Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Coconut Curried Chicken over Vegetable Rice

One of the things that I do to save money on our grocery bill, is buying whole poultry rather than pieces. Not only is it cheaper to buy a whole "roaster" chicken than to buy a package of chicken breast, but there are more usable parts with a whole chicken, and most local farmers will only sell me a whole chicken- there is no "boneless/skinless" option.

Many people think that the only thing you can do with a whole chicken is to make roasted chicken. If you get creative, you'll find that you can have a variety of chicken dishes at a much less cost if you start using meat from a whole chicken.

After I cook a chicken, we usually have the roasted chicken that night for dinner. Then I get as much meat off the bones as I possibly can, separating the white meat and dark meat into two labeled bags. I keep the raw gizzards and carcass (the bones) to make a stock out of. If I'm throwing the carcass away rather than making a stock (sometimes I have ample amount in my freezer) then I put the gizzards in a freezer bag and save until the day comes when I do make a stock. This alone saves us tons of money, as I don't remember the last time I had to buy chicken stock. I use it in many of my dishes, so to be able to cut that out of our grocery list saves us money!

After everything is separated and prepared, I freeze it. Then, we have cooked chicken meat in the freezer, waiting to be made into a quick yet wholesome meal! This curried chicken recipe was one I came up with tonight using cooked chicken. I used the white meat, but I wouldn't hesitate to use dark meat. I am going to come clean and admit that when I say "canned tomatoes" in the recipe, I actually didn't have any so I used some of the chunky tomato soup that I canned last summer and it worked really well- and another way to incorporate my own prepared foods!

Chicken Curry:
1 can Coconut Milk
Canned Diced Tomatoes (about 1 cup, but use your tastes)
2 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garlic powder (or a couple cloves of minced garlic but this is what I had)
salt and pepper to taste
2 chicken breasts, prepared as above and then thawed, shredded or diced
pinch of flour or cornstarch

Over medium heat, heat the coconut milk while stirring until the fat and water are well incorporated. Add the tomatoes, curry powder, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well.  Stir in the chicken and cover. Cook over medium to low heat until the chicken is heated through, stirring occasionally. Add in the flour or cornstarch and stir. Heat until sauce thickens.

Vegetable rice:
1 Cup White Rice
1 Cup freeze dried veggies or frozen veggies
2 cups water

combine the water and rice in a pot and bring the water to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the veggies, turn down the heat to low, and cover. Cook about 30 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the water.

Serve the chicken over the rice.

The next time I make this dish, I am hoping to add homemade naan to our plates!

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