The Chicken Challenge
The Sentinel is pleased to introduce "The Chicken Challenge," brainchild of Michelle Priddy . The idea is to use one chicken per person as the main protein for a month's worth of meals. Given our weekly format, we had to modify Michelle's plan somewhat (it was originally "The January Chicken Challenge"), but we will still be publishing 30 quick, tasty , cost-effective recipes. That's one recipe a week, for 30 weeks. It's "The Just Over Half a Year Chicken Challenge." (Note: not all the meals involve chicken. It's "The Just Over Half a Year, Mostly Chicken Challenge.") Here's the first meal:
Macaroni and cheese, with lentils and fried apples or apple sauce
Macaroni and cheese Per person: 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried macaroni boiled and
drained to become 1 to 1 1/2 cup cooked macaroni. If the eater eats large, use one cup- one cup will yield two cups of macaroni.
Add cheese sauce after macaroni is cooked.
Sauce Per person (more oil and flour equals thicker sauce):
Butter, oil or fat 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Flour 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Milk 1/2 cup
Melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the flour and heat, stirring until the mixture is bubbling and smooth. Remove from the heat add the milk and stir well. Stirring constantly , return to the heat. Once the sauce starts to thicken it will quickly turn stiff. Take it off the heat, add the cooked veggies of choice. Put over a low heat just prior to serving. Add
milk or water to thin the sauce if it gets to thick or starts to stick. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cheese sauce option: Make medium sauce, once the sauce starts to thicken, add 1/4 cup cheese and pinch of dried mustard.
Lentils for four 1 onion 1 carrot 1 rib celery or 1/4 teaspoon of celery seed (I use a coffee grinder to make seed into powder) 2 tablespoons oil, (chicken fat works fine) 1/4 teaspoon each: thyme and oregano 1 cup lentils 3 cups water or stock or tomato juice; add more as needed
Sauté onion, carrot and celery in oil. Add herbs, mix for 30 seconds to a minute to distribute herbs. Add lentils and water or stock. Simmer covered until lentils are tender . About 45 minutes.
Fried Apples with or without skins: 1/2 to 1 apple per person 1 tablespoon butter, oil or fat Pinch of salt Pinch of cinnamon or cloves or allspice (optional)
Peel if you'd like, core for sure. Slice or cube as thin as you'd like and sauté until your type of tender . Any left-over fried apples can become apple sauce.
Or if you are staying away from fats, peel and core apples. Simmer in a little water until apples become sauce, mash a bit and serve. Add a pinch of salt and maybe a pinch of cinnamon or cloves or allspice.
And that's all there is to it. Thanks, Michelle! Stay tuned for the next installment, stir fried rice with scrambled eggs, green beans, and summer squash. Yum.