Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chicken Stew (What to do with leftover roaster chicken)

Being that I'm on a diet and making adequate progress (by adequate, I mean that I lose about 2 pounds per week, put the two pounds back on over the weekend, and then lose them again the next week), I am constantly brainstorming on how to make my favorite comfort food dishes a bit healthier. I'm not one to swap out so many ingredients that he final product has zero in common with the original dish, so I usually only change a minor thing or two. For this meal, I substituted cream for flour and salt.
Those of you who still believe that the Atkins Diet is a great way to lose weight, shame on you. And those of you who are shaking your head and thinking thinking that flour has a lot of calories, well shut yo' filthy mouf because while it does contain calories, it does not contain fat. Blah blah, argue with me about how "dangerous" carbs are all you want, but I'll just tune you out and remind myself that my brain on carbs functions better than your clogged arteries on protein.
Anyway, so immediately after I finished consuming my portion of the roasted chicken that I previously posted about, I picked the thing apart and tossed the cooked muscle (not to gross you out, but that's essentially what you're eating when you ravenously consume any animal... it's muscle, but I digress...) into my crock pot. Can we take a moment of silence to truly reflect on how amazing slow cookers are? You can make almost any meal without adding extra fat and oil and you can throw a bunch of stuff together before work and come home to a fragrant house. What I love the best, however, is that when I come home, my dinner is already made, which eliminates my need to eat a granola bar and a yogurt to diminish my nagging hunger pangs before dinner. It's amazing and I think I may celebrate its inventor's birthday.
Like some of my other recipes, some of the measurements arent's exactly accurate, but I'll do my best.
All the picked chicken from the carcass
6 cups chicken stock (you can either buy this or make your own by boiling bones)
6 carrots (I used the two that were leftover from dinner and chopped another 4), sliced to 1/4" thick
3 celery ribs, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 onion (I recycled the one from inside the chicken and just chopped it up)
4 potatoes, chopped
Peas (as you see fit)
Chicken drippings (I used all of them, but you could just as easily skip this step to reduce calorie count. Just be sure to season at the end.)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4- 1/3 cup flour mixed with equal parts cool water (this is a guesstimate... I have no idea how much I actually used)
1. Combine all ingredients aside from salt and pepper and flour in crock pot.
2. Cook for as long as you want (low, medium, high).
3. Just before serving, add the flour/water mixture. The purpose of this step is to thicken up the stew. Add more or less depending on how thick you like it.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
** If you want to go the extra mile, you could easily turn this into a pot pie by pouring it into a crust-lined pie plate and topping it with another crust. Proceed to brushing the top crust with egg wash and poking a few holes for venting. Seal the crust by pressing the edges down with a fork.

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