Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What I Did With 10 Pounds of Chicken Leg Quarters

When I find a great deal at the grocery store, especially on items that are generally more expensive, like protein products, I usually snatch it up. So, every 3 or 4 months, my local grocery store advertises a 10-pound bag of chicken quarters for $3.80, it's hard not to buy. Thirty-eight cents per pound for any kind of chicken is just hard to pass up, even though it's not my family's favorite part of the bird. So what can I do with it?

Well, bring out the slow-cooker, of course!

I rinsed the pieces off in the sink and put all 10 pounds of them into the crockpot. I added some celery, onion, carrots, salt, pepper, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar helps to bring out the minerals and nutrition from bones and into the stock. I let it do it's thing until the meat on the bones were practically falling off, about 6 hours. I then took a large slotted spoon and took out the meat pieces, allowed them to cool, and then took the meat off the bones.
I put the bones back into the crockpot and let it continue to cook for another few hours, and above is what I was left with. I love the rich color of the broth!
I poured the broth and bones into a large colander placed over a large bowl to separate the two and above is all that was left, just bones and cooked-down vegetables. Oops! There's a large piece of stray thigh meat. That goes in the with the rest of the meat.

I now have a very large bag of cooked chicken meat that I put into the freezer and a large bowl of homemade chicken broth that I put into the freezer overnight so the fat can rise to the top. In the morning, I scrap the fat off and save it for sauteeing vegetables and meats. With my chicken and broth, I'm ready to make possibly some chicken pot pie.

Or, I could make some yummy chicken and dumplings. Do you have some favorite recipes that you use for cooked chicken? I'd love to hear! I'm always looking for a new recipe to use up what I already have.


Charmin's Thoughts said...

Dear Darcy:

One of my family's favorite recipes is "Charmin's King Ranch Chicken". It is different than most.

1- 4lb chicken or the equivalent to that in pieces, boiled, skinned, and boned

10 to 12 FLOUR tortillas

1 10 3/4 oz can cream of mushroom soup

1 10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken soup

1 can of Rotel tomatoes (orignal, not mild)

1 lb of cheddar cheese grated

salt and pepper to taste

now when you have all of your ingredients:

preheat oven to 350 degrees. while preheating do the following.

In a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish start layering ingredients in the order listed. This recipe will make two rounds of layers.

Tear the chicken into bite-size pieces and cover the bottom, tear the flour tortillas into bite-size pieces and cover the chicken completely.

Mix the soups together and then pour 1/2 of the soup mix over the tortillas. Pour 1/2 of the Rotel tomatoes with juice over the soup. Add the cheddar cheese over the tomatoes.

Repeat the layering for one more round.

Complete the top with the rest of the cheese.

bake at 350 degrees for 20- 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let casserole set up for approx 10 minutes before serving. VERY IMPORTANT! You don't want it to be runny on the plate when you serve it.


Great for breakfast the next day. This is a great leftover. You can also make it in advance and freeze it. Thaw before baking.

Melinda said...

What a great idea! Having cooked chicken in the freezer is like having money in the bank!

Sherry said...

Oh, your awesome! Way to go cooking from scratch. Have you seen the new show coming on called "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution?" It airs on ABC March 26th. Your quote under your header reminded me of his mission.
Win Rachael Ray bake ware at my blog.

Christine said...

This is a work of ART!!!
Wow, it makes my mouth water.

Michael Lee West said...

This is a great, basic recipe that everyone should have. I desperately need something versatile like this when I'm on a deadline yet don't want to eat fast food. Thanks for linking up! Have a great week.