pulled Chicken Pitas
Day 5 – Chicken Couscous Soup with Pumpkin Cornbread
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