It’s a good time to go back to eating frugally these days, I think, and a fun challenge too in this world of plenty. Because of the lockdown, we try to make do with what we have in the house, and this calls for ‘creative cooking’, namely making resources stretch and experimenting with substitution.
I am making parmesan and garlic chicken with lemon and butter sauce for dinner. And then it occurred to me that I could debone the chicken to make a wholesome soup out of chicken bones, to which I could add spinach leaves and pasta to make another meal out of.
Recipe for the chicken
- Debone two chicken quarters.
- Mix 2 cloves of minced garlic in one lightly beaten egg. Season with salt and pepper.
- Marinade the chicken in the mixture for a few hours, better overnight.
- Mix half a cupful of flour with quarter a cupful of grated parmesan cheese.
- Coat the chicken in the mix.
- Fry in hot oil until the surface is slightly browned.
- Bake in oven for 30 minutes to cook the meat, and until the skin is crunchy.
- To make the sauce: saute 3 cloves of garlic in 6 tablespoons of butter. Add some chicken stock (about ¼ a cupful). Simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce achieves the right consistency and smells fragrant. Season to taste.
- Pour sauce over the chicken. Serve piping hot.
Recipe for the potato gratin:
- Peel, rinse and pat-dry potatoes. Slice the potatoes thinly. (I used about 1 kg)
- In a large pan, place the sliced potatoes, 1 clove of garlic, 4 fl oz of milk, 4 floz of double cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a pan.
- Simmer gently until the cream has thickened.
- Remove from heat. Stir in about 100g of grated cheddar or gruyere until the cheese melts.
- Butter an oven-safe dish. Transfer the potato mixture into the dish. Top with more cheese if you like.
- Bake until the top is golden brown and the potatoes soft.
Recipe for the soup:
- Boil chicken bones with ginger, spring onions, carrots and whatever vegetables you have.
- Add a tablespoon of vinegar to extract the marrow.
- Boil for about a couple of hours.
- Season with salt and pepper at the end of cooking time. Add spinach.
- Cook the pasta separately and add to the soup (this goes better with smaller pasta but I didn’t have any at home).
So good that I made it again a couple of days later.