Cooking on a dime

The reality of this pandemic is sinking in. While we’re thankful for the government aid, it’s limited and considerably less than what we’re accustomed to and budgeted on. So we’re making cuts and doing what we can to save money. Neither of us knows what our future employment will look like – and bills keep rolling in- so it’s definitely time to pull up our socks.

The other day I was grocery shopping for my mom and shocked to see a price of $2.82 (Can) on 4 chicken leg quarters. I’ve already stopped buying more expensive meats/fish like salmon/tenderloins- and looking for less expensive cuts, and planning to cut down on meat in our cooking. We’re not going out at all, and haven’t done any takeout (yet). As much as we’d love to support our local restaurants, we need to be good stewards too.

I’ll admit- I only typically buy boneless skinless chicken breasts or sometimes thighs… again boneless and skinless. But I couldn’t resist this price- and knew with the inter web – I’d be able to find a recipe and make it work. I’ve never purchased or prepared chicken quarters (never mind a whole chicken!) before. At 2.82 that’s 70.5cents a person! Add in the veg, spice, and potato, I think we were at $1.50 per person for the meal.

The recipe I found required me to touch the raw meat. If you’ve been following me- you know this is a real struggle, but my sense of money saving won over the squeemishness.

First I made a wet rub of the following:

1 tablespoon (pink Himalayan) seasalt

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tsp Clubhouse Vegetable seasoning

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tbsp chili powder

½ teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper

I cut off a LOT of the excess fat underneath the quarters and slit open the skin. My kitchen scissors were bleached and sanitized before and after while I shuddered… LOL

Then I called Guillermo over to be my photographer, because my hands were going ALL IN and up into that chickens skin. Peeling back the skin, you rub that mixture right in, under and over the skin, and put the skin layer back on top. Make sure the quarters have room between to cook evenly – place in preheated oven at 400F for 40 min.

Once I had the chicken in the oven, sanitized the counters, tools and my hands.. I cut up 2 small potatoes and poured boiling water over them to sit for 10 min before drying thoroughly, seasoning and adding to the oven. I learned this trick of soaking in water, then drying last week and successfully made excellent crispy oven fries this way.

Last 5 minutes on timer I stir fried mushrooms, snap peas and carrot sticks in a Tsp of Sundried tomato and oregano dressing.

One thing I learned from all my interweb surfing about chicken leg quarters – is that unlike chicken breasts which are very important to NOT overcook as they will dry out – the longer you cook leg quarters, the juicier and better they will be. I’ve had enough chicken quarters at restaurants when the meat seemed undone (bloody even) around the bone – that this encouraged me not to worry about taking out too early, check multiple times, and allow the meat to just cook thoroughly.

Success first time! The taste was fabulous, the meat was juicy and fork tender. And my Scottish Guillermo was thrilled with the price!

So now the question is… eat the skin or take it off??? Ooooooo.


Published by billandamyskitchen

Bill (Guillermo 'cause he likes pretending he knows Spanish) and I (Amy) have been married since Sept 2005. We live in Southern Ontario, Canada - Niagara Peninsula in fact, smack dab between 2 of the Great Lakes. We love God, our family, our church family, and making each other laugh. (ergo the profile pic, he decided to make our photographer laugh by throwing a leg up on me just before the shutter clicked, which made ME laugh) When we married, I told Bill: "I don't know how to cook" but he had faith in me. So 15 years later, I'm still learning, and having fun. I've never (in my whole life) cooked a whole bird, chicken, turkey or otherwise. I've never roasted a beef, other than in a crockpot on low for 8 hrs. I like trying to find healthy & easy recipes and then I rarely follow them. I don't enjoy recipes that take hours or intricate steps. I have a special fondness for the Podleski sisters, writers/creators of the Looney Spoons, Crazy Plates and Yum/Yummer cookbooks. In 2018 we suddenly decided to rip our small house apart from stem to stern, moving out for 4.5 months while the house was demolished inside and out, and then rebuilt with an addition. If you go back in the archives to July-Dec 2018 you can follow that story. It's made our house open and so much more conducive to entertaining, small groups and large. It's given us the kitchen I've dreamed of to create and learn in. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to write about our journey, our faith in God and some fun recipes along the way. Thanks for joining us.

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