Episode 164 2021 “Aha” Moment

If you are anything like me 2020 was a blur and 2021 feels like it is still 2020. But, this fall I felt like I was beginning to come out of the fog.

As I reflect on where Feed Your Family Tonight began and where it is now, I feel like I have come full circle. Weeknight dinner success is not about the recipes, it is about time management. 

I have said this for years, but with the new Feed Your Family Tonight Meal Planning System, I have a way to teach the time management piece.

The “aha” moment is that the key is to look at the “prep” time and the “cook” time in recipes as separate tasks. They don’t have to be done at the same time. In fact, doing them at different times can be the key to getting dinner on the table with less effort.

10 minutes planning at the beginning of the week can save your hours of execution when fixing dinner. If you plan well you will have more variety and much less effort in the kitchen, (Who doesn’t want that?)

Links from this episode:

Roast Chicken

Feed Your Family Tonight Meal Planning System

Free Weekly Meal Planning Sheet

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active teens. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. Check out her YouTube Channel or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

Episode 160 [Coaching Replay] How to Introduce New Recipes with Janice

In this replay on-air coaching call, I talk with my friend, Janice Scholl, about ways to help her overcome some of her dinner challenges.

You will learn:

-Which surprising vegetable I suggest to try with her picky kid who “won’t eat anything green.”

-Why I suggest cooking three chickens for dinner.

-Several great tips for introducing new recipes to picky families.

 

Janice Scholl is the founder of Money Career and Motherhood, and hosts the Money Career and Motherhood Podcast. You can find her on Instagram @MoneyCareerMotherhood.

 

Links from this episode:

Bone Broth

The Emotional Burden of Feeding Your Family

Roast Chicken

For a transcript, click here.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

Episode 126 How to Cook Chicken

Learn how to cook chicken

Episode 126 How to Cook Chicken

 

There are entire books on how to cook chicken. Stacie Billis was on the podcast episode 78 with her book Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner! Today’s podcast will give you an overview and some simple techniques that will improve your chicken tonight.

 

We want to start with buying chicken. Why is one kind $1.00 per pound and another $9.00 per pound? What is the best kind of chicken to buy?

The chicken labels are confusing. Here is a quick overview of what some of the terms mean.

Broth Solution Added- This means the chicken has added salt. Chicken with broth solution added often exudes more liquid when cooked. You want to use less salt when seasoning this kind of chicken.

Organic- Organic chicken has been fed organic feed with no animal by products and no GMO grains. They also have to have access to the outside. The “access” may be a peep hole they can poke their head out.

Free Range- the chickens have “access” to the outside. How much access is not determined.

Air Chilled- This means after butchering the chicken is quickly chilled with cold air rather than the typical ice water bath. You may notice a difference in flavor because there is no added water.

Bottom line- read your labels and make you decisions according to your budget and values. At this time, I do not buy organic chicken, but I do look for chicken that does not have added salt or broth solution.

 

If you find a good price on chicken, consider buying extra and freezing it. I talk all about freezing chicken in Episode 74 Frozen Chicken 101.

 

For great chicken you need 2 things:

Salt

Instant Read Thermometer

 

Many people are afraid of food safety and as a result are seriously overcooking their chicken. An instant read thermometer will take all the guesswork out of cooking chicken to the right temperature. Chicken is safe to eat at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

How to cook boneless skinless chicken breasts.

I talk about grilling chicken breasts in Episode 25. Here is my method for Grilling Chicken Breasts.

You want to have chicken that is even thickness which means you have to butterfly it or pound it to get even thickness. You want to salt or marinade the chicken. You want to start with a very hot grill and reduce the heat once the chicken is on the grill and you want to let the chicken rest for 10 minutes after removing it from the grill.

 

To avoid overcooking, I like to take the chicken off the grill when it is at 160 degrees Fahrenheit and let it come up to 165 as it rests.

 

How to Pan Fry Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

It is important to have the chicken breasts even thickness and to salt it well. The rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt to each pound of chicken. You want to make sure there is space around each piece of chicken in the pan and that you have enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

 

How to Cook One Inch Pieces of Chicken

 

It is common for things like Stir Fry or Ginger Pear Chicken to use one-inch chunks. You want to make sure the pieces are even in size. You want lots of room around the pieces in the pan so they do not steam but can get browned. If they exude extra liquid, drain it off so the chicken can brown properly.

 

Add the chicken to hot skillet with a little oil, spread it into an even layer and LEAVE IT ALONE! Please believe me. It is like ground beef, you need to leave it alone to get a nice brown piece of chicken which is important for texture and flavor.

Do not add other ingredients to the chicken until the first side is browned.

Watch for overcooking. If the chicken pieces are going to cook in a sauce or with other ingredients, you want it to still be undercooked when you add the extra ingredients.

Use your instant read thermometer to check for doneness. It is fully cooked at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

How to Cook Chicken on the Bone

I talk about how to make roast chicken in Episode 50.

The key to great chicken on the bone is SALT + TIME.

You want to salt the chicken under the skin directly on the meat and give it at least 3 hours but up to 48 hours for the salt to penetrate deep into the meat.

If you care about crispy skin, leave the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator after you have salted it. The air of the refrigerator will dry out the surface of the skin and you will get crispier chicken skin.

