Do you get tired of eating lunch meat? Do beef sticks make you question meat's origin?
Well, try this approach. Buy yourself a medium sized chicken, spend some time roasting and cleaning, and enjoy a week's worth of "winner winner chicken dinners!"
I started with a whole chicken from these guys.
Leave a comment if you've used this brand before!
I unwrapped my chicken, removed the organs from the inside (no worries, they put them in a little plastic bag to reduce the ICK factor), and placed it in a large broiler pot with 2-3 cups water, carrots, and onions. Then I seasoned the top with a mix of salt, paprika, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and chipotle.
I baked it at 400 for 15 minutes, then turned the oven down to 350 and slowly roasted it for about 1 1/2 hours. The instructions with this chicken said to bake to 180 degrees, so I was dutiful with my meat thermometer.
I removed it from the oven and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Mr. PT sliced off some nice pieces and I served it warm for dinner with vegetable quinoa, cooked veggies, and cottage cheese. It was so tender, juicy and fresh tasting! Just delicious!
The hardest part of this whole deal is the cleaning of the cooked bird. It takes about 30 minutes, but you are left with an excellent supply of tender chicken pieces!
A night or two later, I made the fillings for a chicken potpie. Find that recipe, here. Instead of putting it in a pie, I served it alongside rice and saved the rest for Mr. PT's lunches and unstructured weekday dinners.
potpie filling in skillet
Are you tired of chicken yet? Hope not, because next I put it in a corn tortilla with black beans, onions, peppers, cheese, avocado, fresh tomato, and Mexican spices.
One bird, three meals! Not to mention the few times I stood in the kitchen and munched on a few unadorned pieces when hunger struck after work.
So, this may seem like more work than the pre-packaged chicken you get at the store. And I totally agree that this would be difficult to do every week. But every month or so? I think I could do it! I bet you could too.
I also believe projects like this help you become more tuned in with your food. I'm not saying you should go raise a chicken in your back yard, name him George, then cook him for dinner. But making a chicken start-to-finish like this (bones, guts, and all) reminds you to be grateful for the sacrifice the little guy made.
Combine with a game! Softball, soccer, kickball...it's time to join a team! Get out there and move!