This has been a week for copious amounts of tea, biscuits and more tea! I had every intention of publishing this post last week but life and a teething almost 1 year old got in the way. So here is it is, better late than never.
I think that specials are just well…special! You can save so much money on meals if you plan and shop wisely. A great way it to look ahead at what produce is on special in various supermarkets and that’s exactly what I did. I browsed through Aldi, Lidl and Dunnes Stores’ leaflets and websites. A fantastic tip is if you find something that you know you will use a lot, but it in bulk, wash, peel, chop and freeze it! I do this whenever turnip for example is on special. If you do this with meat or fish you can save even more.
My Sunday roast fed 6 people very comfortably and cost €7.43…so that breaks down to about €1.30 per person. All you need to do is shop according to what is on offer, so for this particular meal I nabbed a large chicken, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions and garlic. You can make your own gravy which works out almost free or buy a store brand gravy mix. Now here is the trick to stretching this meal into lunch for the next day. Boil the chicken first before roasting it and voila, you have homemade chicken soup! Its amazing for when you feel a cold coming on and literally costs nothing.
So here is what I did for the soup…
- Raw Chicken
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Vegetable offcuts*
- Enough water to cover chicken
- Herbs selection; oregano, basil, sweet paprika, parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pasta (optional)
*vegetable offcuts are bags of vegetables that I either freeze or keep in the fridge filled with diced pieces of carrots, broccoli, parsnip, peas or other vegetables that I chop and keep to the side when making other dishes during the week. Its a great go to for mixed veg when you are in a hurry and cheaper than buying a mixed vegetable bag from the shop.
- Wash the chicken and place it breast side down in the biggest pot you can find.
- Chop up onions roughly, crush garlic and add to pot along with bag of mixed vegetables.
- Add about 2 tbsp of oregano, 1 tbsp of basil and parsley and 1 tsp of sweet paprika.
- Add water until the chicken is covered, season with salt and pepper and put the gas on high.
- Allow the pot to boil then turn the gas down to a simmer, partially cover the pot and let it cook for about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Top up the water and continue to cook for another 40 minutes or so then remove the chicken, making sure to drain all of the juice back into the pot, pierce to make sure it is cooked through and place the chicken on a roasting tray.
- You can now add some pasta broken into smaller pieces, simmering until cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
This is a simple enough recipe, everyone has their own methods so here is a straight forward one.
- Wash and dry all of the potatoes. Wash and peel a bag of the carrots and parsnips. Roughly chop potatoes, carrots, parsnips, two onions and smash a bulb of garlic.
- In a large baking tray add some oil and place in a preheated oven 200°c / fan 180°c for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove tray and add all vegetables except for the cabbage and garlic. Place the garlic bulbs on top of the vegetables (you don’t want to burn the garlic). Now season with salt, pepper, a sprinkle of garlic powder, thyme, basil and parsley. Place in oven for about 45 minutes, mixing halfway.
- After the 45 minutes mix the vegetables again, add a little more seasoning and put back into the oven. The chicken should be on a baking tray. Rub with some butter and drizzle some oil as well as adding some seasoning of your choice, I like to add sweet paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley. Place in the oven along with the vegetables and cook for about 30 minutes until the chicken is golden brown.
- While the chicken is cooking roughly chop up the cabbage and steam it for up to 20 minutes until the cabbage is soft but not mushy!
- And voila, Sunday roast for less.
Chicken (almost 2kg)- €4.00 Aldi Potatoes (1kg) - €0.49 x2 Aldi Onions (750g) - €0.49 Aldi Garlic (3 bulbs) - €0.49 Aldi Carrots (1kg) - €0.49 Lidl Parsnips (500g) - €0.49 Lidl Cabbage (huge) - €0.49 Dunnes Stores Total = €7.43