Food Security Is Just One Roasted Chicken Away

Personally, I absolutely love roasted chicken.  One chicken can make gluten free, dairy free meal preparations a breeze for days and that is all right by me!  I think chicken pairs well with pretty much everything!  I also find a great deal of pleasure coming up with new and unique chicken dishes.

I do choose to eat meat, mostly chicken and fish.  I lived many years as a vegetarian for ethical and moral reasons.  For health reasons,  I chose a vegan way of eating for nearly a year.   Ultimately, what I have learned is I feel my best when there is a moderate amount of animal protein in my diet.  So, with this choice, I am mindful of where my meat comes from and that it is the “happiest” meat I can afford.  By “happiest” I mean local, raised humanely, antibiotic and hormone free, organic, free range and best of best when I have the extra money; grass fed.

Blessed be that I can have that choice.  It was not always that way.   Because remembering that eating chicken was a luxury rarely afforded and to honor the life of the chicken that provided me food to eat, I believe in using as much of a whole chicken as I can.  My own personal roasted chicken challenge stems from this belief.  I challenge myself to make the most meals out of each roasted chicken, always attempting to ‘up’ my last chicken challenge in the amount of dishes I can make.

I am not quite sure when it began that I would count the number of meals a roasted chicken would provide, but I believe it began with my first roasted chicken I prepared after a long absence from meat.  I enjoyed that chicken at nearly every meal for over a week.  I ate so many chicken meals that a friend actually commented on how long I had been eating from this same roasted chicken.

Each time I begin a chicken challenge it takes me to a place of remembrance.  Remembering when I could barely afford a can of chicken soup, let alone a whole chicken.  It also reminds me that I now have food security.  I can take care of myself and I can do so in the way I feel is best for me because I can afford to make this choice.  I always have to give a moment of grateful thanks when I have this realization, which is often.  I know access to good, whole food and quality ingredients is a “luxury” not accessible to so many.  Quality, organic, non-GMO foods should not be a “luxury”.   I’ll share more on my beliefs around food security, hunger and lack of access in another post.  For now, in my preparations of just one roasted chicken, I am reminded that I can be resourceful and I can be cost efficient.  I can provide meals for not just myself, but my household for days.  I can do all of these things and adhere to my personal belief system and food philosophy.  This gives me such deeply felt satisfaction.

I ask you to consider having your own roasted chicken challenge by trying out some of these great chicken dish recipes I came up with.  In addition to the meat from the chicken itself, I made a broth with the remaining chicken parts and vegetables I used to roast the chicken.  I put some into mason jars for the freezer and I used some to make a wonderful chicken noodle soup.  The meat from the chicken was enjoyed sliced with veggie sides, it was used to make burritos, stir-fry and breakfast sandwiches.  In total we enjoyed about 15 individual meals with this one chicken.  That’s a conservative guess because I lost count there were so many delicious meals!

How many meals can you provide with your own whole chicken?

For this chicken, I used celery, parsley, a lemon, carrots, yellow onion, minced garlic (from a jar because I had no fresh!)  I sat the chicken on a bed of the sliced veggies as well as stuffing the cavity with all the veggies you see here except the carrots.  I slid a few veggies under the skin and topped it with a spice combination of garlic salt, pepper, paprika, basil and turmeric. I spread the carrots around the chicken, added 1 1/2 cups of water and put into a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, turning it down to 250 degrees and roasting until done, about 2 1/4 hours for a 3 (ish) pound chicken.

Here's what went into the pot with the chicken for roasting.

Here’s what went into the pot with the chicken for roasting.

IMG_1478

All stuffed, spiced and ready for the oven!

IMG_1485

This is the meat that made meals for so many days!!

IMG_1490

This is what is left after I cut the meat from the chicken. I added about 4 cups of water and simmered the chicken parts and the veggies from roasting to make a delicious and flavorful broth.

IMG_1488

3 pints of broth went into the freezer!

IMG_1513

This broth was the base for one of the best chicken soups I have made!

IMG_1520

Here is the finished product! Fantastic chicken noodle soup!
Into this broth I added: the remaining chicken meat that was simmered off the bones, 1/2 a yellow onion and minced garlic to equal 1 clove, sauteed, 3 medium carrots cut into rounds, 1 stalk of celery sliced into moons, 1 cup of fresh radicchio, shredded,   a handful of fresh parsley, a handful of rice vermicelli noodles &  a little salt and pepper. Heat on the stove top until veggies are cooked through and enjoy a piping hot bowl of soup!!

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Food Security Is Just One Roasted Chicken Away

  1. Love everything about this post — your philosophies on being a humane and moral meat eater, using every last bit to show respect to the animal, investing when possible in making sure they lived happy and healthy lives, and access to whole foods and how it should not be a privilege but a right. I am so right there with you!! And on a lighter note I’ve never made a stock to keep on hand. I will have to try that!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s