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If I can give potential food budgeters one piece of advice, it would be to eat what you can use the most. Cooking an entire chicken this week was a huge success for a few reasons:

  1. You get a ton of meat from it–precooked and ready to reheat and use for quick weekday meals. Just store away in tupperware and use as needed.
  2. The bones and gross parts (neck, back, heart, etc.) can be saved and used to make a really great chicken stock.
  3. For a $7 chicken–I’d say this is a definite must for those under a tight budget.
Shredded meat w/ reserved bones

For a few recipes to get you started, here’s a run down of what I made this week:

Aji de Gallina A family recipe from South America, great ethnic comfort food.

New Mexico Enchiladas. Another family favorite–this is more along the lines of do-it-yourself enchiladas. The tortillas are served flat, covered in enchilada sauce, and then 3-4 are layered on top of each other with meat, onions, tomatoes, cheese, etc in between—plus (most delicious of all) a fried egg on top. 

Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings. Southern comfort food at its finest. Recipe below.

and finally, Chicken Tacos with the remaining leftovers from other meals.

Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings

  • 8 pieces of chicken (or a whole chicken, shredded)*
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 c. Chicken Stock
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1/4 t. saffron flakes
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 T. chopped parsley
  • Dumplings: 1.5 c. flour, 1/2 t. salt, 1 egg, 3-5 T. milk
  1. Brown the chicken in a dutch oven with butter, add water and broth, salt, pepper, and saffron and bring to a boil. Add in potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and parsley. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes. (*Note: if you’ve already cooked the chicken, reserve the meat until the veggies are cooked, before the dumplings.)
  2. In a bowl: combine flour and salt. Separately, beat the egg and add 3 T. of milk. Add into flour until dough is smooth, and not sticky. Add more milk if need be. 
  3. Spoon out teaspoon-sized nuggets of dumplings, flatten, and add them to the soup. Cook an additional 15 minutes. With five minutes remaining, add 2-3 T. of milk to thicken the soup. Sprinkle with cheese, and serve.