Tuesday, February 15, 2011

His frugal deals, my frugal meals- Chicken & pork shank

One of my Jeffs last deal shopping trips landed us with a 10 lb. bag of chicken leg quarters for $3.27, and a 4.7 lb. 1/2 pork picnic shank for $4.83. There were other meats also, but these are the two I chose to dive into and see how many meals I could get out of them.
Starting with the chicken leg quarters, there were 9 huge ones, one small. So of course first was the washing, then I put 3 into a freezer bag and into freezer for a future chicken dinner. Started soaking 3 in buttermilk in fridge to prepare for dinner the next night. Took the remaining 4 and put into pot with water and boiled.

Now onto pork shank,  I washed and cut off excess fat, made a spice rub and popped it into the oven to roast.
Of course then in comes my Jeff, talking about how he has been craving pork with cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. Ok, so roasting is not how I need to do this. I take it out, put it in a stock pot with water, and return it to the oven for a couple hours.

Back to the chicken... when the boiling chicken is done I take it out of water to cool. I put the water from pot into crock pot, then after getting all the good meat off the bones, put remaining bones & skin into crockpot also. I always save all ends and pieces I have cut off of veggies (broccoli, carrots, celery, onion, cabbage, etc.) and freeze in a freezer bag and I add this to the crockpot, turn on low, and leave overnight.

Now I put the cooked chicken into freezer bag, mark it and put into the freezer for a future meal, which I am thinking chicken tetrazzini, yum!

When the pork is 3/4 done, I start adding every 15 minutes - first the carrots, then potatoes and last the cabbage and onion, because we do not like mushy cabbage. And I only put in the amount of cabbage we will eat for that meal, so when we have leftovers, I can add fresh cabbage.
The next day, I remove everything from crockpot and strain the broth. I usually use mainly 1 to 2 cup size jars as that is generally the amount needed for most recipes.

I mark them, then put down into freezer chest. So, now to figure out how many meals I was able to get from 10 lbs. of chicken, and 4.7 lbs. of pork.
The pork provided 2 supper meals for 3 adults, and 2 lunch meals for 1 adult and 3 children, which is 6 supper portions, and 8 lunch portions.
The chicken provided one chicken dinner for 3 adults, plus another one dinner for 3 adults frozen for later, and the cooked and deboned chicken will provide enough chicken tetrazzini for 1 supper meal for 5 adults and 3 children, and 1 lunch meal for 3 adults and 1 child which ends up being 14 supper portions, and 4 lunch portions. Not including the 11 cups of the most awesome chicken broth ever!

So, what do you think? Do you feel we got our money's worth outta that meat? I do.