Something simple to teach
I am teaching a friend to cook for himself to save money. His goal is 35 dollars a week or so. He literally didn't know how to make scrambled eggs or brown hamburger meat. One friend taught him the eggs and I taught tacos ( with a seasoning packet because that's all he is comfortable with so far). Tomorrow he has requested we do something with chicken. I want to make it as simple as possible and budget friendly. He is also an incredibly picky eater. I was thinking perhaps oven baked chicken pieces and rice but I am open to suggestions. With my meat CSA I barely do anything besides a whole roast chicken anymore. Thanks for any ideas you can give me. I asked him for what chicken he likes but he didn't know.
chicken and yellow rice- very tasty for no effort at all
Baked, roasted, or sauteed, then sliced and frozen in single-serve portions for stir-fries, pasta, and salads
What a good friend you are! I think a roast chicken is a great idea. Give him some ideas regarding leftovers, too. Fajitas, salads, sandwiches all are easy to make.
Using the whole chicken, you can make a lot of different dishes. First, poach the chicken until it's cooked. Remove the chicken, cool and then remove the meat and reserve. Return the carcass and the rest to the poaching water and simmer for a few hours to make stock (add celery, onions, carrots, salt, pepper, bay leaf, if wanted--can be added when cooking chicken, too). With this, he can easily make:
1) chicken soup, adding some chicken meat, cooked noodles/ rice, frozen vegetables (or fresh if he can get them as cheaply)
2) chicken and dumplings--show him how to make the dumplings from this recipe, super easy and add to stock and chicken:
3) make a white sauce w/ the stock, add chicken and peas and you can serve over noodles, rice or top w/ pie crust or corn bread and bake for chicken pot pie
4) make chicken salad w/ remaining meat
I totally second this plan. Whole chickens are cheapest and can often be found on sale. Stock is healthy and versatile and a great gateway food to get him interested in flavors and cooking more.
The meat you get off the carcass can be frozen individually as either diced or shredded and is great in all kinds of soups, stews, pasta sauces or seasoned with a wrap or salad. Uber mega versatile!
If you really want to do something with the breasts, you can cut them off before starting all the above and everythign will still turn out fine, hell do 2 at a time. :)
The easiest way I've ever roasted a chicken is by using Marcella Hazan's Roast Chicken with Lemons. Here's the recipe: http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/....
When I'm done eating the chicken, I use it to make stock. I don't bother flavoring the stock with onions, carrots, etc. I just cover the chicken with water in an 8 qt. stockpot, bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for at least 4 hours. I take out the chicken, let the stock cool, refrigerate it.
The next day, I remove the top layer of fat, and make chicken soup. I saute some onion, add carrots and potatoes, then cook them in the stock. Add salt. If I have a rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano, I put it in with the carrots and potatoes. When they're almost cooked, I add ditalini. When the pasta is cooked, I add some frozen peas.
You can use any veg you like. Just give it a proper amount of time to cook. I used to use kale, but it adds a sour taste, especially on the second day, so I cut it out. If you like it, it's better to cook it separately and add it to the soup each time you eat it.
You need to use a lot of salt -- I've never measured, but it seems like a lot to get it to taste right -- plus some pepper.
You are so nice and helpful..... I would not even mess with such a picky eater. Drop them off on a desert Island and we'll see what phonies they are. Teach him how to make some jazzed up rice, pasta, potatoes baked sweet potatoes. That can take him a long way