Saturday, March 5, 2011

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

    I don't know about all of you , but I go through an abundance of chicken stock through the week while preparing my meals. Whether it serves as the base for a pot of soup, making pan sauces, or simply just adding flavor to rice, it is a "must have" in my fridge.
    But I got to thinking. Why buy, what I can make myself for free. Yes that's right, FREE! Let me explain...
    We are a boneless, skinless chicken breast family. The price for this particular grocery item just shot through the roof. So I started buying bone-in/skin on, chicken breast for nearly half the price. Seriously. HALF the price. On an ordinary day at Costco you can purchase nine medium sized boneless skinless chicken breasts in a family pack, for anywhere from $27.00 to $30.00. Now, I did the math, and it rounds out to approximately $3.00 per unit. The bone in/skin on breasts that I purchased today were $1.80 per unit, and I got ten breasts instead of nine. Now I don't know about you, but if all I have to do is remove a bone and a bit of chicken skin to save 40% on chicken breast I'll do it.
    Now you have uncooked chicken bone at your disposal. This seems like garbage that you would otherwise throw away. Doesn't it? That is if you had no use for it. But now you do.
    I'm suggesting you toss the uncooked bone on top of a baking sheet and brown them up. That's right, cook the bones.

    I also keep carrot, celery and onion in the fridge as a rule. With these 3 ingredients, you can create anything. But we like to buy organic, and the price of these vegetables is much greater than that of the conventional vegetables. Therefore, I stretch them as far as I can. When I get home from shopping, before putting them away, I pre-wash and put them in appropriate containers, cutting and slicing them for later use.
There is always a huge pile of clipping and peelings now ready for the compost. Unless,  you take these clippings (that have been pre-washed) toss them in the slow cooker along with the cooked chicken bones, and the necessary seasonings, and Voila! 12 hours later you have a free, delicious chicken stock.

    From here, I strain the liquid and discard the rest. Then I either freeze the product in pre-portioned containers, or process them in Mason jars. I prefer to do the Mason jar thing because my chest freezer is usually pretty full.
    Now I realize this sounds like a lot of work to do on grocery day, but if you are pressed for time, you can freeze the uncooked bones and veggie clippings in resealable plastic bags and get to it when you have the time.
    Like I That's if you weren't planning to use the scraps for anything else...

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1 comment:

  1. Awesome idea! And I love how it saves money..:)