cheap, Chicken

Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie- (84p per portion)

My grandparents who I was very close to always used to say, waste not want not. They both experienced the shortage of food, under the war and also the shortage of other necessities in those years. My grandad especially hated food waste, he remembered the depression and people queuing for food. My grandma was more off a practical cook instead of an experimental cook. She often cooked the same things. But what she cooked, she cooked really well, especially her biscuits. 

However, it never occurred to me how much the things my grandparents used to say to me as a child has actually stuck with me. I hate waste, I hate throwing good food out. Also, I use my nose and my eyes to judge whether food is still ok to eat. I think a lot of people have become way too reliant on the best before and use by date. I rarely stick to that, except when it comes to mussels and other sea food like that. But only because I once became really ill eating sea food that was well out off date, a friend cooked it for me… and ohh we were sick…

It’s a good thing I’m not too bothered about the dates, as I now tend to pop to my local shop in the evenings. Often, I pick up amazing offers at either 7pm when it’s 75% off the price and 9pm where its 90% of the price or 10p each item. The Other day I picked up lots of reduced Chicken… Drumsticks and whole chickens for 10p each!! I made a roast chicken not long ago for friends, I kept the carcasses and stripped off any meat we didn’t eat. I also stripped some meat of drumsticks that we didn’t get through. I have been keeping it all in the freezer.

This week Flipper has been poorly with tonsillitis and double-sided ear-infection and as he was relaxing, I spend all of Tuesday cooking, he loves being around whilst I cook. I made a lovely chicken soup on the carcasses and with the leftover meat (see my previous blog) and I made this chicken pie containing reduced mushrooms, leek, bacon and the leftover chicken together with a bit of the soup to make a yummy filling. I also had puff pastry, just the basic ready-made stuff from the super market. That’s one thing I can’t be bothered to make from scratch I must admit.

Blip really enjoyed the food, Flipper tried it, but with his hurting throat and ears he really wasn’t too interested. Luckily, he finally seems to be recovering.

I served the pie with green trees (broccoli) and yellow tree trunks (baby corns) which I had found reduced as well. Blip won’t eat them if I call it broccoli and baby corns. We also had potatoes on the side.

Chicken Pie

Serves 4 – 6 people

Ingredients

1 packet puff pastry
Leftover meat from chicken (approximately 400g)
1 leek
4 rashers of streaky bacon (or cooking bacon)
250 g closed cup mushrooms
1 garlic clove, grated
½ teaspoon nutmeg
250ml chicken stock (or leftover soup)
100 g cream cheese
100 g Greek yoghurt
1tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil 

Method:

  1. Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and leave out for about 10 to 15 minutes before using. Clean the leeks thoroughly then cut them into 1 cm discs, set aside. 
  2. Clean and quarter the mushrooms and put aside. 
  3. Make sure the chicken is made into small pieces and all deboned. 
  4. Chop the bacon into small squares. 
  5.  Now line the pie tray with 2/3 of the puff pastry, reserving the rest for the lid, ( I use a non stick tray so its not necessary to grease it first).  Place thelined  pie tray in the fridge until it needs using. 
  6. If cooking the pie straight away, turn the oven on now to 180C (fan oven) or 200C traditional oven. 
  7. Add the oil to a frying pan and fry the bacon on a medium heat until crispy and then set the bacon aside. 
  8.   In the fat from the bacon add the mushrooms, garlic, leeks and saute until the leeks has softened. Then add the chicken and stir.
  9. Now add in the yoghurt, cream cheese, nutmeg and 200 ml of chicken stock mix it well and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes. 
  10. Whilst the mixture is simmering, add the flour to the remainder of the chicken stock and mix it until it forms a paste. 
  11. Now add the flour mixture to the filling, mix and simmer for another 1-2 minutes, the mixture should have thickened up. Taste the mixture and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
  12. Add the filling to the Pie tray and place the remaining pastry on top so it forms a lid. You can decorate it with any of cut pastry if you wish. Ensure you make 1 or 2 holes in the pastry so steam can escape. 
  13. Place in the warm oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is nice golden and flaky. 
  14. Serve with vegetables of your choice and potato bits.

 

img_1879

 

Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

 

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per March 2019).

 

–      This time costings are harder as I’m using a leftover chicken. However, I have calculated it on ½ a leftover medium chicken from Tesco 1.3-1.5 kg.


