Saturday, September 06, 2008

Chicken and Rice for a Big Group

On Tuesday nights, I feed the homeless and less fortunate in our city at a place called 15 Place. I created a recipe that's simple, uses ONLY fresh ingredients, is healthy, can be made by volunteers, and most of all, is delicious. I buy all the ingredients at the local SuperMega Shopper's club on Sunday afternoon, and cook on Tuesday afternoon, after work. It only takes 1 & 1/2 hours start to finish to make enough to feed about 60-70 people, with seconds for as many that want them. The recipe:

  • 4 Chickens, whole fryers
  • 5 lbs onions
  • 5 lbs carrots
  • 3 bunches of celery
  • 12 cups of rice (parboiled works best)
  • 1 tub chicken base (for extra chickeny goodness)
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
The key to the recipe is there's never any waiting around if you do it in the order I list it in. This means you are very productive and can do this after work for a local soup kitchen in your area!

In a BIIIG pot with a basket liner (60 qts) , on an outdoor gas burner, start 5 gallons of water boiling very vigorously. Unwrap the chickens, rinse, and cut slits into the breasts, all the way to the bone. This ensures they get cooked thoroughly. Add the chickens to the pot. Set a timer for 30 minutes, and start it as soon as the water starts to boil. Clean carrots and celery by using a kitchen veggie brush; don't bother peeling! Slice/chop all veggies and set aside. This can be done by a team of about 3-4 people, 1 scrubbing, and 3 cutting. By this time, the chickens should be nearing done. Once the timer goes off, pull the basket up from the water allow to drain, then remove the chickens and lay them out to cool. Set the basket aside, you dont need it anymore. Add all the veggies to the pot, along with the chicken base, and return to a vigorous boil for 15 minutes. Start pulling the chicken. Get the bones as clean as you can get it, try not to waste anything. Chop all the big pieces, and as soon as the timer goes off again, add all the chicken to the pot, along with the rice. Return to a boil. Boil until the liquid starts to thicken with rice starch, then cut the fire WAAAY back, or else you will burn the bottom of the pot. Cook until the rice starts to get tender, then cut the fire. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste, and then use small sauce pots or other big dippers to move the chicken and rice into an ice chest to keep hot. The rice will continue to cook, and absorb water for another 15 minutes. This gives you time to transport it to the soup kitchen, or public park, or wherever you serve it. I serve it in a foam bowl with a yeast roll from the SuperMega Club. The price ends up being < $.75 per person, which is a super deal on such a fresh, delicious meal. It's a real comfort food for those whe are in need of comfort.

Feel free to share this recipe with anyone interested in helping out a brother or sister in need.