In thing I try to get across to people when I talk about why I cook is the fact because I cook for myself I can eat and eat well even when money is tight. For example, yesterday, I went to Subway for lunch and spent $12.80 on a foot long turkey sandwich, chips and a soda that fed me for one meal. After work I bought groceries for the week. For $13.50 I bought 4 cups of vegetable broth, 2 pounds of rice, flour tortillas, a can of great northern beans, 1 bag of carrots, 1 bunch of celery and a garlic bulb.
So what am I going to make with this haul? Well, the tortillas and some of the rice are to go with the beans I made yesterday to make burritos. The can of beans and some of the carrots, celery and a ham bone I saved, I am going to make a Ham and Bean soup. I could go on and on. The point I am trying to make is eating out is in no way cheaper than being able to cook your own meals. With ingredients I bought and a few ingredients from my pantry, I can get at a minimum of 8 meals.
One of my favorite things to do when I don’t have a lot of money is to buy a whole chicken and roast it. A simply roasted chicken can feed you as a meal by itself. The leftovers can inspire many further meals, like chicken fried rice, chicken noodle soup, chicken wild rice casserole, sweet and sour chicken, orange chicken, among many others.
So for my 3rd 10 Recipes Every Beginning Cook Should Know I choose roasted chicken. Because I often plan to use my left over chicken in other recipes, I tend to flavor my chicken simply. If you like, you can flavor it with a rub or other spices.
1 whole chicken, about 3-4 pounds, defrosted
1/4 small onion
3 whole garlic cloves
1 tsp dried rosemary, sage or poultry seasoning
1 TBS olive oil
Place the oven rack in the second lowest position in the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. If the chicken has giblets in the cavity, remove and discard. Rinse the chicken in side and out with cold water. Remove and discard any excess fat. Pat the chicken dry. Place the onion quarter inside the chicken. Sprinkle the chosen spices inside the chicken. Squeeze the lemon half over the outside of the chicken then place the lemon half inside the cavity. Place the chicken on the prepared pan. Rub the outside of the chicken with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted in the thigh, don’t touch the bone, about 50 – 60 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.