Monday, October 13, 2008

Rubber Chicken

The term "rubber chicken" refers to stretching that chicken to make as many meals as possible from it, often ending with soup or stock. For rubber chicken, it's imperative that you start with bone-in chicken pieces or a whole chicken; otherwise, you can't make stock from it at the end! I like the idea of rubber chicken, but in my current busy life, I have to have everything thought-through and organized ahead of time or it won't happen.

So, I had the genius idea of creating some rubber chicken menus: a recipe for roasted chicken, a second dish made from the cooked chicken meat (and coordinating with the flavors/seasonings used in the roasting recipe), and a final soup or stock (also coordinating with the earlier flavors/seasonings). This way, I'm much, much more likely to actually make use of my bird! There are so many variations here--Mexican-inspired, Curry-infused, Garlic-infused, Basic (salt and pepper), Herbed varieties, etc. I have a roasted chicken recipe for each of these scenarios and accompanying dishes/suggestions to do with the leftovers! Then, my week is half planned. I usually bake some potatoes or sweet potatoes along with the chicken and only need to come up with a simple vegetable side for half of my week's meals!

Many people do rubber chicken on the weekends and then eat off of it early in the week. For our family, it works best to roast the chicken for Monday night's dinner. Mondays are our home days because our weekends (especially Sunday) are so long. Since we have a 45 minute commute to church, we usually do something ultra simple like soup or salad or sandwiches for Sunday lunch. Thus, a "real meal" is extra welcome on Mondays! Here's our new weekly schedule (we'll see how long I can keep this up):
  • Monday: Roast Chicken of some sort (pick off meat after dinner--save carcass and meat separately)
  • Tuesday: Meal with leftover cooked chicken (casserole, pasta dish, etc.); make stock from carcass
  • Wednesday: Church
  • Thursday: Freezer meal or leftovers from Tuesday
  • Friday: Make soup from stock! Simple, eh? (We usually just eat off of the soup for lunches and maybe Sunday night dinner; Friday night's meal will either be the soup or something from the freezer)
  • Saturday: Stir-Fry with meat already cut up from the freezer, Entree Salad, or something grilled (the only night of the week that hubby is home for dinner with the kids except Sunday--we eat fresh stuff (the kinds of meals that don't reheat well))
  • Sunday: soup, salad, sandwiches, or leftovers
Below are some possible menus. Chicken salad can go with any flavor of roast chicken, so that is always an option. Chicken noodle/rice soups can work well with them all, too. I've listed some other meal possibilities that coordinate especially well with the flavors of the given roasted chicken recipe. You can always freeze leftovers--most casseroles and soups freeze well, the chicken carcass will freeze, and, of course, the chicken meat will freeze. Enjoy! (I'll keep updating links as I post recipes)

Italian Rubber Chicken
Mexican Rubber Chicken
Curry Rubber Chicken (not Indian, but the curry flavor does feature slightly in every recipe)
  • Glazed Chicken and Vegetables (includes apples)
  • Curried Chicken Salad OR Chicken Divan
  • Coffeehouse Chicken Noodle Soup
Herbed Rubber Chicken
  • Herb-Roasted Chicken (Dried Herbs) OR Herb-Roasted Chicken (Fresh Herbs)
  • Chicken Spectacular OR Chicken Salad OR Risotto
  • stock for any soup

Basic Rubber Chicken

Decadent Rubber Chicken
  • New Mommy Roast Chicken
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Stock for any soup

Rotisserie Rubber Chicken

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