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Friday, 8 March 2013

Food: shredded chicken - cheap and easy!

I often find it quite tricky when a recipe asks for chicken pieces e.g. in a curry, pasta dish or casserole. It's very easy to buy chicken supremes/breasts, chop them into pieces and fry them off. I have two problems with this, firstly, chicken breasts are expensive. Yes, it's cheaper if you buy them with their skin on, but even so, a large chicken breast can cost around £3-4. Secondly, chicken breast isn't very tasty and can get quite a dry texture. Because of this I often end up picking around the chicken in curries, ridiculous I know!

I was trying to solve the problem of taste and economics yesterday when I had a brain wave. The best way of being economical with chicken is to buy a whole chicken and then butcher it yourself. I'm making a roast dinner on friday which I only need the breasts for. I was making a chicken bake yesterday and needed chicken pieces so I chopped the two legs off the whole chicken. I wanted the chicken legs with the thighs attached, so I ran my hand up the leg until I reached the joint where it meets the main body of the chicken. I then used a sharp knife to separate the whole leg and it really was that easy!
I then placed the legs on a baking tray and cooked them for 1 hour 15 minutes at 160 degrees celsius in the oven. Leave the chicken legs for 10 minutes to cool slightly and then use two forks to shred all the meat of the bones. It's great, the meat literally just falls off the bones. Discard the skin. To make sure you remove all the tiny chickens bones and gristle, use your hands to go through all the meat. This meat is super tasty, juicy and cheap. I can't recommend it enough.

Typical me,  I forgot to take a photo of that particular chicken, but here are some chicken thighs I cooked a couple of weeks later!

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