Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Power Cooking a Whole Chicken=3 Family Meals

I first learned the phrase "power cooking" a couple months ago from Tara Vanden Branden when I hosted a Pampered Chef party. We power cooked with 3# of our ground beef, but I have come up with my own version Riemer Family Farm Chicken style.

Our meat chickens averaged about 6# this year, so we can get some really hardy meals out of just one chicken. Some are so large that they do not fit in the slow cooker unless completely thawed and then smushed.

So here it goes 3 simple meals: 1 large chicken

Meal 1: Chicken and Vegietables

Throw the whole chicken in a slow cooker and set on low for 6-8 hours. I like to add roasting veggies with a couple hours left. You can use what you have on hand, last time I used: carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, onion, leeks and garlic. I add as many veggies as I can possibly fit. When everything is cooked I take out half the veggies and the chicken drippings and then actually get a 4th meal from veggie/chicken soup.

Cut the chicken (reserving at least 1 breast) serve the veggies and enjoy!

Meal 2: Chicken and grape salad

1..5-2lb chicken breast
1 C Celery, finely chopped
1 small onion minced
1 C seedless grapes sliced
1T Dijon mustard
dash of salt
1 t ground mustard
1/2 t black pepper
1 1/2 C Mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Salt and pepper the cooked chicken and make sure it is cool. Roughly chop chicken and place in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix. Enjoy on tomato slices, bread, or a bed or greens. This recipe was taken from "Paleo Comfort Foods" by Julie & Charles Mayfield.

Meal 3: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Kalena (my child that will not eat half the time) said "Mom will you make this every day!" last time I made this soup.
I used the recipe from one of my favorite blogs "The Pioneer Woman". Click here for the recipe It calls for chicken breast, but you can shred any of the chicken meat for this soup. I also skipped the cornmeal and it was just fine. Serve with your favorite corn bread!

I hope your family enjoys these recipe's as much as mine did!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Party Over?

I thought of the old saying "Party till the cow's come home" as I watched the cows meander through my front yard and garden, up the lane and into their paddock by the barns. I have no idea where this saying came from or why the party needs to end in early December, but I rather like having the cows in my back yard again.

They spend early spring through late fall down in the pasture grazing freely and then post-harvest have access to the crop fields to forage anything left behind after harvest. When the weather starts to turn nasty they come home. Bryce and his Dad round them up with tractor and Mule (Kawasaki's version that is) and direct them back up to the shelter of the barns.

It's amazing to me that the cows who have done this before have an intuition about where to go and how to get there. They have the same intuition when it is time to go back down to pasture in the spring. It's the calves and young cows that sometimes end up in the next county. Thankfully though cows are heard animals and if most of them go in one direction the others will follow (most of the time).

So...welcome home cows let's party and Merry Christmas.