By Larry Levine –
How about dinner for two for less than $7 each? Twice. – A whole roast chicken and chicken in mushroom sauce
Start with a whole chicken, about 4 – 4 ½ lb.
Mix together 4 tablespoons of extra version olive oil, 1 teaspoon each of granulated onion and garlic and 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary.
Separate the skin from the meat of the chicken with your finger tips. Spoon the marinade under the chicken skin and massage the skin to spread the marinade. Rub some of the marinade on the chicken skin.
Let the chicken sit in the refrigerator until about 1 ¾ hours before you plan to serve it.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator, place it on the counter on a wire rack in a shallow roasting pan for 30 minutes to get to room temperature. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put the chicken in the over and roast for 30 minutes breast side down. Turn the chicken breast side up and roast for another 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven, cover loosely with tin foil and let it set for 15 minutes.
Remove one leg and thigh and both wings. Slice one half of the breast.
Serve with a vegetable of your choice. I like carrots, yellow crook-neck squash, or broccoli.
Here’s how it costs out:
A good, organic chicken is about $20. You’re going to use one half the first night, then put the leftover away for another night. So, that’s $5 per meal for the chicken. The vegetable shouldn’t cost more than a dollar or two per person.
After dinner, remove the other leg and thigh. Slice the other half of the breast. Cover on a plate and refrigerate for the next night or the night after.
Freeze the carcass to use in making a chicken stock or chicken soup.
For the second dinner, see page 190 of my food memoir, Cooking for a Beautiful Woman / The Tastes and Tales of a Wonderful Life. (www.LarryLevineauthor.com) You’ll find a great and easy recipe for chicken in homemade mushroom sauce. This one gets served with mashed potatoes. The cost, in addition to the chicken, is about $4 for the mushrooms and 50 cents for a russet potato, plus a few cents for the butter and milk.
Recipes for the chicken stock or chicken soup like my mother used to make will also be found in the book.