Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It's Cheap, and Filling

Chicken teriyaki, that is.  I made it for dinner on Saturday. I would have posted about it sooner, but I had this crazy idea I would do a cost comparison between the frozen chicken teriyaki at the grocery store and my homemade kind.  Or my homemade the way I did it, and homemade if you bought: boneless skinless chicken breasts, minute rice, and a bottle of teriyaki sauce.  I even started to do the math, but finding prices on the local grocery store websites for fresh chicken and frozen chicken teriyaki (so I didn't have to drive 8-20 miles to a grocery store and price it out)  proved to be pretty impossible.  So you get a late and not so detailed version  ;0)

What I did was:

1. Take a whole chicken out of the freezer and let it thaw 2 days in the fridge.  Then I cut off the breasts. I now had two boneless skinless breasts which run about $4.99 not on sale at the store. (If I remember right, whole chickens run $1.49 to $1.99 a pound depending on the store). Say the breasts actually weighed one pound; which I'm not sure they did, because I didn't get out the scale and weigh them.  In any case, they were plenty of meat for the meal.  I cut the breasts into chunks about 1/2" thick and 2" long.

2. Make 2 cups of white rice (so, 2 cups water plus 1 cup of rice, 1 tbsp butter and 1/2 tsp salt). Real rice takes 30 minutes to cook on the stove.

3.  Cut up 2 stalks of celery and add to steamer along with one bag of Florentine blend veggies (aka frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots from the store--were it summer and if I could get carrots to grow in this clay soil, I would have foregone the frozen veggies for freshly harvested ones).  Anyway, I think the bag of veggies is $1.25 every day price.

4.When the rice was 1/2 done, I turned on the burner under the steamer and started the veggies to cooking.  I also cooked the chicken in a skillet in about 2 tbsp veggie oil until cooked through (10 minutes??).

5.  When veggies were steamed to crisp/tender state, chicken was cooked through, and rice was done, I threw the rice and veggies into the skillet with the chicken, added 2 cups of homemade teriyaki sauce (for recipe, see my post Terribly Yucky Sauce) and let the whole thing simmer another 10 minutes or so.

Done!  A meal to fill four hungry adults for roughly the same price as a bag of frozen chicken teriyaki that only fed two of us the one time I bought it.

The rest of the whole chicken, after I cut the breasts off for teriyaki, went into the crockpot where it cooked on low for about 9 or 10 hours.  Then I deboned it, shredded the meat, and gave the skin and fat to the barn cats, who could use the extra calories during this cold weather.  The shredded meat became chicken enchiladas on Monday.  I still have the 'broth', ie. melted fat and water from the bottom of the crockpot, in the fridge to use in other recipes or maybe as soup stock, I haven't quite decided yet.  Anyway, three meals from one chicken, as is the usual at this little place here.

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