1 whole hen (make sure it fits in your crockpot) = $3.02
1/2 cup of organic dried fruit or you can use fresh fruit (dates, cranberries, apricots, raisins, apples) = $.50
1 apple, peeled and chopped = $.25
1 cup of chopped carrots = $.25
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped = $.35
3 tablespoon of honey (optional) = $.10
Spices = pepper, salt, 2 cloves, parsley, 1 chicken bullion (all to taste...not too much)
TOTAL COST = $4.47 (approximate)
Prep Time = 15 min
Cook Time = 6-8 hours on low (all depends on if you want the chicken to remain whole or want it to fall off the bone) I cooked mine for 6 hours.
Turn on crockpot on desired setting. Rub seasoning on chicken. Put to side. Add dried fruit, apple, carrots, and sweet potato to bowl. Add honey and seasoning and distribute evenly. Add some of the mixture into the chicken (like you would stuffing). Put remaining mixture in crockpot. Add stuffed chicken to crockpot. You can add liquid to the crockpot BUT be forewarned that the chicken will produce it's own juices (a lot). I added about 1/4 of water to crockpot. Cover and let it cook.
Verdict: It was soo good! I didn't add that much spices to the dish and I am so glad. The apples, sweet potato, and dried fruit mix created this sweet yet savory flavor. The cloves helped also. Oh yeah....please remember to remove those when your chicken is done. I suggest taking a tea bag, emptying out the contents, add the cloves and re-wrap the bag, and putting that into your dish. I just hang the string out on the side of the crockpot. That way you can easily fetch it out when needed. I took the excess liquid and saved that in a separate tupperware bowl. It makes an excellent chicken broth for future dishes.
This dish is one of those dishes that can metamorphosise into other dishes. I made this on Tuesday because I knew that my week was going to be crazy and I would not be in the mood to cook. On Tuesday we had some of the chicken just like that with a side of salad. On Wednesday, we had the chicken on a bed of sautéed cabbage and snow peas. The sweetness of the sweet potato and chicken mixed with the tartness of the cabbage was just splendid. See pic below.
Not a lot of the chicken was left for tonight. The major parts anyways. There were pieces and chunks here and there so pulled all the meat I could off the chicken and made this banging stew chicken. We ate that with some brown rice.
And that is how you stretch a meal made for less than $5 over 3 days.
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Thursday, March 6, 2008