Yes, I know. I've been told that I have been a terrible blogger lately. When I do actually sit down to tell the whole story, you'll understand; I promise.
But for now: food!
So a couple of weeks ago, OK, three weeks ago, I posted about my foray into batch cooking. At the time I bagged up: 5 lbs of roasted pork, 7 lbs of roasted chicken, 5 lbs of ground beef, 4 quarts of chicken stock, and probably 8-10 cups of tomato sauce.
Three weeks later, we are still eating from all that! I think this will be our last week until I need to do it all again. So will I do it all again?
Absolutely! I won't do the pork again for awhile, but I will do the others. I really liked the pork when it was fresh out of the oven, and we liked having pork barbecue, but the rest of the recipes weren't very exciting.
This week we are ending with:
spaghetti and meatballs (the sauce and meatballs are already frozen and ready)
Brunswick stew (the last pork recipe)
Chicken with fusilli (the last chicken recipe)
and baked potato soup, which has nothing to do with batch cooking
All of the new recipes I tried with the pork and chicken were from Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine. I probably will not use any of them again except for Mediterranean Chicken Salad Pitas. We weren't crazy about the pork and ginger noodle soup, her pulled pork sandwiches (I added my own sauce since hers was to bland), pork and avocado tacos; I am going to try her Brunswick stew and fusilli with chicken this week. I usually love her recipes, but these weren't very tasty.
That said, I love the process she used for making all the batches of foods. Here is the one for chicken. This will make a bunch of shredded chicken for 4-6 future meals:
4 lbs. skin-on, bone-in chicken breast
4 lbs. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
2 TB olive oil
2 lemons, cut into wedges
1 tsp paprika (I used Cajun seasoning instead)
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 400. Line 2 big baking sheets with foil. Place the breasts of one sheet and the thighs on the other. Drizzle all with oil. Squeeze lemon on top, then sprinkle with seasonings. Roast for about 45-50 minutes and cool for 15 minutes. (Turn over about halfway through cooking.)
2. After cooled, remove chicken skin and save for broth. Pull meat off bones and tear into shreds. Put into 1 and 2 cup servings in freezer bags.
3. For broth, use about half of the bones and skin from the chicken. Put in pot with an unpeeled onion (quartered), a carrot cut into 4 pieces, 6 unpeeled cloves of garlic (smashed), some peppercorns. Add water to the nearly the top of a 6-quart pot. Simmer for two hours. Strain and discard solids. Let broth settle so far rises to top, or refrigerate and then scoop off fat. Store in 2-cup servings in freezer bags.