For dinner today we had a variation of "Ernest T. Bass's Chicken Thief Stew". That's a recipe from my "Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook". The original recipe is much more trouble than the way I made it. Here's how I made it.
1 whole chicken. 3 to 3 1/2 pounds
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup of water
salt to taste (you won't need much)
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp sugar
1/2 medium onion cut into slices, separated
1 14.75 oz can whole kernel corn
1 14.5 oz can cut green beans
1 29 oz can whole potatoes
I bought a whole chicken on sale for .69 per pound and cut it up. You could use any kind of chicken you want. I put the chicken pieces (2 breasts, 2 leg quarters and 2 wings) in my crock pot, sprinkled a little salt and pepper and poured the can of crushed tomatoes on top. Add 1 cup of water. I cooked this on high for one hour and then turned it on low until I got back from church.
If your crock pot cooks as hot as mine, 4 hours on low should be long enough for the chicken to be tender. I usually turn the pot on high for the first hour and then turn it down to low before leaving the house at 8:00. Remove the chicken onto a plate to cool so you can remove the meat from the bones. While the chicken is cooling add the 3 cans of veggies and all other ingredients. Recover and turn crock pot on high so it can be getting hot again. As soon as the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, tear into pieces and return to the crock pot.
Let this cook for about an hour and serve. We put ours in soup mugs and had saltine crackers. Corn muffins would be great or home made bread! YUM. I wasn't quite that smart today!!!
I didn't want to waste any of the chicken, so I put the remainder of the chicken, the back and any pieces of fat, in a stock pot on the stove and boiled it for about an hour to make broth. I removed the chicken parts, picked off any meat and returned this to the broth. There is some good white meat on the back! I will refrigerate this and add noodles to it later or make some chicken soup.
The only waste from this chicken will be the bones and his tail. LOL
Of course Ernest T. Bass uses stolen chicken and the recipe says stolen chicken is cheaper, but sadly I didn't have any and since I just got back from church, I don't plan on stealing any!!!
If the canned veggies are purchased as cheaply as possible, or especially if you can your own veggies or make this from fresh veggies in the summer time, this recipe is very frugal. I purchased the 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes on sale for $1.00, the 29 oz can of whole potatoes on sale for $1.25, the whole kernel corn and cut green beans were the store brand and cost less than .50.
So for about $6.00 my family can have several meals. Even if we only got 2 meals out of it, it would only be $.75 per person. Actually there are probably 3 meals here, especially if you include the chicken broth, so that would only be $.50 per meal per person.
This made a HUGE pot full of stew. I told my husband, "I sure hope this stew is good because there is so much we'll be eating it all week!
It turned out great, so we now have two bowls full in the frugal fridge labeled with post it notes (free of course), "Chicken Thief Stew". Wonder what the boys will think tonight when they see that label!!!??
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