I try to plan my meals, so that I am not running to the store every day. Some weeks it works, some weeks it doesn’t. This week I am trying something new for me. I have planned out each day’s menu – almost, and am going to try to cook five dinners without going to the store for extra ingredients.
On Sunday, I made several items in preparation for the week. I had been craving chicken and noodles, so I made homemade chicken stock, used the chicken and made chicken and noodles. I also made Cold Tuna Noodle Pasta Salad – an old family favorite. My little one helped peel the eggs for the salad – he likes to help in the kitchen.
Chicken Stock – I often double the recipe so I have quite a bit on hand.
1 whole chicken, skinned and cut into parts – I don’t skin the wings (I am lazy)
4 cloves garlic
3 celery stalks cut into large chunks
2 carrots cut into large chunks
1 onion chopped into quarters or 1 leek chopped in large pieces.
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary, thyme and sage
Salt and peppercorns
Place all ingredients in a large pot with a lid and fill enough to cover chicken and other ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer with lid partially on for 2 ½ to 3 hours.
Remove chicken to a pan and strain liquid. Let stock cool overnight, remove any excess fat that has floated to top of container. Place stock in containers that are freezer safe and freeze for up to three months.
Separate chicken from bones and use in a variety of dishes.
Keeping in the made from scratch mood, I also made homemade bread – see previous post – which filled the house with that wonderful yeasty smell that for some reason, always reminds me of winter. I took some of my bread to a neighbor, whose son told her that I was the best cook. That made my day.
Chicken and Noodles
Shredded chicken from whole chicken – 3-4 cups
2 quarts chicken stock
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1 lb pasta – your choice
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper
¾ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
Bring stock to a low boil. Add poultry seasoning While stock is heating up, make a blonde roux with the butter and flour. Melt butter and add flour to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes to cook flour taste out of the roux. When stock boils, slowly add roux and whisk into mixture. Stock should start to thicken. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add chicken to thickening stock and warm through. Season with salt and pepper
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions, leaving pasta al dente. After pasta is cooked, add to chicken mixture, stir in parsley, and pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of chicken and noodles and heat in 400 degree oven until cheese is melted and browned. Let stand for about 5 minutes and serve with warm bread and salad. Makes a great meal!`
Monday was a leftover kind of night. Hubby worked late and we had leftover White Castle –that’s right, White Castle. My oldest went with his dad to watch the Rams lose at the football game, and they brought home White Castle. I will admit that I do like the chicken ring sandwiches every once in a while. We also had leftover noodles from Saturday’s dinner and I made a green bean casserole, just because.
Tuesday, Hubby is cooking ribs that we bought from the local fire department – that is our dinner, along with grilled corn and potatoes. He is using a dry rub we bought in Memphis from the Rendezvous restaurant we ate at a couple of years ago on a trip to Memphis. They are famous for their dry rub ribs. We are not making dry rub ribs, but we are putting the rub on the ribs, grilling them for a while and letting them finish off in a low temp oven soaked in bbq sauce. Hubby loves bbq sauce.
Wednesday we had linguini with clam sauce, garlic bread, and spinach. This is one of my favorite meals – I just love the combination of pasta and seafood. Sometimes I add shrimp or crabmeat. Today I am adding crabmeat to the pasta.
Linguini with Clam Sauce
2-3 tbsp olive oil
4 anchovy filets
1 tsp basil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, diced small
1 ½ cup white wine
2 cans clam in juice – not drained
1 cup crab meat
Salt and pepper
1 pound linguini cooked according to package directions
1 scoop pasta water
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
Bring pasta water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Lower heat to medium and sauté anchovy filets until they melt into oil. Add garlic, pepper flakes, and basil. Heat for 2 – 3 minutes. Don’t burn garlic. Deglaze pan with white wine; bring to boil and reduce heat. Cook down by 1/3. Add clams and crab with juice. Warm through. Add one scoop pasta water, cooked pasta, parsley, and spinach. Cover and allow steam to cook spinach. Stir to combine and serve with garlic bread and salad or vegetable for a great dinner!
Thursday will be leftover day. Since the boys have football practice at 6:00, it is hard to have a hot meal ready before 8:15 or so. I have tried since school started to have enough food in the house to have a meal of leftovers.
I don’t know about Friday yet as I don’t know exactly what our plans are.
I am also trying to use ingredients that are already in the house. The ribs, for instance, have been in the freezer for a while – thank goodness for the food saver! The clams, chicken, tuna, and ingredients for the bread are always on hand.
Enjoy the recipes! I am going to try this again next week! See ya!