Stretching a pastured chicken, thanks My Beloved's recent job loss, has become more of a necessity than it was just a couple of weeks ago. Don't get me wrong - I'm always pretty frugal with food - but when my sweetie, through cronyism (hiss! boo!), loses about two thirds of his income, my tightwad gene is energized.
I don't mean to scare you - we are very fortunate people. We will still have money to pay the mortgage, the taxes, and the monthly bills. It's more the dinners out and the splurges on chandeliers that we'll scale back for a while.
Of course, we still want to eat the good stuff.
So, I will invent more dinners like this one, which turned out remarkably well. I had half a can of leftover chopped tomatoes from this dinner, and half a very small pastured chicken from another dinner, and that seemed like a good basis for a pasta sauce. I added chopped onion softened in olive oil, minced garlic, a bay leaf, some fresh thyme and oregano from the pot on our front steps, a light sprinkle of red pepper flakes to wake things up.
I took the meat off the carcass but didn't add it until the very end, along with a handful of thawed peas, so that when it went into the sauce it didn't cook, just gently warmed. Ladled over the pasta and served, we didn't even need bread to make a filling and frugal meal.
My Beloved has had many, many heartening calls from his industry friends, all saying "Are they crazy to let you go?? You're the best rep they ever had!" and offering him leads on other lines that he can pursue. That has soothed his bruised feelings a bit and given him the energy to start applying for different jobs. He's a buoyant personality and I know he will bounce back from this hit.
Just don't ask me to be polite to his former boss, who let my husband go just to put a crony of his (more hisses! louder boos!) in My Beloved's place.