Frugal Chicken

20130107-222232.jpgIt is a new year – and this blog is starting a new phase: Not only am I writing in English, but the focus has changed. Well not really – I’ll still be writing about food now and then, but I will also be writing about alot of other things. Moving to Spain has changed a lot in our lives – one of them being that we have become more policially aware. And more aware of what we want with our lives. So how does that combine with a food blog? I does because I have always been fascinated by the ways people used to do all this “food thing” – before supermarkets and friges etc.

I’ll talk more about the whole political aspect – one day. When I’m not overtired, alone with kids etc. For now I’ll just talk about the chick on the pic. See – she was €12 worth – and that’s a lot in a country where poultry is subsidised by the government! But she is free range, corn fed, and lovely 😉

So, according to my new found principles I opted for her instead of her somewhat cheaper sister in the supermarket – at about €7 – knowing that she’d lived a miserable life and would satisfy no one. Over the Christmas I borrowed a summerhouse in Denmark of a dear lady – who is a food head much like myself  – and I read about the French chickens going at €30-40 a piece, and how delicious they were. Compared to those, this lady is a bargin. Actually – I came home from the market with a trolly (you know the ones that elderly ladies have) full of fresh veggies, a crate of strawberries (no not organic), two fresh ocean caught fish, 12 organic eggs – and some hygiene products from a local “Mom & Pop” shop all in all €65. Having spent €30 just going down the shop for lunch (in Denmark) – this was a treat!

But but but – no matter how I try to explain – paying €12 for at chicken is a lot. So I better make the most of it! And I have! First day – I roasted it in the oven with potatoes, baby carrots and wild asparagus (somewhat more bitter, than their commercial counterpart). Loads of homegrown herbs ind their stomac, along with a whole garlic (Spanish of course – I’ll write you a post on that some time soon). I brushed her with home made herb salt and olive oil and roasted her for about an hour in the oven – I honestly cannot say at which temperature, because my oven is quite Spanish – and she was all gold and bubly when she came out. We feasted! The kids mostly on meat (they need it, they are growing) me on meat as well as veggies. But all though none of us held back, we did not even eat half a chicken! Seriously – we ate a leg and a wing, that’s it! Normally we would eat two legs and maybe a wing – but there was so much fat on this lady, and the meat so satisfying, we did not need that much.

So what to do with the leftovers? First I plucked the meat off the bones – enough for a whole meal (or two), then I’ve boiled a broth. The first broth (cause I will boil several) will be used for a soup. Tomorrow we’ll be having chicken/corn soup – with broth of the bones of this chicken, and the meat i picked off of her after boiling her for 4-5 hours. After I picked the meat off the bones I put the bones in a large saucepan and covered them with water, added a few tsb of alt and some apple vinegar. The herbs and garlic were still inside the carcass – just to add flavor.  After a few hours i sieved the bones from the broth and picked the last pieces of meat off of them (quite a lot actually). I’ll boil broth off of the chicken the next week – and use it to boil rice etc. Why? Because there are many nutrients in bone broth – one of them being calcium, which my son don’t get enough of since he has dairy allergies (and he does not like milk replacements). I’ve heard – but not confirmed – that you should be able to boil broth off of the bones for a week and still get good things from it. I’ll try that and see how it works.

Before I leave I just want to show you my new gärtöpfe – yes a yeastcasserole I think it would translate to… It is a tool with which you make craut – saurcarut to be specific. Or salzgurken or… what ever salty, yeasty you want. It is yet another part of our adventure towards spending less, producing more, and being healthier. Anyways: I wanted, and put on my wishlist, a 5L version. My husband bought me a 15L version. I’ll just call it love!



7 thoughts on “Frugal Chicken

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  1. Good on you 🙂 I should of course have sent you the link before, but here it is:
    I’ve been making perpetual soup for months now and I can say one thing: you’ll need a slow cooker. They’re not terribly expensive and they use less energy than cooking on a stove top (and cook at lower temps, of course). In addition to using chicken carcasses when we’ve had chicken dinners, I’ve also bought 10 kilos of organic carcasses from a farm that sells organic chicken breasts etc. I won’t be running out of bones any time soon 😉
    In addition to calcium etc from the bones, what is so great about broth is the gelatine/collagen, sadly missing from the modern diet and so important to skin and intestinal health.
    You can use any type of bones for broth – fish bones, marrow bones (where you scrape out the marrow, of course), anything. I think some of the real food blogs might have something on how much calcium you should expect to get from a broth. Oh, and when you supplement with calcium, you need to make sure you’re getting enough magnesium (which most people don’t) – I highly recommend transdermal!
    That gärtöpfe sounds very interesting!!!

    1. Thank you! How do you do it w. fishbones? Because I’ve heard that if you boil them for more than 30 mins. then it gets bitter… (but I’ve never tried it) so you only use them once or what?

      I was thinkng of building a sun owven once we move – it think I should be able to cook broths etc. in that without using any energy at all.

      I’ll need to find a dairy free starter for my sourcraut – all the recipies I have use buttermilk or other dairy based products…

      1. I haven’t tried, but I’m sure there’s something on it at Nourished Kitchen!
        Sun oven! How? I’m so jealous! You know I’m going to build that hobbit’s home in your back yard one day 😉 I’m trying to sell the concept here, and I’m getting good results with Bjørn using the phrase “there’s no home school supervision!” 😀
        Have you checked out Majas site? She’s dairy free. Pretty sure Nourished Kitchen also has dairy free recipes for kraut.

      2. True no home school supervision, only “not excatly illegal” (but not entirely legal either…) 🙂

        A sun oven is a box, painted black on the inside with a glass lid and mirrors or some other reflectant on the sides like a sattelite dish. You put it in the sun and if you’ve built it right you can get the temperature up above 100C, and Bobs your uncle! I’m thinking I’ll be cooking stews, casseroles etc. in it. It only works during the day – but then I could put the broth in a haybox during the night to keep it warm.

      3. I can so live with not legal 😉
        That would be wonderful! I studied instructions for solar cookers last summer but never got round to building one – can’t find the perfect spot out of reach for dogs and cats 😉 But I’d like to try again – I guess I could put it on a table or some high platform placed against our Souther wall where it gets really hot and dry, almost too hot for the plants.

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