October 09, 2009

Chicken and apples

In my working spend thrift days I would always buy a 3 lb. bag of frozen boneless chicken breasts.  I would try to buy them on sale, but not always.  Now that I need to cut back I have given this up. First of all was I really getting 3 lbs. of meat?  Those chicken breasts were so saturated with ice that I was wondering how much I paid for the meat and how much was water.

Yesterday for supper I made oven barbecued chicken.  I used 3 chicken hind quarters that had been purchased on sale at a rock bottom price of 38 cents a lb.  I should have bought more than 1 ten lb. bag.  First of all chicken that has the bone left in it does help to keep the meat moist.  Yes, hindquarters are dark meat which in and of itself has more fat in it. I have also purchased bone in chicken breasts for 99 cents a lb. which when baked are a lot more moist and the meat doesn't dry out.  And for the barbecued chicken - I made homemade barbecue sauce which was made from items I had on hand - ketchup, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce and so on.  My DH said the sauce was really good.  Beats anything I could purchase at the store and it was one less item I had to purchase ready made.  

This week whole chickens was on sale for 68 cents a lb.  I bought 3.  I saw a friend at the store and she noticed the chickens in my cart and commented that she only buys the boneless chicken breasts.  I have taken a different attitude to bone  in chicken.  One of those chickens I will stew until the meat falls off the bone and chop up the meat for chicken tacos, chicken soup and chicken casserole.  I will also put the bones back in the soup pot and simmer into a nice broth for the soup.  From this I will also glean more meat.  So from 1 - 5 lb. chicken I will get several meals.  The 5 lb. chickens were only $3.40.  I bought kitchen shears so that I can take the other chickens out of the freezer and cut them up and either fry or bake them.  I may roast one of them with potatoes, onions and carrots.  What a frugal meal. 

Being home means I have the time to stew a chicken and make more homemade meals.  Now on to a huge amount of apples I purchased.

Last week I walked into a grocery store and they had 3 large paper bags of discounted apples.  Each bag weighed closed to 8 lbs. and each bag cost me $1.99.  That was a lot of apples and I had a bag of apples in my fridge from the previous week that I had purchased for the same price.  So this week I have been canning chunky applesauce, apple pie filling and apple butter.  Tomorrow I will finish up canning the last of the apples.  I also have a lot of pears that a friend gave me off of her pear tree.  They are ripe and I plan on making pear sauce or pear butter with them.  These apple and pear butters will make great gifts during the holiday season and they were a cinch to make and really didn't cost a lot in the way of ingredients.  In fact I didn't have to buy a thing as I had a stock pile of sugar and spices that I had in my pantry.

I have come to know a great satisfaction in canning fruit for later use and in making homemade soups and casseroles for my family.  I am embracing the frugal lifestyle and have come to know the peace and happiness of being home during the day and cooking and making a home for my family.

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