How many chicken carcasses have you thrown in the bin?? if you’re anything like me probably a fair few. We are lucky as we have a family of foxes who visit so I give mine to them so nothing goes to waste.
However I thought it was about time I started using the carcass to make stock it’s such an easy process especially if using a slow cooker. Pop it in walk way let the slow cooker do all the hard work for you.
In the video you will see i used a fat separator, now I have used every method known to man to do this and to be honest they are all a ballache. Why have I not had one of these gadgets before now?? I have no idea, it takes all the hard work out of the equation and does a perfect job of removing the fat.
From my batch I made 1ltr of ready to use stock, my top tip is to taste the stock once all fat is removed and check for any adjustments you may need to make. If the stock is strong in taste you may need to add more water to dilute it further also check season you may need a touch of salt & pepper.
I love doing these “money saving” meal ideas as they can really help when you need to pull in those purse strings.
Cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker and then stripping it from the carcass is probably the ultimate money spinner the chicken I’m using was 1.4kg costing £2.95.
This a a perfect size chicken for 2 with lots leftover or a family of 4 for 1 meal.
TOP TIP‼️ As soon as the chicken is cool enough to touch remove as much meat as possible, unfortunately I had to pop mine in the fridge overnight which makes it slightly more difficult to get all the meat from the carcass.
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN HOW TO COOK
You can find all information herehttps://julesthelazycook.co.uk/2017/09/13/slow-cooker-chicken/ but I’ve also done a really short quick video to help
MEAL 1 – CREAMY CHICKEN & CHORIZO PASTA BAKE
A fantastic easy midweek meal that is pure comfort food. In this recipe I have used cooked chicken, because at the beginning of the week I cooked a whole chicken in the slow cooker and this is one of the meals I used it in.
This recipe is another one where you can add in any vegetables you like and any vegetables that need using up its a really versitile meal.
For the cream cheese use any make or brand you like i used Primula as its really easy to work with and handles heat well.
TOP TIP ‼️ When making the sauce ensure there is enough to coat all the contents of the pan and extra sauce, as this dish needs to be put under the grill – this will “cook off” some of the liquid (sauce)
MEAL 2 WINTER CHICKEN & VEGETABLE SOUP
A perfect soup for this time of the year and is a fantastic way of using up leftover chicken from Sunday dinner. This soup is from my “Fuller For Longer” recipes as it has extra ingredients to help fill you up on colder days.
MEAL 3 – BBQ CHICKEN & CHEESE QUESDILLA
A perfect way to use up leftover chicken to make a tasty quick easy lunch, use any wraps you like, cheese and BBQ sauce.
This is the second set of meals i have cooked from 1 Joint of Gammon and it really does make a difference when you are trying to budget or just us up leftovers. I started with a unsmoked gammon and cooked it in the slow cooker.
Who doesn’t love a creamy pasta dish i have never made this one mainly because of how the carbonara sauce was made especially if following slimming world, however i stumbled across a fantastic “cheat” which will really help create that creamy sauce without the hassle. The ” how to video” can be found here https://julesthelazycook.co.uk/2020/01/21/spaghetti-carbonara/
I always cook my lamb in the slow cooker as the lamb just falls off the bone its so tender, in this feature i used a 1.4kg Leg of Lamb which was on offer in Tesco for £7.42 just before Christmas so i grabbed it and popped it in the freezer. With this one joint i have created 3 different meals, and 6 plates of food for 2 people
So how do you cook lamb in the slow cooker???? below is the link to how i cook mine once the lamb was cooked i served it with all the Sunday Dinner type trimmings
This is the easiest recipe to create ever and is literally 5 mins to get onto the table the spice i used on the lamb is Ras El Hanout and is from https://www.spicentice.com/ you can use my discount code JULES20 for 20% off any order AD. How i cooked this meal is in the video below
I served mine with a huge salad mint yogurt dip and wraps this is also a fantastic summer meal
MEAL 3 – SLOW COOKER LAMB ROGAN JOSH
This is one of my favourite curries and using leftover lamb is a fab way of reducing cooking time, again how i cooked this is in the video below. The recipe card is below for you to screenshot and keep on your phone / ipad etc or you can print it off and keep it with your favourite recipes. I have also included the 1 minute short video as i know some like watching these.
So now to the big questions….. TELL ME ABOUT THE FLATBREADS!!! ok these are fabulous they can take a little practice but one you have cracked it you will be making them all the time. The link takes you to a video which shows how to make them.
