Father of the Bride, anybody? That's one of my favorite movies from my childhood, and I can totally relate to Steve Martin freaking out over hot dog buns, now that I'm older. I like a good bargain. When we budget for a vacation, I break it down into how much it's going to cost per day and per hour of "fun". Matt loves that.
So, you can imagine it was a little difficult for me, at first, to justify spending extra money for organic meat and produce. Sometimes it's A LOT of extra money. Spending $7 for a single pound of grass fed ground beef seemed crazy (mind you, a Wendy's single is $4.10...which is about $16/pound). The more research I do, the better I feel about my decision, but I still had some sticker shock at first. So, if you are in that boat right now...here's a way to ease in.
Buy a whole, organic chicken. I went with pasture raised (this was a happy chicken). Even if you hate touching raw meat, and this grosses you out - stay with me. Get a bunch of organic celery and 4 or 5 organic carrots too (they are stored loose in places like Whole Foods and Central Market). Grab an onion, head of garlic, and make sure you have some thyme in your spice cabinet. That's all you need to make some magic - and it won't break the bank!
I got my giant pot out (ever wonder why you needed that giant pot? This is it!), and put the whole chicken in there.
I actually set the chicken in the pot still wrapped up, and unwrapped it in there so I didn't have to touch it much. It's not my favorite. If you are brave, you can remove the skin from the breasts, but it will be easy to remove later. Add 2 or 3 carrots and stalks of celery, roughly chopped. And quarter an onion, throw that in there. I smashed a few cloves of garlic as well. Then cover everything with water. Here is Mr. Chicken with his friends in the pool.
Toss in a healthy pinch of salt, some cracked pepper, put on the lid, turn on high heat and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, turn to medium low, and simmer for a good hour and a half, until the meat is falling off the bones. While you're cleaning up and waiting for your house to start smelling awesome, chop up the rest of your carrots and celery to add later
Fast forward 90 minutes or so (you can't really over cook it), take off the lid and skim as much of the fat off the top as you can, and transfer the chicken to a plate to debone. Be careful...it might fall apart on you as you lift it out and splash burning hot chicken stock on you (not that I've done this). You get a good amount of chicken! (that's a heaping plate)
Take all the cooked veggies out of the broth and toss them, add the chicken back in, and the remainder of your carrots and celery that you chopped. I transferred everything to my normal soup pot to finish it off. I had extra stock, so I saved it to freeze and use later. Add a teaspoon or two of dried thyme, and simmer until the veggies are tender. You might need more salt and pepper, too.
This made 18 cups of 100% organic, delicious goodness for less than $20. And this is SOOO much better than the canned crap that actually costs more, and has chicken that is almost unidentifiable as chicken in it.
Feel free to add some rice or noodles, but we like it with just the veggies. Hooray for the chipper chicken!
*This post is dedicated to my cousin, Gayla Castle, who is deathly afraid of touching raw poultry. Baby steps, cousin. Baby steps.
Hey there! I'm J-L (short for Jennie-Laurie), and I'm a wife, mom of 2, and I love all things health and fitness. Welcome to my blog!