The Elastic Chicken

We’ve all been there… an unexpected bill comes up or you have to drain your savings account for some emergency expenditure. Sometimes, things like this just happen and your food budget is usually the first to suffer because of it. Our family used to live in the country and we didn’t have the luxury of town water. One time our well went dry and we had to spend every penny we had to have another one dug. Of course, this new well had to be deeper than the first which meant the man who did the work dug deeper into our pockets. I started to worry about how we were going to be able to feed the family until I sat down and made a plan. Hence the story of the Elastic Chicken.

I went to our local grocery store who happened to be having a sale on some great Perdue Oven Roaster chickens. I bought one of them that was about eight pounds. I knew my plan and wanted to get the most bang for my buck so I opted for one of the biggest ones they had. That night I fixed Baked Chicken. I simply put little pads of butter on its skin and added a sprinkle of salt and pepper. (I really didn’t have many seasonings to use nor a lot of money to buy any.) We had some mashed potatoes and green beans to go with the chicken and everyone was quite full when we finished dinner. Meal number one was a success! Before I put the leftover chicken carcass away, I picked off as much meat as possible from the bones. I chopped and diced the pieces and came up with nearly 3 cups worth of chicken meat! Hurray! I then took the carcass and placed it into a large storage bag and put it into the freezer.

The next night, I took half of the chicken meat and mixed it with about one cup of mayonnaise. To this, I crumbled up a leftover piece of bacon from breakfast that morning. I also mixed in one celery stalk and one small onion, both chopped up finely. I added a little salt and pepper to taste and served on toasted bread as Chicken Salad Sandwiches. As a side dish, I’m sorry to say we had potato chips. Nothing fancy but it sure did make for a quick and easy meal! I also knew that the next night would knock their socks off!

The third night I made Chicken-Pasta Salad. To make this wonderful meal, I thawed a bag of frozen pea pods in cool water until they were slightly tender then drained them. Next, I boiled about half a box of macaroni adding the pea pods to the water for the last two minutes. After draining the two together, I stirred in a third cup of mayonnaise, a quarter cup of French dressing, a cup of cherry tomatoes cut into halves (regular tomatoes will work but you will need to drain them a bit) and the rest of the leftover chicken meat. Lightly toss everything together and you have an excellent meal that you can serve with some bread and butter on the side. Meal number three was a huge hit!! But wait until you hear about the last meal…

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