Author Topic: Fern's Survival Stew #2 - Roast Chicken & Root Vegetable  (Read 2863 times)

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Offline 9141702

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Fern's Survival Stew #2 - Roast Chicken & Root Vegetable
« on: January 17, 2016, 08:54:58 am »
Here's another one for the cash-strapped or budget-conscious who have a few hours to kill and don't mind eating the same thing for days! :D I'm sticking to the usual "rules" here: Total cost of ingredients must be less than £10, should ideally make enough for one large portion per day for a week. I'm using a slow cooker method here but if you don't have one, any sufficiently large pot will do (you'll just have to keep an eye on it from time to time instead of "fire and forget").

Roasting a whole chicken can be a time-consuming process and costs money. The whole point of survival cooking is to not spend one red cent more on energy bills or ingredients than we really need to, so this recipe calls for a whole ready-roasted bird from the chilled section. Let someone else burn gas cooking it, it makes our job much easier.

1x whole roasted chicken
100g smoked streaky bacon, diced (yes I put this in lots of things!)
2x large leeks, sliced into thin rings
2x large carrot, as above
1x large parsnip, as above
1x swede, medium-ish (about softball sized?) cut into 1cm cubes
1x large onion, cut in half and then sliced thinly
Chicken stock cubes
White pepper (add to taste near the end)
Mixed herbs such as sage, rosemary and thyme (use a few twigs of each tied in a bundle and just shoved in there, I forget the technical name for this)

For extra nutrition or to stretch it a bit further, you can add tinned haricot or butter beans towards the end of cooking, or a cup of white rice. I don't usually bother as I have mine with bread, but it does work quite well and white rice is extremely cheap.


Prepare all your veggies, and put them in the pot. Put the bacon pieces and bird on top of these. Don't remove any of the skin, bones or fat. We want all of that flavour to dissolve out over the slow cooking process.

Mix up enough chicken stock with boiling water to cover your ingredients, toss in your herb bundle (or dried herbs) and stick the lid on it! Simple.

Set your slow cooker on medium, or very gently simmer on the stove. You have about 4 hours to kill so keep an eye on it every now and then.

Once your veggies are cooked, you're ready to sort the bird out. This is a bit grim but doesn't take too long. What we need to do is to remove the skin, bones, gristle and nastybits while leaving all the delicious meat behind that we can. My preferred method is to use a large spoon and fork to dig and shred at the meat, exposing any inedible parts that I can throw away. All the stuff from the bones, the fat under the skin etc has dissolved into the broth making it very flavourful and ever so slightly greasy on the lips. We need that fat, it's delicious and will keep us alive through winter.

Now's the time to taste and adjust seasoning - it shouldn't need any extra salt thanks to the stock cubes, but I am a fiend for white pepper. If you want to put some rice in, do that now and keep simmering until it's cooked. I find that a large bowl of the stuff served with some good bread and cheese is extremely satisfying, and the large amount and variety of veggies should provide a decent nutritional balance too.

As we're dealing with chicken here, make sure to refrigerate what you can't eat immediately, and reheat THOROUGHLY before serving.
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