I have embraced the crock pot. Many of you have spoken and the crock pot is the best way for dinner to make it to the table every night. Not eating out is the goal, right? It certainly is more me. As of today, in the past 5 nights we have had to eat dinner out 4 nights. My stomach is not pleased. Vowing to not have this happen again I pulled out my old friend Renee’s Crock Pot Italian Chicken.
Shredding the chicken is easy. Place the breast only in you mixer with the paddle attachment once cooked. Turn on low. This will shred your chicken. Once shredded add your liquids back to the meat. Do not walk away as your mixer works. That is a quick way to end up with powdered chicken.
To serve alongside this I typically throw in peas or broccoli at the end of the cooking process. Green Beans or just about any other veggie other than lettuce would work well. Cabbage would probably be a great way to mix it up. I think I’ll need to try that soon. We traditionally serve this over rice or pasta.
Christy over at Brittany Ridge grows the best tasting Chicken on the market in my humble opinion. Her birds get plenty of grass and a great omnivore diet from her free range methods. The one thing I notice when I open a package of her meat is there is no smell. Grocery store chicken has always smelled awful to me. Smells tend to tell the quality in my book. The other clue. The fat color, yellow is the golden key in pastured meats and Christy’s birds have it. When I used to buy organic chicken in bulk I noticed the fat went from yellow to then gray. Fat should not be gray, eww just NO!
In the NCF store Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast runs $12 per lb. A whole Cut Up Chicken is $6.50 per lb and a Whole Chicken is $4.50 per lb. My recommendation is to buy the Whole and just double this recipe. Then you will get several meals for your hard earned $$.
Last week left me without much time to cook. Due to Hurricane Matthew most meals were eaten at friends houses or out. Then the end of the week was so busy with obligations that dinner was out once again. Now the evenings are longer and cooking is something I want to fill our home as well as our stomachs.
NCF carries pork osso bucco for $4.50 lb. Osso bucco comes in all sizes, from small to large. Personally I prefer the smaller more delicate cuts.They take less time to cook and are very flavorful. Fortunately we carry all sizes in the store. The tomatoes, potatoes and sage came from the NCF garden making this a fairly inexpensive dinner for our family. Ragout is a french stew of vegetables usually served with meat. I served the Ragout on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes although rice polenta or noodles would serve wonderfully.
My meatballs are not the typical meatballs that you see on the websites. NCF does not carry veal. And no matter how much I petition Dan for Rose Veal he still says “No”. So I need a good substitute. LAMB to the rescue, now this we do carry. And even those like my sister who hate the taste of Lamb will go “Wow, this is so good”. In this little loves story we will use ground Lamb, Pork, and Beef. If you would like a beefier flavor the NCF store does carry Ground Chuck $11 lb.This recipe is going to make somewhere around 60-65 meatballs. Needless to say even after feeding 5 adults, 2 kids, and a baby.
I still have enough left over for meatballs subs & another pot of marinara. The NCF Store prices are
- Ground Pork $ 6.50 lb
- Ground Beef $9 lb
- Ground Lamb $10lb
This does sound a bit pricey I know but when you consider the amount of meatballs & the freezer dinner pleaser ahead it is worth it. The other ingredients are not as pricey. You should be able to make the meatballs for under $30. At an average of 4 per person per meal a family of 4 should get 3-4 meals. And you can serve these just about any way you want, as subs, with mushroom gravy on rice, with marinara & pasta, or plain.