This feature follows on from the one i did with a whole chicken but this time i used 1kg joint of unsmoked gammon costing £3.19. I buy unsmoked as i think the flavour of the smoked one can be too strong and sometimes too salty – you can always soak a gammon joint overnight in cold water before you use it if you are worried about it tasting salty.
I always cook my gammon in the slow cooker as it comes out so tender, this joint i cooked in diet orange with a couple of black peppercorns as i didn’t want to over flavour the meat as im using the leftovers in other meals therefore i needed to be careful with the flavours. The end result was a subtle flavour perfectly balance and wasn’t overpowering.
Once the gammon was cooked i cut off a chunk and shredded it with 2 forks and used that in our Sunday Dinner so this is meal 1. The other piece i left whole to use cubed or sliced.
MEAL 1 – SUNDAY DINNER – PULLED GAMMON
MEAL 2 – HOMEMADE FLATBREAD PIZZA
This is my flatbread recipe sized up to create a pizza base and if you are a pizza lover but dont like the calories then this is for you!
I used 60g of flour and approx 2.5 heaped tablespoons of fat free Greek yogurt made up the dough cooked it in a scorching hot frying pan – once cooked add the toppings. The ham used on the pizza leftover from Sunday dinner so i still haven’t used the piece of gammon that was left whole. Here is the link to the flatbread method i used https://julesthelazycook.co.uk/2019/07/11/flatbreads/
As the year moves on into autumn and winter im more determined to look at the money i am spending on food and questioning every purchase and when i went shopping this week i bought a whole chicken which was £2.59 and weighed 1.38kg. This chicken is the perfect size for two people and my aim is to make 4 different meals from it which will also serve 2 people, 8 plates of food (and a couple more in places) 32p approx per person per plate!!!
First step was to cook the chicken and as always i cooked mine in the slow cooker (i will link how i do this below). Once it was cooked i let it cool and stripped it from the carcass divided it into 4 portions and planned my meals.
Chicken portioned from the whole chicken cook previously
2 x carrots
1 x vegetable stock pot or cube
1 x nest of dried noodles
1 x leek
Finely chop leek and fry off in pan on high heat, dice carrots and add them, add vegetable stock, cover with water to approx 25mm over contents you may need to add more water depending on how thick/thin you like your soups, bring to the boil then reduce to simmer
After approx 10mins of cooking add the cooked chicken and dried noodles the stock will cook them, once the noodles separate cut them into smaller lengths with a pair of scissors. The key is to get the carrots partly cooked so try and keep the dice small and they will cook quicker – cook for a further 5 to 10mins check seasoning and your done! This recipe made 3 big portions.
Meal 2 – Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta
Use cooked chicken
2 x tablespoons of light pesto
dollop of cream cheese (any you like) i used primula
reserve some pasta water to help make the sauce
add any vegetables you like – i used the ones that were lurking in the bottom of my fridge
This is a really easy one but makes a fantastic quick filling meal – here is what i did, softened half a red onion, added some mushrooms cooked for approx 3 more mins added the cooked chicken and some tomatoes, add a splash of pasta water stops the chicken burning and ensures it heats through properly. I then added the cooked pasta, 2 tablespoons of pesto and a dollop of cream cheese together with a small amount of pasta water this will help the pesto and cream cheese create a silky smooth sauce. Once cooked this actually made 3 big portions, i weigh out my dry pasta and as a rule of thumb pasta cooked is double the weight of dry pasta.
Meal 3 – Spicentice Chinese Chicken Curry
This is one of my favourites and its so easy to make and now we are using cooked chicken its going to make the cooking even easier – the key for this meal is to reduce the sauce the get a thick ish covering over the chicken and vegetables. Video below of how i cooked it without using flour.
This meal can also be made in the slow cooker but i would only use this method if you are making 4 portions – its linked her if you want to give it a try.
Ohhhh yes this is the real deal and totally worth every calorie, syn or points whichever diet you are following.
You can easily reduce the amount of pastry you need by using a smaller pie dish or indiviual casserole dishes or even just pop a pastry heart on top, when i plated up the pie served 3 portions.
I used Tesco light puff pastry from the chilled section it worked just as well as other branded products and a fraction of the cost, leftover pastry was placed in the freezer for another day.
I hope you have enjoyed this feature and in the future i will be making more money saving videos even i have found this a useful exercise and questioning why am i buying food i dont need when i have cupboards and freezers full of food!
Linked here are a couple of extra videos that also fit in with this topic