Day 1

Decided to have a life admin day today rather than go onto campus so with my shopping collected it was time to get COOKING!

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Enough for a week? I hope so..

First job was to joint the chicken (I do it without the scissors and just cut the breast from the bone):

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There’s not enough meat on the wings to bother with cooking them I find so they go into the stock along with the rest of the carcass and roughly chopped onion, carrot, celery and a couple of bay leaves and a few pepper corns:

Beginning of stock

Beginning of stock

I’ve found making a stock in a slow cooker to be soooooo easy – everything goes in cold, whack it on high till its hot then turn down to low and leave for as long as you like (6+ hours). Ideally you can skim away and scum on the surface but I don’t bother. For two chicken carcasses, 2 small onions, 2 celery sticks and 2 carrots I used 1.5L of water.

Back to the chicken: the breast is cut into two and the thighs and drumsticks separated. These are then placed into a mixing bowl with a splash of olive oil and plenty of spices (I used Thai 7 Spice that I had in my cupboard). I covered this in cling film and left for a couple of hours. The resulting chicken was the cooked on a house mates George Foreman Grill but I’ve also just done it in the oven on a metal roasting tray lined with tin foil.

Grilltastc

Grilltastc

Something like 25 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180C is fine. On the grill I sliced down to the bone to check it was all cooked through. All the juices I collected and with a bit of soy sauce poured over a load of steamed vegetables and a tin of tuna….. AMAZING:

Tuna veg mess

Tuna veg mess

Once the chicken was done I placed two pieces each into plastic take-away boxes (£7 for 50 – and they are re-usable!). 4 chunks of chicken a day might keep the doctor away?

Finally the Vegetable Casserole:

All veg and frozen stock

All veg and frozen stock

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It was too watery at this point so I turned up the heat and left it to come write this blog. Obviously I forgot to put a timer on, obviously I forgot it was still bubbling away, obviously this was the result:

Oh shiiiit

Oh shiiiit

Still salvaged the majority of it and it tastes booooooootiful!

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Not quite the quantity I expected, should be maybe 50% more with liquid and rest of vegetables that had glued themselves to the base of the pan, oh well. Not sure how long this veg will last, considering I used about half of what I bought, it really needs to go 3ish days although I doubt it will. I also forgot the broccoli, which would have bulked it out a lot more. Next time!

Finally the stock a few hours on:

Yummy

Yummy

I’ll give it a bit longer then strain and maybe reduce before freezing till I need it for the next vegetable casserole and the cycle is continued. Cooking = complete.

This will probably get boring but as a start it seems pretty hopeful. I can mess around with the flavourings of the chicken, and the taste and vegetables in the casserole but this is going to be the foundation of my lean transformation over the next few months – wish me luck!

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