Eating Chicken Frugally, Ethically and Deliciously

Eating Chicken Frugally, Ethically and Deliciously

I’m typing with slightly numbed fingers because when it comes to hot, crispy, salty chicken skin I will burn myself over waiting for it to cool every single time. So. Damn. Good!

But here’s the deal. Organic, pasture raised chicken is not cheap. It takes time, space and patience to raise a bird in it’s more natural habitat, with access to dust baths, tasty (!) insects and wild grown herbs – which is why I spend approximately 3.5 times the £ for an organic Riverford bird rather than one from my local supermarket. You’ve seen footage of intensively farmed birds right? Compare that with the care taken over these: https://www.riverford.co.uk/aboutus/environment-ethics/animal-welfare#chickens

Worth every penny. Apart from the issues of welfare, ethics, and the environment there’re also the bonuses of not routinely feeding my family a cocktail of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides; of the comparatively vastly improved nutritional status; and of getting a far superior taste.

But, I really don’t have the budget to do this regularly so what to do?

My friends, I’ll tell you how you get to save the world and your health all in one go!

Alongside my regular organic delivery from Riverford I add three chicken carcasses for £2.65 which I whack straight in a hot oven with a good sprinkling of salt. As soon as the house is full of the tantalising aroma of roast chicken I know it’s time to start picking. This is why I have burnt fingers! I eat the salty crispy skin and any spare meaty bits; and throw the really fatty scraps down for EllaTheDog and PoppyTheCat.

The bones go in the slow cooker with salt, veggies, herbs, ACV and water for several hours to make the most delicious and nutritious bone broth. This week half of that will go in a stew for tonight and the rest will get saved for a vegetable curry tomorrow. Sometimes we’ll just drink the broth straight. Once I’ve strained off the broth the bones will be soft enough to squish down (together with the broth veg and any remaining scraps of meat) for Ella and Poppy’s supper tonight.

And the fat still in the pan? I chuck a load of veggies in, combine them in that delicious and healthy fat and pop the pan in the oven for a bit. Roast veggies for lunch are heaven! If you want to mix it up a little I’ve got a couple of other serving ideas on my other site florenceneville.com

£2.65! Breakfast, lunch, dinner and pet food. I mean *really*! What are you waiting for…?!

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Hot Chocolate for Breakfast.

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My youngest (Lily) was in meltdown late last night over a wobbly tooth that was not quite ready to come out but was causing some discomfort and a fear that it would fall out in the night and be swallowed. Rational thought fell on deaf ears; comforting words were drowned out by sobs. Finally I whispered, “hot chocolate for breakfast” in her ear. She smiled, pulled the covers over her head and was asleep within minutes.

If you promise a 9 year old chocolate for breakfast you don’t get to rescind that vow on the grounds that it won’t keep them sustained with balanced and sustained energy from 7am til midday on a school day. I am possibly the strictest parent I know, but even I realise there are limits, of which this broken contract pushes the boundaries a little too far.

Rather than damaging your relationship with your child irrevocably you smugly present this glorious concoction and then gild the lily (as it were) with Sarah Wilson’s Simply Sweet Biscuits which are made from almonds, butter and stevia and thus guarantee that you and your loved ones will leave the house with a glow far superior to the Ready Brek phosphorescence (apologies to anyone not bought up in the UK in the late 70s)

For a family of four thoroughly blend 600ml organic whole milk, 200ml organic double cream, four organic egg yolks, 4 tablespoons cocoa, 1 tablespoon gelatin and your choice of natural sweetener to taste. Then very gently heat it all in a saucepan while frequently whisking.

While you sip on this thick, custardy, rich and ambrosial cup of decadence you can rest assured that not only will the fat and protein keep you sated until lunchtime, the gelatine will help heal a damaged gut (and make your hair, skin and nails strong and shiny), the A & D vitamins will support your thyroid and the chocolate content will ensure that your children love you forever.