Puff pastry £1.30
Chicken £1.50
Leek (£1.50/3)x1 =50p
Bacon (£1.25/14)x4 = 36p
Mushrooms (95p/300g)x250g=80p
Garlic clove 3p
Nutmeg 2p
Chicken stock (or leftover soup) (50p/10)x1 =5p
Cream cheese (49p/200g)x100g = 25p
Greek yoghurt (85p/500g)x100g =17p
Plain flour (45p/1500g)x 10g = 3p
Salt and pepper 2p
Oil (£3.50/5000ml)x15ml =1p

 Total cost £5.04  – Per Portion (£5.04/6)= 84p

 

 

cheap, Chicken, Meats, Soup

Waste Not Want Not – Chicken Soup – (94p per portion)

When I was about 9, my parents got divorced. The best thing they ever did in my opinion. They are as different as the sun and the moon and neither me or my brother have ever had any doubt that it was the best thing, they did for us. However, it brought a lot off changes into our lives. Some of them were good changes, however, it also brought its challenges with them.

I had to stay with my mum whilst my brother stayed with my dad. My brother is 4 years older than me. We were very close and still are very close, even when we don’t see each other that often.  I was only allowed to see my dad every other weekend and it was hard, as I had always been very close to my dad. Anyone who knows us, says there is no doubt I’m his daughter. Both with looks and the ways we are. I got a lot of positive traits from my dad.

One of the things I really enjoyed when I used to visit my dad and brother in the weekends, was the food he used to cook for us. My dad is a really good cook, he loves cooking and puts a lot of care into it.  Whereabout my mums cooking is rather horrendous (sorry mum) and more, let’s put this in a pot and cook it as quickly as possible. My mum’s food is either really plain or very hot and unbalanced.  There are only one or two meals she really cooks to perfection.

One of the things my dad often cooked for us was soup, not always chicken soup but often and ohh my days how I loved it! To this day when I visit my dad in Denmark, I always ask him if he can make me soup. He normally does it as he knows it makes me very happy!

I have recreated the recipe he used, however, changed it slightly as I wanted to make it from leftover chicken from Sunday roast, instead of from a whole chicken.  It almost tastes the same, but it will never be as delicious as the one my dad makes. Even if I use his recipe, it’s just not quite right.

Also, I haven’t made the traditional Danish meatballs and flour balls (melboller) we normally add to the soup back in Denmark, mainly as I still haven’t mastered the technique and they therefor don’t taste quite right.

The good thing is, that if you got enough leftover chicken meat and about 250ml soup you can turn all of this into a gorgeous chicken pie. If you are planning to make a pie, then you need about an extra 400g of chicken and 250 ml of soup.

Blip enjoyed the soup, Flipper didn’t but then he does have tonsillitis and an ear infection.

I served the soup as a starter before the chicken pie and I also have had it a few more times since.

I added a bit of pasta in for the kids, however, you can leave this out if you wish.  I would recommend Anellini or Filini pasta, as they take very little time to heat up. You would only need a small handful of this.

The soup freezes perfectly as well

Chicken soup

Serves

At least,  4 as a main course.

Ingredients

For the soup:

1 carcase
1 onion
2 Carrots
1 leek (green and white part)
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 celery sticks
2 whole garlic cloves.
2 litters of water
Salt and pepper

Filling for the soup:

400 g chicken
2 leeks
2 carrots
50g Anellini or Filini Pasta (optional)
Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Clean the leek and chop into 1 cm discs, also cut the carrots into 1 cm pieces, cut the onion into quarters, unpeel the garlic and slice the ginger into 5 match sticks.
  2. Add the carcase to the pot, and all the vegetables for the soup, (remember to reserve the vegetables that are for the filling of the soup). Now add the 2 litters of water and a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and gentle boil the soup for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  3. If any white forms on the soup whilst simmering, gently remove with a spoon and continue to cook. You may have to do this several times during the cooking time. This ensures that the soup stay nice and clear.
  4. Now prepare the filling for the soup, ensuring the leftover chicken is cut into bite size pieces, peel the carrot and cut into 1 cm round disks. Also ensure to clean the leeks thoroughly and cut into 1 cm disks.
  5. After the 1hour and 15 minutes is up, sieve the soup and discard all the vegetables and the carcase of the chicken.
  6. Place the now clear soup back on the stove, season with salt and pepper and add all the filling for the soup. Including the pasta if you are planning to use it. Let it simmer for another 15 minutes or until the carrots are nice and soft.

 

Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

 

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per March 2019).

–          This time costings are harder as I’m using a leftover chicken. However, I have calculated it on ½ a leftover medium chicken from Tesco 1.3-1.5 kg.

 

Ingredients:

Chicken +(carcase) £1.50

Onion 10p

Carrots 18p

Leek £1.50

Ginger 15p

Celery sticks 10p

Garlic cloves. 6p

Pasta 99p/400g) x50g = 13p (https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/259347043)

Salt and pepper 2p

Total cost = £3.74 Per portion (3.74/4) = 94p per portion

 

Soup, vegetarien

Homemade roasted garlic and tomato soup.. Hygge food! (68p per portion)

Now, as you may remember I’m Danish, but living here in the UK. I have brought a lot of the Danish traditions with me. One of the things Denmark is well known for is “Hygge”, a form of cosiness. For me “Hygge” is very clearly connected with food and lovely people and a cosy atmosphere.

