Hey everyone. I hope your weekend was simply delightful
I mentioned in my most recent post that last week I had roasted a chicken for the second time in my life, with a ten year wide gap between my first roasted bird and the second. I also mentioned that the entire bird and fixings cost me around ten dollars, which I thought was pretty frugal. And since I am both trying to eat better while being frugal, I think I did ok
A gentle reader asked me if I wouldn’t mind posting exactly what I did so he could follow suit, as he is “also trying to cook simple dishes that are healthy and cheap” – thanks Mark – so here it is, a bachelors guide to roasting a chicken made simple and frugal (pictures to follow).
By the way, this is from a recipe I had many years ago and was going from memory, so don’t hold me to anything!
The first thing I did was to go shopping at a local grocery store near my house. I found a nice looking – and heavy – unfrozen chicken for $7.68. I then bought a five pound bag of potatoes ($1.59), a two pound bag of onions ($.99) and three bulbs of garlic ($.59).
Total cost of these items was $10.85.
Once home, I cut the potatoes into smaller chunks, quartered the onions and “unwrapped” the garlic cloves. I then rinsed the chicken under water, including inside the cavity, and dried it off with a few paper towels.
Placing the chicken in the roasting pan, I stuffed half a large onion inside the cavity, along with a bunch of garlic cloves. I also placed the rest of the garlic, along with the potatoes and remaining onions around the chicken.
For Christmas, a cousin of mine bought me a large spice carousel filled with a bunch of spices I would not have had otherwise. So I rubbed the chicken down with some thyme, sage, rosemary, and a little kosher salt.
I then poured about a cup of water over the vegetables and popped the roasting pan – uncovered – into an already pre-heated oven at 425F for about 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, I turned the heat down to about 350F and cooked that sucker for a good two hours until I checked the inside temperature of the bird. It was ten degrees higher than what it should have been so I was secure in the knowledge that none of my invited guests would contract some kind of food poisoning.
Oh…while the chicken was cooking, I would baste the chicken in its own juices every twenty minutes or so which apparently gives the skin a nice crispiness (which it did). I don’t think one needs to do that, but I always watched my mom do it that way, so why not!
And there you have Mark – and everyone else reading this – a simple roasted chicken that was easy to cook and very frugal. I was able to feed two friends, along with myself, generous portions AND I also had enough leftovers for two more dinners. All for roughly ten dollars!!
The one thing that always surprises me is how simple and relatively easy some dishes are to make. I always think that the process of cooking a big meal is going to take a lot of work and many arduous hours of prep time and cooking time. That however, at least for this dish, was not the case.
All in all, I had a fun time cooking the chicken, and more importantly, my guests loved it as well Here’s some photos:
Well, there you have it folks…my frugal and simple roast chicken recipe! And seriously folks, you can’t beat the price!
So…what do you think of my recipe? Do you have any additional pointers – ahem, Dale!? – that would make this recipe go from good to “OH MY!” ?
Are there other dishes you make that are just as frugal?
I’d love to read your thoughts on this topic, so please feel free to keep the conversation flowing by commenting down below.
Thanks everyone and take care.
All my best.
ps: I still had a bunch of unused potatoes and onions left which I will be using tomorrow for another new dish: Meat Loaf, which I have never made in my life. Wish me luck!
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