Last week was such a success at NOT spending money and using up random freezer food (spanokopita GONE)–I am $40 under budget for the month so far! I celebrated over labor day by buying a new wallet with the saved money. (Yeah, I know my budgeting should be extended beyond food–but that’s not what I blog about!) This week’s plan is to make use of an ENTIRE chicken. All my followers from my Vegetarian month should stop reading now. It’s going to get bloody.

My Shopping List–3 meals for $25 dollars

That’s right. An entire chicken. One that cost me $7.33 cents. The savings you get from buying an entire chicken totally makes it worth the extra hour of work (20 minutes to break it down, 45 minutes to boil off the stock). For that, I’ve built out a plan to make three meals over the course of the week: Aji de Gallina, Honey Mustard Chicken, and Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings. But first things first. Attacking the beast.

Before it got gross!

I’ve cut down a chicken before–and didn’t take too many photos because I’m ubber scared of raw chicken and it was too much hassle to continually washing my hands between shots. If you are interested in trying this, I recommend two sites: Serious Eats breaks it down in 16 nice close-up photos, and Martha Stewart has a great video that pretty much follows the same technique.

wings, thighs, and random meat…maybe the liver?
Two skinnish Breasts, plus the spine

The breasts are being stored until I grill them Thursday for the Honey Mustard Chicken recipe–and the rest went into a large pot to cook as part of the stock. I’m going to reserve one thigh and wing for tonight’s Aji de Gallina, but the rest will be stored until Friday’s Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings. Feeling hungry yet? I am…and my stock is still cooking for another 20 minutes!