How to Stretch a Chicken on a Budget

stretch a chicken
Photo by Bailey Weaver, Edibles, 2016.

Birding for Beginners

Some tips from the pros for cooking a better bird:
Don’t rinse the chicken. It spreads germs and is unnecessary.

•Try spatchcocking the chicken to flatten it for even roasting. (Or have the butcher do the hatchet work.)

•Ask your farmer or butcher for chicken feet, too, which can make excellent broth.

•Let the roasted chicken rest, and leave time for breaking it down. Don’t start your Sunday roast so late that you don’t have the energy to follow through on your grand plans for chicken several different ways in using the left overs.

•Don’t toss the fat. Make schmaltz!

You can serve a roasted chicken whole as an impressive entrée or deploy its disparate parts throughout the menu—with grilled wings and cracklin’s starring as bar snacks and liver being transformed into a mousse.

But for those that may be less inclined, you can master of putting a whole bird to work for several weeknight dishes. Together they’ll break down the remnants of a roast chicken to make stock, saving any leftover meat for tacos or potpie and the fat and skin for any number of dishes.

Here are some go-to recipes on how to make a chicken stretch for more meals in a home kitchen, especially if you are on a budget. Click on the recipes below:

Roasted Garlic Chicken (Sunday Dinner)

Chicken Croquettes (Monday)

Chicken Tacos (Tuesday)

Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie Galette (Wednesday)

Chicken and Arugula Pasta Salad (Thursday)

Stracciatella (Friday)

Chicken Liver Mousse (Saturday)

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Braised Chicken with Gnocchi and Artichokes

While the Italians may have invented gnocchi, the French arguably perfected it with their love of soups and braises. This warm and comforting recipe features chicken, artichokes and gnocchi slow simmered in white wine and chicken stock. Topped with crème fraîche and fresh dill, the braising renders everything perfectly tender and mouthwatering.

After making this dish the second time around, I found that using two 6-ounce jars of DeLallo Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and reserved about 4 tablespoons of the marinade and added it to the braising liquid, added instant flavor to this slow-simmered dish. I also left the skin on the chicken for more flavor in the dish.Although amazing as a stand alone main course, I also serve this dish with a rustic French bread and side dish of steamed asparagus.

And as I think about it, this braised chicken dish, it reminds of the classic Southern dish, Chicken and Dumplings my Grand use to make when I was child. And while many of us are still waiting for Spring to begin and the snows to melt, this dish really hits the spot and is so filling with the lemony taste of dill.

Enjoy!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 chicken thighs and 2 chicken drumsticks
1 yellow onion
1/4 bunch fresh dill
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup crème fraîche
2 cups artichoke hearts
8 ounces prepared gnocchi


Directions:

Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Peel onion and mince. Rinse dill and roughly chop leaves, discarding stems.

Heat butter and olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. When oil is shimmering, add chicken and cook until bottom is browned and lifts easily from pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until second side is browned, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove chicken and set aside. Discard fat from pan.

Add onion to pan from chicken over medium heat and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add white wine and chicken broth and scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan.

Return chicken to pan, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil over high heat. Then cover and reduce heat to medium low. Braise, covered, until chicken is cooked through and pulling away from bone, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove, reserving liquid in pan, cover with foil to keep warm, and set aside.

Add crème fraîche to pan with braising liquid and whisk to combine. Increase heat to medium high. Add artichoke hearts and gnocchi and cook, covered, until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Return chicken to pan and turn to coat, about 1 minute.

Divide chicken, artichokes, gnocchi, and braising liquid evenly between two pasta bowls. Garnish with dill and serve.

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Braised Tunisian Chicken Thighs

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This is an easy recipe for braised chicken thighs with Tunisian flavors, courtesy of Los Angeles, California chefs, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo for Plated.com.

I made this dish for a second time with a variation to original recipe. I used skin-on, bone-in thighs and chicken drumsticks instead of skinless chicken thighs. Why? Well, you will get a better sear and slightly deeper flavor with the skin still. Using skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs will also increase the cooking time and always be sure to check that your chicken is for completely cooked at the proper temperature by using a meat thermometer.

This dish is best served with couscous or steamed white rice.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
For Spice Mix 1:
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds

For Spice Mix 2:
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon harissa paste
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh Thai chile, halved lengthwise, seeds discarded,minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzanos, crushed by hand

Directions:
To make Spice Mix 1:In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, paprika, caraway, coriander, and cumin. Stir everything together and set aside.

To make Spice Mix 2:In a small bowl, combine the turmeric, chile powders, coriander, caraway, and cinnamon. Stir everything together and set aside.

To marinate the chicken:Rinse the chicken, pat it dry with paper towels, and arrange the pieces on a large plate. In a small bowl, combine Spice Mix 1, the garlic, Thai chile, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Coat the chicken with this mixture, rubbing it in thoroughly. Allow the chicken to marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.

To cook:
Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Season the chicken thighs all over with salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan with high sides and a tight fitting lid. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and sear on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the pieces and sear on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and Spice Mix 2 to the same pan in which you seared the chicken. Sauté until the onion is very soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.

Add the reserved chicken to the simmering tomatoes, nestling the pieces into the sauce. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven. Braise until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

To serve:

Taste the braising liquid and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Divide the chicken and sauce evenly between two warmed, shallow bowls and serve.

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All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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