Chicken Four Ways (for two people)

With the cost of food rapidly increasing, we are all looking for healthy and tasty ways to stretch our grocery budget. Here are some ideas for chicken.

  1. Start with BIG roasted chicken.  Wash, dry, salt the cavity, throw in an onion, ½ lemon and thyme.  Rub skin with canola oil, sprinkle salt and pepper over the top and bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees (About one hour). Rest and then slice a few pieces to serve as part of a roasted chicken dinner.  (Consider adding a starch and green vegetable for side dishes.)
  2. Chicken Noodle Soup. Remove the meat from the bones and simmer bones in 16 C. water.  Add roughly chopped onions, carrots and celery as well as a bouquet garni of bay leaf, fresh thyme, celery leaves, and parsley.  Simmer for hours.  Strain. Saute fresh chopped onions, diced carrots and sliced celery in butter.  Add stock to aromatics, along with the small pieces of the chicken meat.  Add thyme, salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and then add about 8 oz. noodles.  Cook according to the package. Taste for salt.  Add chopped parsley.
  3. Chicken Salad. Chop some of the remaining white chicken meat into small, bitesize pieces. Place in a bowl.  Add diced white onion and celery, sliced red grapes, tarragon, salt, pepper, dijon mustard and mayonnaise (or a mixture of mayonnaise and yogurt).
  4. Chicken Burritos.  Mix together 2 oz. cream cheese, 1 1/2 C of remaining chicken cut to small pieces, 1/2 C Mexican cheese, 2 oz. canned green chiles, 1/2 t. cumin, 1/4 t. chili powder, 2 t. lime juice, salt and pepper.  You want a thick mixture.  If there is not quite enough chicken, add pinto beans. Place stuffing in 3 or 4 tortillas, roll and place in a greased baking dish.  Make a sauce by cooking 1 1/2T flour into 1 1/2 T butter,  whisk in  1 C chicken stock, salt and pepper, and 2 oz. canned chiles. Add 2 oz. cream cheese and stir until thickened, about 5+ minutes.  Pour over burritos.  Top with Mexican cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly (approximately 20 minutes).

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