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Easy & Delicious Roast Chicken Recipe

easy & delicious roast chicken

If you’re looking for a really delicious, yet surprisingly simple meal, this post is for you. At $2.49 per pound, chicken is one of the more frugal organic meats, as long as you get the whole bird instead of only breasts. And the best part of the whole chicken is that one bird feeds our family of 6 three different meals! That’s a pretty good use of $12. Here’s the first of three meals I often cook for my family using one $12 chicken.

Easy & Delicious Roast Chicken Recipe

easy and delicious roast chicken recipe

Start with a good quality chicken. I buy organic whole chickens at Costco. At $2.49 per pound, chicken is one of the more frugal organic meats. And the best part of the whole chicken is that one bird feeds our family of 6 three different meals! That’s a pretty good use of $12.

easy and delicious roast chicken recipe-001

Rinse and pat your chicken. Put it in a nice dutch oven with an oven proof lid. I absolutely love my purple Le Creuset. It is my most favorite pot ever. If you don’t have one, I’d recommend getting one  of these dutch ovens some day.

easy and delicious roast chicken recipe-002Add big chunks of root veggies – I like to use onions, potatoes, and carrots. But I’ve also added sweet potatoes and would love to add turnips some day. Season with a good quality salt (like this Real Salt) and pepper, oregano, and add a few glugs of olive oil. I like to buy the organic olive oil at Costco. Cover and bake at 425F for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Yield: 6 servins

Easy & Delicious Roast Chicken

Easy & Delicious Roast Chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 organic chicken
  • 3 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1 large onion, chopped in large pieces
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced in large pieces
  • 3-4 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rinse and pat dry chicken.
  3. Put it in a large dutch oven.
  4. Add all veggies and spices.
  5. Drizzle olive oil over chicken.
  6. Cover the pot and bake for 1 - 1 /12 hours or until chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Notes

Pick any leftover meat of the chicken bones for use in another meal. Save the bones for making soup broth.

French Sailor’s Mussels with Fettuccine

A couple weeks ago we headed out to HyVee and they were sampling mussels. I figured my kids wouldn’t like them, but Ben especially wanted to try them. Goes to show I shouldn’t make my own conclusions about what my kids will and will not like! The sample smelled really good, so we headed over to try out the mussels!

blankblankblankExcept for Cora, they all said they liked them. And I was super surprised! The chef assured my that mussels are easy to prepare and since they were on sale for $3.99 / lb, I bought two and a half pounds. We’re not huge sea food eaters at our house, so I also got a box of fettuccine. I thought mussels by themselves wouldn’t go over very well, but the recipe the chef made also included a really nice wine/cream sauce which I thought would be wonderful over pasta. So that was my plan.

Well, it wasn’t that hard to prepare, but if you’ve never made mussels before, there are a few steps you need to know about {which the chef neglected to tell me…} 🙂 The chef used the recipe here, and I adapted it slightly to fit my family.

blankThe first thing you need to do if you intend to make mussels, is place them in fresh water. Then you have to scrub and de-beard them.

blankThat little hairy thing sticking out of the mussel is the beard. To remove it, simply give it a twisting yank and it comes right off.

blankYou also want to discard any mussels that are open, cracked, or broken, like this one. I think I found 6-8 in my 2 1/2 lbs that needed to be discarded. Once your mussels are clean and debearded, it’s time to get busy cooking. The recipe goes really quickly, so make sure to prepare everything ahead of time.

blankMelt butter in a large pan over medium heat and saute chopped onion and garlic. Add half the finely chopped herbs, and season with black pepper.

blankAdd white wine to the butter and herbs,then add the mussels and turn up the heat to high. Cover and let the mussels steam for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan every minute or so to coat the mussels in the liquid.

blankRemove the pan from the heat, add the cream and the remaining finely chopped herbs. Mix well and enjoy! I served mine with fettuccine, salad, and a wonderful crusty bread.

If you’d like to make this, here’s the recipe.

French Sailor's Mussels with Fettuccine

French Sailor's Mussels with Fettuccine

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 lb fresh mussels
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine {I used one cup to make more sauce}
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • fresh herbs {the original recipe calls for parsley, oregano, and tarragon}, finely chopped BUT I only used tarragon because that's all I had.
  • 4 TBSP half & half {I used a bit more because I wanted more sauce}

Instructions

  1. Place mussels in water, scrub, and de-beard. Make sure to discard any mussels that aren't tightly closed.
  2. Saute onion and garlic in melted butter over medium heat. Add chopped herbs and season with black pepper.
  3. Add white wine to the butter and herbs. Add the mussels, cover and steam for 5 minutes, shaking the pan every minute to make sure all mussels are coated with the liquid.
  4. Remove pan from heat and add the cream, remaining herbs, and season with salt.
  5. ENJOY!

blankThe verdict? The same kids who thought the mussels were wonderful at the store, didn’t like them any longer at home. Typical, eh? But my husband and I really enjoyed this recipe. The combination of butter, garlic, cream and wine makes everything divine in my humble opinion! I could have used fewer mussels, though. One and a half pounds would have been plenty for us.