 

Links from this episode:

Stacie Billis

Change Your Life Chicken

Products from this episode:

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

 

Celtic Sea Salt

 

Polder Instant Read Thermometer

 

Recipes from this episode:

How to Grill Chicken Breasts

Tequila Lime Chicken

Ginger Pear Chicken

Lemon Ramen Chicken Stir Fry

 

Other podcasts to check out about cooking chicken:

Episode 78 Let’s Talk About Chicken with Stacie Billis

Episode 74 Frozen Chicken 101

Episode 50 Roast Chicken, and Easy Dinner for Busy Weeknights

Episode 25 Cooking School Grilled Chicken Breasts (That You Actually Want to Eat)

Episode 125 How to Cook Ground Beef

This post contains affiliate links.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

For a transcript click here.

Episode 50 Roast Chicken – A Great Dinner for Busy Weeknights

Roast Chicken can be intimidating, but I am here to tell you that it can be one of the best dinners for busy weeknights. It is great for the kind of days where your kids have piano from 3:45-4:45, soccer from 5:00-6:00 and you have a meeting at 7:00, roast chicken can be a great dinner. My recipe for roast chicken actually takes 3 days, but please don’t let that scare you. I promise it only take a few minutes each day and you have cooked chicken and chicken broth for quick dinners in the future.

 

The full recipe is in my cookbook, but this is a general guide for my process.

 

Day 1 (I like to do this when I’m cleaning up dinner dishes, but you can do it earlier in the day too.)

  • Get your sink full of soapy water and add a Tablespoon of bleach if you wish.
  • Set out your roasting pan with rack or a rimmed baking sheet with cooling rack
  • Cut 1 12 inch piece of kitchen twine per chicken (optional)
  • Mix 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and 1 ½ teaspoons poultry seasoning per chicken in a small bowl
  • Open the chicken packaging over the drain in your sink or a bowl to catch any liquid that will leak out when you open the package. (I always look for chickens without any salt added.)
  • Remove the giblets from the cavity. Some chickens will not have giblets. You can roast these or discard.
  • Place the chicken on the roasting rack and repeat with the second chicken.
  • Lift the skin and rub the salt mixture directly on the meat under the skin. I like to cut a slit on the back of the thigh to make it easier to rub with salt. You may have to break apart the connective fascia to separate the skin from the meat.
  • Place seasoned chickens breast side up on the roasting rack and tie the drumsticks together with kitchen twine if you have it.
  • Place the roasting pan uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. The air will circulate and dry out the surface of the skin and the salt will penetrate deeply into the meat yielding chickens with crisp skin and juicy meat.

Day 2

  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Place roasting pan in oven and bake for 1 ½ hours.
  • Remove chickens from oven and let rest 20 minutes.
  • Serve the first chicken for dinner.
  • Remove all meat from the bones of the chickens and place in a bowl.
  • Place bones in a slow cooker with an onion, carrot, celery, garlic and 6 whole cloves (optional, do not use ground cloves.)
  • Add any drippings from the pan or cutting board to the slow cooker.
  • OR- Roast the bones for 30 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit before adding to the slow cooker.
  • Cover the bones with water and place the slow cooker on low.
  • Place the meat in labeled zip bags or containers in meal-size portions for your family.
  • Freeze the chicken meat.

Day 3

  • I like to do this when I am cleaning up dinner dishes.
  • Remove most of the bones and veggies from the broth with tongs and discard.
  • Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain out any remaining bones or veggies and discard.
  • Cool the broth in the bowl with frozen broth or ice cubes.
  • Pour the broth into containers and label.
  • If you are using glass jars, leave several inches of room at the top and wide-mouth jars work much better for freezing liquids.
  • Freeze the broth.

 

Episode 33 When the Wheels Fall Off

Last week I had 7 meals planned and we followed that plan 2 times. The other 5 days my plans fell apart. But I was okay. I didn’t have go through the drive-thru. My family was fed and that was enough.

This happens to all of us and the key to reducing the stress is to always have a backup. Have 3 meals that you can get on the table in 20 minutes or less with ingredients you have in your pantry or kitchen.

Everyone has weeks where the plans all fall apart. It’s okay in the summer to spend extra time at the pool or enjoy a unexpected outing with friends. You can adapt and move on. You’ve got this!

Episode 1 Master Meal Planning Sheet

Episode 2 “P” Plan and Prep

Episode 3 “S” Set a Dinnerbell

Episode 4 “A” Always have a backup

BBQ Beef Recipe

Roast Chickens with the Dinner Sisters

Roast Chicken on KAKE TV

Roast Chicken – Cook Once, Eat 3 Times

One of my favorite busy weeknight dinners is roast chicken. Most people would not think that something that takes an hour and a half in the oven is a good idea on a busy night, but there is a trick to making this an easy dinner.

Prep the chickens the night before.

When you are cleaning up the dinner dishes, take five minutes and get your chickens clean and seasoned. They can sit in your roasting pan overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, before you run your kids to their activities, take the roasting pan out of the refrigerator and place it in the oven. Turn the oven to 425 and when you get back from practice, dinner is ready to serve.

Did you notice I wrote chickens with an “s”? That is because it only takes a minute more to get two or three chickens prepped and the cooking time doesn’t change, so for very little effort, you have the best part of roast chicken – leftovers. Feed the first chicken to your family for dinner and use the extra chicken for other recipes. I like to put the meat in labeled plastic bags in my freezer and use the bones to make bone broth. The complete recipe can be found in my cookbook. 

Watch the video below for a few ideas on what to do with the leftover chicken.