Monday, April 16, 2007

A New Treat For Us

We are really watching our budget these days. We have been wasting A LOT of money and we are certain that much of it is going to eating out. We don't eat out every day, but at least once per week and sometimes more than that depending on how lazy we are about cooking.

After a long day of work, it is a chore to come home and do more chores - dinner making included. But being budget savvy means we batten down the hatches and find a way to make it work. My solution... CROCK POT COOKING!!!! Check out my new Crock Pot. I'm so excited. We had one years ago, but must have given it away as a result of one of our moves or something. I always wanted the kind with the lift-out stoneware, and now I have it! 4 quart is just our size as we have no extra mouths to feed at the moment. Fairly priced $19.99 at Target, I believe we've found ourselves a deal. Keith consented to this purchase. I am certain he is anxious to taste the fruits of our labor in this regard. Now - if I could only get my hands on those liners that Amanda speaks so highly of... they did not have these at Target. Believe me... we looked everywhere!

My first experiment is tonight's dinner... crock pot chicken. I layered carrots, onion, and celery on the bottom and placed a whole frying size chicken on top. (after rinsing and patting dry) I sprinkled on generous amounts of coarse ground salt and pepper and some thyme. I poured a small can of chicken broth around it, slapped the lid on, set it on low and promptly forgot about it.... until NOW....

I think 8 hours would have been plenty, but I had a meeting tonight so it cooked more like 12 hours. Oh well... As soon as I got home I found myself a nice large platter. I was assessing how to lift the chicken out of the pot. With 2 forks or with a pair of tongs? I grabbed ahold of a leg with the tongs and it slipped right up out of the pot away from the body. Hmmm... TENDER... I grabbed a wing and as I layed it on the platter the bone fell out of it... REALLY TENDER!!!! I'm telling you what... I have never made a more tender, juicy, delicious whole chicken EVER! I'm so proud of myself. You know what - my biggest problem is that it is falling off it's bones so well, that even the tiniest back bones are not holding together and I'm going to have to sift them out of the veggies and broth.

This made more than one meal for us. I have indulged myself and will be fixing a plate for Keith as he is working this evening. The rest... the sky's the limit. Hmmm... chicken salad on crackers or sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, casserole, enchiladas.... What do you suggest?

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