This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

As a celebration of reaching half term, we got the last of our home grown chickens out of the freezer. As the cockerel had been between 5 and 6 months old we cooked him much longer and at a lower temperature than we would cook a supermarket chicken that is probably only 6 weeks old. We had a wonderful roast dinner. Then we froze some slices of chicken to have with roast veg and gravy at a later date - 2 dinners' worth. And then a pack of little bits was frozen to have in a sauce with rice/pasta - 1 dinner. Then I put the bones etc in the slow cooker and made stock for a wonderful soup which we froze because we were going away - 2 dinners.

The rest of the little bits which were not destined for the soup were put into a white sauce with some onion and a pack of reduced price mushrooms. This was intended to make some pies for the freezer. I made 2 pies that would each do us 2 dinners - 4 dinners. However there were a few scraps of pastry left and a bit of filling so I patched the pastry into a very small pie tin that I have, put the filling in with a spoonful of cooked carrot that was in a tub in the fridge and topped it with a spoonful of mashed potato that was also lurking in the fridge. We had that potato topped pie between us last night with broccoli and sweetcorn and it was really tasty.

That makes 11 dinners for the two of us (= 22 portions) from one largish cockerel. The number of meals is so high partly due to not needing so much meat in those kind of recipes as the flavour is superb, to put it mildly. I also feel the need to make use of every particle of the bird that is useful as it is my "fault" that he died. I feel differently about those 4 cockerels which I raised than I do about the ones that I buy in a supermarket. I am certain that mine had a better life and knew the rain and the sunshine as well as good food but the supermarket ready-for-the-oven and all nicely wrapped in plastic on a polystyrene tray type chicken is certainly easier both in terms of preparation and tugs on the heartstrings.

But my husband licked his lips much more last night than he usually does...


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