About the only thing most people have any control of in the case of rising costs, is the food budget, and it has been reported that some people are now cutting back to only one meal a day, whilst the higher end grocery shops are losing out to cheaper shops such as Aldi, Lidl and Asda, as families seek to make their food dollars go a bit further. I think Aldi was voted supermarket of the year last year . . . which, even 5 or 6 years ago would have been unheard of!
Even though there are only two of us . . . and a dog, it is a real struggle at times to stretch our food budget to provide nutritious and yet economical meals. Mitzie is eating a lot more table scraps these days and I am trying my hardest to not let anything go to waste. On the menu more often than not are cheaper cuts of meat and economical meals. Economical meals such as this tasty chicken dish shown here today. It uses the cheaper cuts such as thighs and legs . . .
I save even more money by buying whole chickens when they are on special, and cutting them up myself at home. I package and freeze each cut individually, so that I have bags of thighs, breasts and legs in my freezer at any given time. I also have bags of wings and backs, just perfect for making delicious stocks and soups. A few years ago I would have only bought free range organic chicken, but that's just not possible on our budget now . . . sad to say, although I do try to buy the higher welfare chicken rather than the super savers . . . not sure how long I will be able to keep that up for though . . .
Here's a great video by Pampered Chef which shows you how to do just that! Cut up your own chicken. With a good knife and a set of kitchen shears, it's really very easy to do. A good set of kitchen shears is worth it's weight in gold. The Toddster regularly gets told off for using them for things he shouldn't be using them for!!
Once my chicken is all cut up, I lay all the pieces out onto baking trays and freeze them. Once frozen, I then pop the individual cuts into heavy freezer bags. Freezing them individually like that means that I am free to take out as many or as few as I need at any given time!
This is one of my economical dishes. Cheap cuts of chicken marinated in a tasty spicy sticky marinade and then baked in the oven until they are scrummily glazed. I serve it with rice and a vegetable and it always goes down a real treat. If you don't like things too spicy, cut out the cayenne pepper!
Serves 4 to 6
Scrummy chicken that has been marinated in a delicious marinade spices and chutney and then grilled baked until glazed and succulently yummo!
6 chicken drumsticks
6 chicken thighs
1 TBS oil
3 TBS chutney, finely chopped or mashed
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp English Mustard (hot)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
With a sharp knife make several slashes deep into the chicken pieces, cutting down to the bone. Mis the oil, chutney, Worcestershire Sauce, mustard, cayenne, ginger and seasoning together in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces, tossing to coat them well with the marinade. cover and let stand for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.
Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet, brushing them with any extra marinade. Bake in the heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp, deeply golden, sticky and the chicken is cooked through. (The juices should run clear if pricked with a fork.) Serve hot or cold, as desired.