Are you feeling the pinch of the economy? Looking for ways to stretch your grocery budget? Let’s face it, who couldn’t stand to save more money? Well here’s a wonderful recipe that not only saves you money, its EASY! Oh and did I mention its delicious too? This is a recipe that I have adapted over time starting with a soup that my mother used to make me when I was sick. I tweaked a bit to fit my current cooking style/ needs, and it’s been a hit every time! What’s really great about this recipe is that it uses leftovers!
Start with two whole chicken fryers . Fryers are cheap! they run me about $3.50 – $4.00 at wally world. Rinse chickens very well inside and out. Place in baking dish breast side up.
drizzle them with olive oil
Now grab you a bottle of this:
McCormick Grill mates Chicken Rub
Evenly coat both sides of each chicken
Until it looks like this
Bake Chickens at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hour – 1 hour 45 min
Carve chickens and serve!
AFTER DINNER: Allow chicken carcasses and stock to cool completely
De-bone chicken carcasses. Be careful of small bones!
Tear into bite sized pieces and place pulled chicken as well as any leftover chicken from tonight’s meal into a dish. Now I must say, I feed a family of 5, and that includes a husband well over 6 feet tall, and two growing boys, (one a teenager, and one a pre-teen) PLUS we also had a guest for dinner, and we STILL managed to have this much meat left over. If for some reason you end up with not enough, it’s simple to throw in a couple cheap chicken thighs or a chicken breast if need be.
Now your left with all of this wonderfully SEASONED chicken stock. Carefully go through the stock one more time checking for small bones
Pour stock on top of chicken pieces
Cover and refrigerate for the next day. If you are planning to freeze for a later day, I suggest refrigerating it over night first, as it makes the next step easier
Here is the chicken & stock after sitting overnight in the refrigerator. We want to now skim off all the yellow fat that has risen and settled on the top.
So with a spoon, start skimming off the fat. It will be soft like pudding
It will now look like this . The stock will have formed into a gelatin like substance. ( I know, this has not been a pretty process so far, but it gets better I promise!) Now if you want to be able to remove even more fat, you can skip the step of pouring the stock in over the left over chicken and refrigerate them separately, but I didn’t want the chicken drying out, and preferred for them to marinate in the seasoned stock over night. Plus I don’t consider a bowl of pasta a very low fat meal to begin with, so a tiny bit of fat only adds to the flavor in my opinion, but you do whatever works best for you!
Pour chicken & Stock into a large pot. I tend to use my (OLD) pressure cooker shown here, because it is a nice tall pot, which helps when doing lots of boiling. HOWEVER, if you do choose to use a pressure cooker, do not put the lid on the pressure cooker! we are just using it as a normal pot!
Cover chicken and stock with water and turn on stove to medium high. (if you have numbers on your stove I use around 7 or 8 ) don’t fill the whole pot as we need room for the carrots, and you can always add more water later. As you can see here I still have a little bit of fat in there. That part is up to you.
Now Unwrap 14 or 15 Chicken flavored bouillon cubes
Add Bouillon cubes to pot.
While the pot starts to boil and melt the stock, Slice you up a bunch of carrots. Again, how many you want is up to you. We like carrots so I use close to all of a small bag
Don’t cut them too thick or they will take a long time to cook. Try to get them as even and uniform as you can so that they will all be done around the same time.
Now add your carrots to the boiling pot. Let boil.
Add water if needed
After about 10 min or so check the carrots. You want them to be soft and cooked through.
Once your carrots are soft, grab you a 12 oz bag of spiral noodles
and dump the whole bag into the pot. yup the whole bag. The noodles cook the fastest, so it’s important to wait until the carrots are done before you add the noodles
Stir everything up (hey where’s my spoon?) And continue to boil. Stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks and burns to the bottom.
Add water again whenever needed. Now we like our soup thick and chunky so I tend to let it boil down. I don’t care for soup that’s too brothy.
When noodles are soft, this is what you get! Nice thick and chunky homemade comfort food Chicken noodle soup!
This one pot feeds all five of us, usually with a bowl or so left over for tomorrow’s lunch. It tastes as great the next day as the day you cook it, however, after it sits overnight it does soak up all the liquid. I actually like that it does that. So if you were to cook the soup the night before, you could actually use it as a noodle side dish! This meal is so versatile!
So there you have it! Two chickens, two very cheap meals! Money saved with happy tummies!
I hope you will try it!
Lets take another look at how easy it was using such few a(and inexpensive) ingredients! TWO MEALS with only SIX inexspensive ingredients!
Thick and chunky Chicken Noodle Soup
2 chicken fryers
McCormick Chicken rub
14 chicken bouillon cubes
12 oz bag of spiral noodles
Wash chickens and pat dry. Place chickens in baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and cover with chicken rub seasoning. Bake at 375 for 1 1/2 hours to 1 hour 45 min
Carve and serve
Cool chicken carkasses
Pour chicken stock over remaining chicken (or skip this step and store them seperately, you choose)
Refrigerate , or freeze
Remove chicken fat from stock, and pour chickens/stock in large pot. Cover with water and turn on medium high. Add 14 bouillon cubes. Slice carrots and add to boiling water. Once carrots are soft add 12 oz bag of spiral noodles. Add water if needed. Boil until noodles are soft