Boneless skinless chicken breast recipes are vital components of a healthy diet plan. However, chicken breasts can be expensive.
To save a few dollars you can easily process the chicken yourself. It is not difficult.
It’s even cheaper if whole chickens are on sale allowing you to eat healthy on a budget.
Chicken Preparation To Save Money
Begin by placing the whole chicken on a non-absorbent cutting board. A plastic cutting board works well because it can be washed very clean. Wooden cutting boards are not a good choice because juice can get into the pores of the wood making clean up difficult.
This is important because chicken is a potential source of organisms that can cause human illness.
When processing chickens clean kitchen habits are mandatory.
Avoid cross contamination by not using the cutting board or knives for other foods without thoroughly cleaning them. Using chlorine based cleaner is a good idea.
If you ignore these precautions you may be putting harmful organisms on other foods you may eat raw such as salad vegetables. Cleaning your utensils immediately after cutting chicken is a must.
Don’t worry. Cooking kills these organisms making it safe to eat properly cooked chicken.
Cutting The Chicken
You will need a boning knife which is a specially shaped knife made for this type of work. Its blade is thin and rapidly slopes to a small point.
The thin blade allows it to bend slightly to maneuver around bones. The goal is to remove meat from the bones with as little waste as possible.
Remove the giblet bag from the cavity of the bird. Place the giblets (heart, liver, etc.) in a large pot of water after removing from the bag. The giblets, bones and skin will be boiled for soup broth.
Broth is the base for healthy soup recipes and can be frozen for later use.
Broth can be used in place of plain water when preparing rice, pasta, or other foods that will soak up the flavors. Casseroles are a good place to use your broth to add nutrients plain water doesn’t have.
Place Bird Breast Up
Place the chicken with the breast facing up on your non-absorbent cutting board. Feel down the middle on the chest of the bird to find the breastbone running from top to bottom of the chest. Begin by cutting beside the breastbone and into the breast meat. Slide the blade of your boning knife down to the bottom of the chest to the body cavity opening cutting the breast meat as you go.
Gently pull the breast meat away from the breastbone with one hand and place the knife at the top of the breast and cut downward again. Each slice of the knife should cut more of the breast meat from the bones. Stay as close to the bone as possible.
Remove the meat from the bird when you have cut it free. Slip the skin off the breast meat and place it in the soup pot. Place the skinless meat on a platter. Remove the other breast in the same manner.
Use a sturdier knife to separate the thigh from the body of the bird. You can either remove the skin to go into your soup pot to be boiled down into broth or leave it on the thighs and drumsticks.
Leaving the skin on the thighs and drumsticks will help protect it while in the freezer.
Place any meat not used immediately into the freezer. Wrap pieces individually with clear plastic wrap then seal in a plastic bag.
Making Chicken Broth
Place the remaining part of the chicken into your soup pot to boil it down for broth. This may take up to 12 hours. Stir it occasionally.
You may also make your broth in a crock pot by cooking on “high” for 12 hours or more. The crock pot can be placed outside if there is a safe place where children or animals won’t bother it.
This is a good way to make broth if the weather is hot and you do not want to heat your house. In the wintertime keep the crock pot inside to benefit from its radiated warmth. Learning to be energy efficient will increase your savings by reducing cash outlay for both food and energy.