Saving money and stretching dollars often requires a little bit of 'playing with our food'! That is actually one of my FAVORITE parts of being on a tight budget. I love to look at ways to stretch food and still eat healthy meals on a tight budget. By taking stock in what you have on hand you can make your food last longer, taste better, be better for you and save you money all at the same time.
Let's say that you were in a rush and had to buy a rotisserie chicken (or you saved by baking your own in the crock-pot because you found it on sale) and now, after dinner, you have only a carcass left on the kitchen counter. There may have been a time you simply tossed it out. Now it's likely you glean all available meat off that carcass for future use. That's great...but don't stop there.
Place the entire carcass of the chicken in a pot and cover it with filtered water. Place a lid on the top and toss in a dash of sea salt (maybe some garlic and onion powder too if you'd like). Let the pot come to a gentle boil for about 8 - 10 minutes. Let it cool in the pot until it is cooled to the point you can touch it.
Place a strainer over a large bowl and just dump that cooked carcass into the strainer...letting the tasty broth fill the bowl.
Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and let any fat rise and solidify at the top. Skim to remove the fat, pour in individual jars with lids. These keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks and in the freezer for up to 1 year!
Not only is this using something that would have been tossed (that's why I call it practically free) and turning it into something that would cost you about $2.00 (per 16 oz. can/box) to buy in the can at the store. Likely you will get 32 oz. out of this for practically free!
There are three added benefits of using the whole carcass of the chicken (or turkey). First, you can now glean more chicken tid-bits from the bones to add to the stock. The second benefit, and what I find most important, is that the act of boiling the cartilage and bone marrow release glucosamine and chondroitin into the liquid. This is a naturally recognized - real food supplement for your body to help with joint regeneration and cushioning. It can be used prior to having any joint issues to help prevent them, as well as, to naturally relieve joint issues once they began to occur. Last but not least, you can limit the amount of sodium and there are NO additives in your new, free soup stock.
I certainly hope you will give this a try rather than spending your hard earned cash on cans or boxes of chicken stock.
Best Blessings and remember to enJOY the journey!
The Millers own and operate Millers Grain House. For more tips on saving money, eating healthy whole grains and free recipes visit their site and open an in-store account to receive the Newsletter.