However, this does not mean you can’t experience “Hygge” even if you are on your own. “Hygge” exist where you create it. If I feel a bit cold and down, nothing makes me happier than comfort food, and I always got a homemade tomato soup on standby in the freezer (so much better than tinned).

I made a batch the other day and froze down in portions, and it was a very good choice as that day Toddler “Blip” wanted a picnic in the park. So, of to the playground we went where he had sandwiches and juice. Sitting on a small towel, (this was to resemble the picnic blanket). He really enjoyed the picnic, and afterwards we played.  Yes, I joined in on the playground and it was fun. Luckily, Baby “Flipper” was nice and warm and sleeping in his pram.

Picnic

When we finally came back home, I was freezing, and needed something nice and cosy to keep me warm, so homemade tomato soup it was. Picnic in October is slightly too cold for me.

Continue reading “Homemade roasted garlic and tomato soup.. Hygge food! (68p per portion)”

Condiments, New Recipes

Using up Leftover Cream – To Make Homemade Garlic Butter (£1.79 for 250g of Garlic butter)

Lately, because the husband is doing this low carb diet, we seem to always be buying double cream. Apparently, on Atkins and Keto diets, cream is good for you? Help you lose weight… problem is that we quite often end up with some we can’t use before it runs out of date.

The other week, I needed 200 ml of double cream for a quiche, when I went to the local Co-op shop 600ml was reduced to £1.19 but 300ml was £1.39. Now, I know that we may just about have got through the 300 ml, but I wasn’t sure. Therefore, I purchased the 600ml cream to the lower price. But what to do with the remaining 400ml, I really didn’t want to waste it.

Looking in our fridge I had parsley that needed to be used up and I also had garlic in my cupboard, so I thought why not try and make homemade garlic butter? You could just make normal butter, but that wasn’t what I fancied. So therefore I decided to try this new adventure. homemade butter… And it turned out lovely, even though, it was a bit messy as I used a tiny bowl and my hand mixer started to throw butter everywhere in the end… so word of advice… use a bigger bowl!!


When the garlic butter was made I froze it and before totally set I cut it into slices, so whenever we need it we can take a slice out.


I’m always looking for ways of cutting out food waste as I think it’s a bit of a crime, there are people out there who can’t afford food for themselves or their kids.

I also think making butter would be a good project for kids when they are around 4-5 so they understand where food comes from and how it’s made. It’s such an interesting process to watch!

I must admit though that I can’t see myself making butter if it wasn’t because I had leftover double cream or found some really reduced in the super market. But to buy a full 600ml just for this, I probably wouldn’t, then I would just buy a basic butter and mix it with garlic and herbs and make that into the garlic butter.

If you purchased all the ingredients, just with the goal of making the butter then it would cost you £1.79 for 250gram.. However, because I grow my own parsley and the cream I was using was reduced, I only paid £1.03 for the garlic butter. But this would be an unfair price to put up.. as someone else may not find the reduced cream or grow their own parsley etc..

Homemade garlic butter

Now you absolutely do not need to stick to these measurements as if you have more/less cream use that.. just remember that the volume of cream becomes much less as you lose a lot of liquid making it into butter.

Ingredients:

400ml double cream
Pinch of Sea Salt
4 large garlic cloves
A bunch of parsley

Method:

  1. Place the cream in a large bowl, use a hand mixer and mix on high and keep mixing until the cream starts splitting. You will now see a lot of liquid coming out of the cream. Poor the excess liquid out of the bowl. Now you continue mixing for a bit longer, then when you don’t think more liquid is coming out of the mixture, put the butter into a colander and squeeze it, either with your CLEAN washed hands or put it in a muslin cloth and squeeze excess liquid out.
  2. Finely chop the garlic and the parsley, then add it to the butter together with a good pinch of Sea salt. Make sure it is very well mixed together.
  3. Taste the mixture, does it need more salt, parsley or garlic. If not put the mixture in baking paper or cling film and form to a sausage/square and freeze.
  4. Before the mixture is fully set take it out of the freezer and slice it. That way you can take out slices of garlic butter as you need it. It is delicious.


For this recipe, you could choose and change it as you like, really, it could be plain unsalted butter, salted butter, or you could have garlic and chilli butter. Whatever your imagination says would be nice.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017).

Double cream £1.07
Sea Salt 10p
Garlic 12p
A bunch of parsley 50p

Total price: £1.79 for 250g.

In Tesco if you bought ready made garlic butter you would pay £2.50 for 250g so still a saving