Monday, July 1, 2013

Running a frugal kitchen: talking chicken

 Many automatically grab for the package of BSCB before comparing the actual price with a great alternative: split chicken breasts. The regular price of BSCB around here is $5.49/lb but they easily can be found at least once a month, on sale at $1.99. That is when to stock up the freezer. Split chicken breasts, like those pictured above, USED to be an ubber cheap alternative. I used to see them regularly priced at 99/lb, frequently on sale at 59-69/lb. Those days are gone, with regular prices ranging from $1.69-$1.89 and "sale" prices at 99/lb. From an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, I know from a conversion chart that $1.99 BSCB = 99/lb split chicken breast so these remain my go to prices. The chicken above was a loss leader at Price Rite, when they first opened a few weeks ago. I repackaged the meat into 3 count pkgs, especially as these are huge. This morning's task took about 5 minutes hands on time. I first rinsed the thawed chicken and placed it in a Dutch oven.
 I seasoned the meat with salt, pepper, minced (dried) garlic.
 I added the steam pot water from last night's peas and carrots (full of vitamins-do not throw that away!)
 I added enough water to just about cover the chicken. I brought this up to a low simmering boil, and covered the pot, letting it cook 30 minutes before turning the pieces over and letting them cook another 15.
 Chicken breasts are now cooked.
 I deboned the meat, which included a bit of rib meat. The 3 breasts were left as 3 large pieces. I need this meat for supper tonight, as 2 kids are still on a soft diet.
The stock from the Dutch oven, along with the skin and bones, was moved to a smaller crockpot to create a rich stock, which will later be strained, chilled. The hardened layer of fat that will form on top, can be used in cooking, the gelatinous stock will be frozen in quart Mason jars.

I've received my last paycheck until mid September, so we are in frugal bootcamp all Summer, as usual.


Shara said...

I only buy boneless if I can find it on sale. I've been toying with the idea of buying a case of whole chickens and cutting them up myself and repackaging in bags.

Precious said...

I like the way you do this. I would buy them sometimes and make my own BSCB and then use the bones for stock. I also like chicken thighs.

Nancy said...

In this area even at my Aldi the bone in chicken breasts are higher in price per pound than the BSCB chicken breasts I can grab from the freezer section for $1.99 a pound. And regular grocery store prices for the bone in are ridiculous.
And we too are on summer bootcamp with my last work check rolling in last week. Thank goodness I have those small cleaning jobs bringing in a little cash.