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Chicken Offers Nutrition, Variety

September 3, 2014

lemon chicken mediSeptember is National Chicken month but chicken can be a part of the meal any month. It’s versatile in dishes like chicken noodle salad with peanut dressing as well as main dish, in salads and sandwiches.

According to foodreference.com the average American eats over 80 pounds of chicken per year – in 2007 average 84.9 pounds. In the US a yellow skinned chicken is preferred by consumers, and it’s no surprise that American developed birds such as the Dominique and Plymouth Rocks have yellow skin. English breeds such as the Sussex and Orpington have white skin.

There is nothing quite like homemade chicken soup. This is an easy way to do several things. Chicken leg quarters are less expensive than other cuts of chicken, and it’s easy to sprinkle with pepper, garlic and a little paprika or onion, pop in the slow cooker with some water and let cook. Remove quarters and pull meat off the bones. Strain the broth and you should have three containers: broth, meat pieces and bones. Discard the bones and the meat can be used in chicken noodle soup as well as in casseroles and many of the other recipes listed below.

One easy meal from here is chicken and dumplings. You already have diced or shredded chicken. Combine a couple cans of cream of chicken soup, ¼ cup onion (finely diced), 2 cups water and a chicken bouillon cube in the slow cooker. Use refrigerator biscuits (store bought or homemade) and tear into one inch pieces, stirring gently as adding to the slow cooker. Turn to high and cook about a half hour or until biscuits are fluffed up and done.

Take several pieces of cooked chicken, put in a slow cooker and slather with barbecue sauce. Cook on low until done all the way through for a fall-off-the-bone good meal. Leftover diced chicken is easily mixed in with macaroni and cheese, combined with other leftovers for a cheesy pasta dish in one pan.

Roast chicken doesn’t have to be fast food prepared. Rinse the whole chicken, bake at 350F for 30 minutes per pound. What you don’t use the first meal you can uses for chicken fried rice or other meals (see links below). Use the bones and meat scraps on the carcass to make homemade broth with in the slow cooker.

Another easy version – place about 3 pounds chicken in slow cooker with a jar or two of salsa, cook on low and serve over tortilla chips or deboned in tortillas with sour cream.

Grandma Chicken Chardon

Shepherds Pie

Quick Chicken Parmesan

Italiano Chicken & Pasta Medley

Baked Chicken Thighs/Leg Quarters

Crispy Crunchy Chicken Strips

Chicken Quesadillas & Fiesta Rice

Chicken Fried Rice

Uncle Bill’s Chicken Strips

Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

Chicken Chardon

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Skewers

Honey Mustard Chicken

Chicken and Peppers Pie

Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

Chicken Tacos (can use leftovers!)

Chicken Pot Pie

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

Paprika Chicken with Sour Cream Gravy

Weeknight Chicken Fajitas

For variety and nutrition chicken is a solid choice at a reasonable price. Alternately chicken can be raised for meat or eggs in many areas. Although not as “efficient” package deals of smaller or slower growing cockerels can be purchased in the spring which allows for economical home food production.

Prefer to buy at the store? Look for deals on chicken as fryers, parts, quarters and sometimes as ‘imperfect’ cuts that are discounted. The meat is still perfectly fine, but not as perfectly cut.

Try some new chicken dishes this month!

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