Maxine Sullivan is on a roll! She taught us yesterday how to cut up an old dead chicken; today she tells us a new way to serve it up to our loved ones! We present her dish, which we cannot wait to try ASAP!
“Yesterday I told you how to cut up an old dead chicken. Today I’m going to tell you what to do with it.
I’m giving you a recipe from Farm Journal’s Country Cooking book, which I found last week for $1 at a yard sale. Originally published in 1959, and updated in 1972, most of the recipes are simple and from scratch. You’ll find this true of most cookbooks published in that era, when people actually cooked and ate at home nearly every night.
I tweaked the recipe a bit when I made it, and I’m giving you the tweaked version.
3-1/2 to 4 lb. frying chicken, cut-up
1/3 cup flour
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup cooking oil or melted shortening
½ cup chopped onion
2 chicken bouillon cubes or a scant teaspoon of chicken soup base
½ cup hot water
1 cup sour cream *I used low fat
Preheat frying pan and heat oil or shortening. Thoroughly coat pieces of chicken with a mixture of flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Note: I shake the chicken in a cereal liner bag. Place chicken pieces in hot pan. Dust any remaining flour mixture over chicken pieces in the pan.
Brown chicken pieces about 15 minutes, turning once. Add onion.
Dissolve bouillon cubes or chicken base in hot water and add to chicken. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, adding water if necessary. Remove chicken to serving platter.
Add a small amount of pan drippings to sour cream and stir well. Then add mixture to remaining pan drippings and stir well. Cook until heated through, but do not boil. Pour some of the mixture over the chicken and serve the rest as gravy.
This is excellent served with buttered noodles. Add a salad or cooked vegetable, and you’ll have dinner for 4-5 people for around $5.
I always figure if you can make dinner for $5, you can feed a family of 4 for around $100 week. ($100 is less than the USDA thrifty meal budget for a family of 4). This is easy if you can get a whole chicken for $3 or so, and spend no more than another buck on added ingredients. Fill out the meal with potatoes, pasta or rice, plus veggies or salad.
You can save money on herbs and spices, such as the paprika used in this recipe, by buying your spices in bulk. You may have to look around for bulk spices. Some grocery stores have bulk food departments, and you’ll probably find them at health food stores that actually sell food, and not just supplements.
If your town is too small to have such a store, look in the nearest larger town, and make it a point to stop by when you are in the neighborhood. Spices that cost $5-$7 and up in bottles at the grocery store will literally cost pennies when bought in bulk. Bulk, in this case, doesn’t necessarily mean a whole boatload of paprika. It means being able to buy as much or as little as you want to put in your own container.
Another source of low-cost herbs and spices may be the ethnic foods aisle in your local supermarket. Here in the west, it’s common to find spices used in ethnic dishes packaged in cellophane baggies hanging among the enchilada sauce and canned menudo. Each package typically costs a dollar or so, and the quality and freshness are excellent. You’ll find garlic, oregano, bay leaves, and many, many more…not to mention outstanding chili powder.
Good ole paprika doesn’t just come in bottles. Look for big red cans, net weight 5 ounces or so, for MUCH less than Schilling or Spice Islands. The brand in my cupboard right now is Kalocsa Sweet Hungarian Paprika.
The cheapest spices will be sold in bulk. The next-cheapest will be in cellophane envelopes in the ethnic foods aisle. Next up the line—at least for paprika—will be big cans in the spice aisles. Then comes the name-brand spices in little glass bottles. Save your empty bottles to refill with bulk spices.
If there is a man in your house, see if you can interest him in learning to cut up chickens. For some reason, men usually enjoy that task. I think it makes them feel like cavemen. 🙂”
One of the many things I appreciate about Guest Bloggers is that they have such a fresh perspective from my own. All the great ideas about choosing spices is wonderful, Maxine, and we gratefully and gleefully look forward to your next offering.
For my part, I can hardly WAIT to get into the kitchen, cut me up an old dead chicken and build a wonderful, tasty meal for very little moola!
If those of you who are reading this are anything like most of us, you are working hard all day and you are dog tired when you come home. Unless you have SERVANTS-yeah, right; whatever-you may not feel like putting together a nourishing meal for your loved ones. That’s when it’s easy to turn to junk food or bust the food budget with wrong, expensive choices.
For those who depend on food commodities, food pantries; WIC or SNAP-even Farmers Markets Coupons or Angel Food Ministries, we hope this site is helpful to you all. We all want comfort food; we all want to hang onto as much of our food budgets as possible, so the idea is to be as helpful to all of you as possible.
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