Have you ever tried mussels? What did you think?

Linking up: Eat, Make, Grow Thursday;

 

 

My Grocery Price-Point List

I’ve had a lot of people ask me what my personal grocery price-points are and how I’m able to feed my family as cheaply as I do (averages out to somewhere between $250 – 300 a month for 6 people). I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time and this weekend, I did a little sleuthing and fact gathering so I could finally write it.
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Here are staples I almost always have on hand and the prices I pay for them.

Sam’s ClubI’ve blogged before about whether Aldi or Sam’s is cheaper. While I think a lot of items can be found cheaper than Sam’s Club using coupons and loss leaders, I do get a lot of staples at Sam’s Club. I buy:

  • Jasmine Rice – $16.93 / 25 lbs = .68 / lb
  • Pinto Beans – $17.76 / 25 lbs = .71 / lb
  • Popcorn = $23.92 / 50 lbs = .48 / lb
  • Taco Seasoning (MSG Free) – $3.98 / 23 oz
  • Vanilla – $6.88 / 16 oz
  • Baking Powder (Aluminum Free) – $5.78 / 60 oz
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – $6.74 / 2 lb ($1.68 per 8 oz block – common size seen at grocery store)
  • Vinegar – $3.58 / 2 gallons = $1.79 / gallon
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips – $9.48 / 3 lbs
  • Fair Trade Coffee – $14.88 / 40 oz = $5.95 / lb
  • When I have a little extra money, I also LOVE the assortment of cheeses at Sam’s Club. I don’t have prices, though.

Things I don’t buy at Sam’s Club because I can usually find them cheaper elsewhere: fruit and most veggies (except their organic spring salad mix – love that!), diapers, wipes, OTC medicine, toiletries, butter, yogurt, cereal, snacks, liquor, meat.

Bulk Amish Store

  • Prairie Gold Hard White Wheat – $20 / 50 lb = .40 / lb
  • Raw Sugar – $35 / 50 lb = .70 / lb
  • Rolled Oats = $20 / 50 lb = .40 lb
  • Whole Flax Seed = .99 / lb
  • Sea Salt = .55 / lb
  • Real Salt = $3.49 / lb
  • Raw Honey – $3.50 / lb

Misc. Grocery Stores

      • Fruit – anything under $1 / lb
      • Chicken & Pork – under $2 / lb (try for < $1.85 / lb)
      • Pasta – stock up around .50 / lb (loss leaders with coupons)
      • Veggies – whatever’s cheapest any given week  (cabbage and carrots are two of the cheaper veggies)
      • Skim Milk – < $3 / gallon (use coupons) rGBH free
      • Cottage Cheese – .99 / 24 oz
      • Butter – $1.99 / lb (stock up on loss leaders)
      • Cereal – prefer free after coupons/rebates/RR/ECBs, but under $1 is acceptable depending on the cereal (I’m pretty picky about cereal and I won’t buy anything just because it’s free. I do have my limits!) 🙂

Aldi

      • Powdered Milk – $5.95 / 26 oz (I use this in a lot of my baked goodies)
      • Sour Cream – .99 / 16 oz
      • 1/2 & 1/2 – $1.65 / 32 fl oz
      • Tortilla Chips – $1.19 / 13 oz

Beef – buy from a local farmer 200 lbs / year for around $500 = $2.50 / lb

I don’t buy a lot of organic fruits and veggies because it’s simply cost prohibitive. I do, however, have a large organic garden in the summer and I preserve as much as I can for us to eat in the winter. When I do buy fruits and veggies, I try to buy as much as possible from the Environmental Working Group’s Clean 15 list and minimize produce on their Dirty 12 List to minimize our exposure to pesticides.

Oil isn’t currently on my list. I’ve had an enormous stockpile the last couple of years from awesome deals I used to find at Jewel-Osco. Unfortunately, it looks like those deals have ended and I’m down to my last two bottles of Canola Oil. I also use Olive, Sunflower, Peanut,  and Sesame oil. I’ll be on the lookout for good oil prices. I use a lot of oil because I bake almost all of our bread, muffins, cakes, granola, and other snacks. Plus, I make almost all of our salad dressings and meat marinades. Oil is something I’ve got to have on hand.

I also recently found out that the nuts I thought were raw are actually pasteurized. So, I’m on the lookout for real RAW nuts now. I’ll probably stock up at Trader Joe’s a few times a year. I’m also eying all of my walnut trees with a new interest right now. They’ve started dropping their nuts and we’re collecting. We’ll see how black walnuts treat us!

One other area I really want to improve quality on is chicken and pork. I have a great source for healthier beef, but I still get commercially produced poultry and pork. I buy the best quality I can afford. I make sure to avoid gas packed meats and meat with added solutions, but I would prefer to buy free-range poultry and pork. It’s on the list. One of these days, my budget will increase!

I’m linking up to Frugal Tuesday and The Thrifty Peach. Is there anything you stock up on that I don’t have listed?

I’m linking this post with Frugal Friday. Check out more great ideas there.