My apartment smells very good right now. I went to the farmer’s market a couple days ago and loaded up on carrots, parsnips, and potatoes. I also bought a chicken from a local producer who sells poultry, game, and venison. We ate much of the chicken a couple night ago and tonight I threw the carcass into the stockpot with a couple carrots and onions and it has been simmering for about 4 hours.
Many people are justifiably surprised by the price of pastured chicken. It is usually far more expensive than even organic and free range birds. It helps to look at ways to use proteins more efficiently to help keep the cost under control.
This chicken cost around $15. I used to get a whole chicken labeled ‘Natural’ for around $9 and use it for 2-3 meals. That’s between $3-$4.50 per serving. Here’s one way to handle the more expensive (and much better) bird:
Roast the chicken 1 night. It’s enough for 2-3 good servings.
The next night pick the remaining meat off the bones and sauté with a can of tomatoes (around $2) and some pasta (about $2). Let’s say this serves 2 people comfortably.
Your food cost is now up to $19 but you’ve served 5 meals taking you to around $3.75 per meal.
Now toss the carcass in the stockpot and add about $3 worth of raw veggies and a can of white beans ($2). Take it out a few hours later and you have a wonderfully rich soup that can easily serve 3 more people.
Total food cost up to $24 but you’ve now served 8 meals. FINAL PER MEAL COST: $3.
I’d love to hear other ways that people make their proteins last. Please feel free to post tips and recipes.