I didn’t make a meal plan this week. In part, because of the chaos of the holiday weekend, but also some distraction on my part. I was working hard to complete my 40 bags challenge before Lent was over. And work in the yard, and…and…and. So I must confess at the end of last week I started changing things from my plan, and then I didn’t even write one this week. And yesterday, with all shame, because of a lack of planning on my part, I had to throw out some organic chicken that I bought. Simply because I was off my game and I didn’t throw it in the freezer. Because I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t know what was coming.
This week I’ve been doing my best to eat everything in the fridge and get it all organized so that I am ready to have my game plan together for next week. I’m also reading through some freezer meal recipes to replenish my stockpile of ready made meals. The only saving grace this week was the almost whole ham we took home from Easter dinner and the 2 chickens I roasted over the weekend to warm the kitchen while I was baking bread. (Which I will have to post, because take two on the soaked bread was AAAH-WSOME!)
Almost every week I roast 2 chickens. I just choose a day when I know I will be home and get them defrosted and then roast them up. Not for dinner, just because. When they cool I pull the meat off the bones, use the bones for stock, the pan juice for gravy, the fat that rises to the top of the pan juice to cook veggies in, and the meat for whatever I need it for. It makes meals so quick, like: Chicken Noodle Soup, Chicken Quesidillas, Casserole, Chicken Salad, Chicken Pot Pie…the options are endless. Sometimes in the summer, I will do the same with chicken Andy grills or smokes for me.
It doesn’t take a lot of work, just a lot of time. You’ll need:
Poultry Seasoning or other all purpose seasoning. This is my favorite.
Lemon or Orange (optional-I don’t notice a lot of difference, but if you have one that’s about to go bad, use it!)
Deep Roasting or Casserole Pan (I prefer ceramic like this one)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove gizzards and neck (reserve for stock). Rinse Chicken. Place in pan breast side down. Squeeze citrus over chicken if using. Salt generously. Sprinkle with Poultry seasoning. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temp. to 350 degrees. Cook for an additional 40-60 minutes until temperature in deepest part of the thigh reads 165. Remove and let rest. Enjoy the skin and pull the meat for later use. Or eat all of it for dinner.
I’ve tried on a rack and I am a fan of without, it keeps the white meat (which I put down) very moist. When we are eating the chicken right away we will pour out some of the pan gravy and bring it to the table. It’s messy, but so so worth it!
So I guess even though I didn’t do a game plan for the week, some of my obsessive planning still got through to make the week work for me. I never regret the things I cook when I’m not trying to get a meal on the table. They always come in handy later.