Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Not Rubber Chicken, But Elastic Chicken!

rubber chickendefinition ‘rubber chicken’; Either a comedy prop, or food served at political dinners. The name derives from the fact that the quality of the food is secondary to the purpose of the event and seldom good.

I prefer the term ‘elastic chicken’ – one which tastes good, but stretches to serve far more people than you might originally think.

I came across this delightful little book in the library last week


If you check it out on the Amazon site, you will be able to ‘look inside’ for more information.

And I discovered that Sue Simkins [yes that is her name] has a lovely website [here] full of ideas, recipes and book details.

The book reminded me about “Leftover Roast and Gravy Pies”

Super thrifty…

Last week M&S had a Special Event For Cardholders. I had some vouchers – and used one for a £10 meal deal. This yielded a chicken, ratatouille, apple pie and bottle of wine – total price normally around £17 – but I had got the voucher in an internet offer for just £5. You do know, don’t you, that M&S chickens in their Meal Deals are all different weights? Get down on your knees, and root around at the back of the shelf[as I do!] and you may find a chicken which is much larger than the ones at the front – but at the till it’s still a tenner for the lot.

We had roast chicken with ratatouille [and jacket spuds] on Saturday night, then Sunday morning, I stripped the chicken and set aside some meat for Sunday lunch. I chopped that and tossed it in IKEA basil mayonnaise, and served it with a salad and oven baked shoestring chips. I also put a few slices for chicken sandwiches for Sunday tea. The remaining meat was chopped fine and put into these little pies. [speedy shortcrust pastry made in the processor]

DSCF5652I made mine bigger than Mrs S suggests, using a cereal bowl and a coffee saucer to cut out the pastry. Lining the tins with a circle of greaseproof is a good move. An egg wash improves the finish!DSCF5653DSCF5656

These go well with with salads, or maybe new potatoes [cooked with mint from the garden] and frozen peas. Mrs S advises against a ‘steam hole’ in the lid – she says it is nicer to have a dome of pastry rather than a flat top!!

The carcase [plus half an onion, a stick of celery and half a carrot] went into the slow cooker Sunday morning, and by 4pm was delicious golden stock…So that one chicken from St Michael – which cost me less than £2.50 – has yielded meat for 4 portions of roast chicken, 6 individual pies, 2 rounds of chicken sandwiches, and stock for 4 portions of soup. How thrifty is that?

[by the way, do M&S still use the brand name ‘St Michael’? I just checked, and it no longer appears on the labels in my underwear!]


  1. St Michael isn't in my undies either!!
    Do you remember Radio 1 DJ Paul Burnett using the alias "Plastic Chicken"? Search on YouTube for "Convoy GB"....

  2. Anyway, I've started my own Blog - "Trials and tribulations of a Christian musician" - http://garysanders112.blogspot.co.uk/

    Any publicity gratefully received......

    1. Gary has written two great worship songs which were sung by our 'yoof' on Sunday night - so I shall be watching his blog with interest!

  3. I didn't know that about the chickens. Have always thought that they were a bit small.

    1. Get on your knees, and grovel, friend, for the fatter ones lurk at the back of the bottom shelf [unless I got there first]

  4. I do like the £10 offers in Marks. With care you can spread meals over several days

  5. That's amazing, Angela! You're a magician with food :) It's fun to get every ounce of goodness out of a buy, isn't it? Your little pies are so adorable!

  6. Now that's Ang Almond at her very best!

  7. I stretch a chicken also but rarely make pies. I understand that St Michael separated from M&S and are still trading but I don't know where.


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