Friday, October 26, 2012

Don't Be Wasteful

Hey folks, Living and Learning here again, and I just want to point out some interesting facts to you about using off cuts. Off cuts being, of course, the pieces of an animal we don't normally think about using, what's often processed for you, so you never even get the chance to think about using them.

For instance, chickens don't just consist of wings, legs and breasts. They have necks, backs and feet (and, of course, organs), all of which are just as good for cooking as the other parts they market. You can simmer them for broth, soup, stock, the meat shreds easily for meals, sandwiches and snacks, the bones can be boiled until soft and then crushed and dried in the sun to be used as a garden additive, the feet are used to make broth as well, and the organs can be used in numerous recipes for extra yummy nutrition.

Here's what I did the other day. I had the wings, necks and backs left over from from those two roosters I slaughtered in my yard. I bunged them in Hal, my new stainless steel slow cooker with some hot water, and simmered them until the meat was falling off the bones. Then i pulled the meat chunks out, strained the broth, and while the onions, carrots, garlic, and herbs that I added to it gently stewed into a fragrant broth, I stripped the meat off the bones. Check it out:

All the stuff on the left is skin and bones. And on the right? That's all meat. You see that? There's a load of meat there. There's like, a meal for four. Sandwiches for lunch. Snack time heaven. And all that you can usually get for way cheaper at a store than you can buy a whole chicken for. Pressed for cash? Get the cheap cuts like this. (Granted, I did get these for free, but I did have to kill and process them on my own as well.)

Food for thought.