Rubber Chicken (5) – Chicken & Onion Pasta Bake 42p
In the end, I didn’t have this Rubber Chicken dish at all yesterday. Late in the afternoon, I checked my diary for something else, and realised that we were due to go out that evening. Good job I checked, had no memory of it at all!
We went to see a performance of Haywire by the local Am-Dram group, at Mayfield, a village 4 miles away. It was extremely good, they were brilliant. And there was an added entertainment of a really loud and raucous table behind us. They were enjoying the performance in an enthusiastic and loudly vocal manner 😯 It was all good humoured, but my goodness were they ever LOUD.
I have just had some of the bake for my lunch, so I could take a picture and write up the verdict
I’m having this Pasta Bake for dinner today. One of the Rubber Chicken recipes, where I calculated that I could get 28 portions from 1 x £4.99 free range chicken.
I reckoned that I could make
Roast chicken, with stuffing, 2 portions
Jacket potato using 60g meat in mustardy white sauce, with onion, 2 portions
Risotto, 90g chicken, onion, some of the stock, some of the gravy, lemon juice, peas, or maybe leek from the garden, 2 portions
Pizza, 60g chicken, roast onion and carrot, tomato sauce, maybe some stuffing, 4 portions
Pasta, white sauce, 60g chicken, peas or AP green beans, onion, maybe some stuffing, 2 portions
Tart, 70g chicken, peas, carrots, onions, couple of eggs, no cheese, maybe some stuffing, 4 portions
Pie, 100g chicken, some of the gravy, onion, maybe some sweetcorn or mushrooms, maybe some stuffing, 4 portions
Fritters using the tiny bits of chicken scavanged from the simmered stock carcass, onion, cabbage, maybe some stuffing, 2 portions
make stock with the skin and bones etc, make soup with the stock, 6 portions
I made it just for me, but if it was for 2, as usual, I would have used
60g chicken, 45p
400ml milk, Asda 2.27litres/89p, 16p
4 tbslps flour, value 1.5kg/45p, 1p
100g onion, 5p
50g stuffing mix, 1/3 value pack/15p, 4p
200g pasta, 500g/29p, 12p
Total cost 85p, 42p a portion. Could serve 4 (see Verdict)
Nutrition per serving (for 2) 622 calories, 32g protein, 107g carbs, 7g fat
I used spring greens, carrots and peas to serve
Chop the onion and saute in a little oil until soft. Put the flour and milk in a cold saucepan and heat gently, whisking, until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper and a generous dollop of any mustard, The mustard, strangely, makes it taste creamier, and cheesey, even tho there is none in it.
Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente, we don’t want the pasta too cooked or the bake will be soggy.
Mix the onion and the drained pasta into the sauce, add the chicken. Stir it all up and put in an ovenproof dish.
Make up the stuffing as per the instructions on the pack. Form into balls with roughed up edges for more crispy bits and drizzle with a little oil.
When you are ready to eat, bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes, along with the stuffing balls, until the top browns, or microwave for a few minutes until piping hot all the way through. This will freeze well, so can be stashed away as a lovely home made ready meal
I am having mine with some lovely springy Spring greens I got recently, some carrot and a handful of peas
To be as fair as I could in the pricing of the chicken, I took the 454g of meat after we had had our roast lunch (from the original post) and added an estimated 200g of meat for that. So a total of 654g of chicken meat divided by the £4.99 cost, disregarding anything from the stock completely
I used some pasta I got from Approved Foods as that is what I had, value pasta would be fine.
The stuffing provided a delicious crunch and I ended up crushing them up and scattering them over the bake on my plate which worked beautifully.
The bake itself tasted very nice, surprisingly chickeny considering how little there is in there, although I wouldn’t say it tasted mainly of chicken. Possibly because I had a lot of veg with it, I only actually wanted half of my portion, so this could actually feed 4.
So you could either halve everything and add the same amount of chicken, or double the chicken and divide the mix into 4 portions instead of 2.
Any meat could be used in place of the chicken, so pork, beef or lamb. If you have any lovely home made gravy using the meat juices left from when you had the chicken roast, that would add delicious flavour stirred into the bake.
Any veg could be used to go with it, plain or roasted.
The mustard could be varied to give a different flavour; it could be served with a few fine chopped rings of onion, soak it in milk first to take off that very raw flavour; if you have any herbs available, they would work well, finely chopped, scattered over, or mixed in; you could flavour the sauce with some curry spices or a bit of paste; fry off some mushrooms and stir those through the uncooked bake; flavour the sauce with some tomato purée ; scatter over a few flaked almonds or chopped nuts, or top with some fried peanuts after it has come out of the oven
I still have to do the other couple of recipes for the Rubber Chicken feature. Hope to get round to at least one of them during this week. I’ve just made a batch of chapatti for the week. Shall I do the recipe for those?
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 meal plans, most are for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are for 1, or 4 people