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The dreaded chore of school packed lunches - can you feed a hulking teenager for 30p a head?
Lentil flour and the simplest bread I've ever made

Ages ago now, I started a Rubber Chicken feature, conjuring a total of 28 portions from 1 x £4.99 chicken. These fritters are part of that and are the penultimate recipe, still one more to go!

Pick all the meat from the chicken carcass, then put it in a pan with some water to cover and simmer very gently for a couple of hours. Slowly, slowly, it wants to barely blip. A slow cooker would be good for this. Then leave to cool. Pour off and save the stock. Now, have another go at the carcass. You should be able to get another 100g of meat scraps. This 100g is what is used in these fritters.

The original chicken cost £4.99 and yielded a total of 654g of chicken from the scavenged carcass. All the recipes have been priced using this sum, so you could say the chicken in these are free as the 654g doesn’t count this 100g! Or just use £4.99/654g for the 100g of meat used here. If I don’t do that, I’m going to have to go back and recalculate all the recipes using 754g instead of 654g. Not going to happen!

Serves 2

100g chicken, 76p
200g potato, Asda £1.19/2.5 kg, 9p
a medium onion, 5p
tsp oil to fry onion
tbslp oil to fry patties 1p
flour to coat, 1p
Cost 94p

Serve with
200g white cabbage, 58p/kg, 12p
tbslp oil 2p
2 tblsps soy sauce Asda, Chosen By You, 59p/150ml, 12p
Cost 26p

Total cost £1.20, 60p a portion

Peel and chop the onion and saute in a little oil until transparent. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and boil until cooked through. Mash the potatoes well. Mix in the onion and the chicken. Season well with salt and pepper. Shape into 4 patties. Dust with flour and set aside.

Chop the white cabbage into shreds and saute in the tblsp oil until soft. Add the soy sauce and cook until the soy sauce is just a coating on the cabbage.

While the cabbage is cooking. Heat another tblsp of oil in a frying pan and gently cook the patties until golden. Gently flip them over and do the other side. They will be quite fragile.

Serve immediately.

Variations

Obviously, the veg you have with these can be anything you have. Roasted carrots and onions; beetroot, roasted with thyme or rosemary; peas; green beans, maybe mixed with a splash of olive oil and some fine chopped hazlenuts; runner beans from the garden, maybe cooked in a tomato sauce; sliced fresh tomatoes; carrots grated and mixed with raisins; coleslaw or any of the many variations on that; the very fashionable courgetti; stir fried veg; etc etc

Serve with a spicy tomato sauce, or ketchup; a sauce made with cream cheese flavoured with garlic and chives; melted butter; hollandaise; tartare sauce; mayo or salad cream; satay sauce – see the peanutty noodles recipe for a nice one

You could flavour the mash with fine chopped rosemary, thyme, dill or sage; add pickle (I love Pataks Brinjal pickle), home made, Branston etc; add a little cheese, or add it to the dusting flour; or use breadcrumbs, seasoned with herbs, spices or cheese; dust with a little garam masala or any other spice you like; add some chilli; fry the fritters in bacon fat, ghee, dripping or mustard oil.

Change the chicken for scraps of ham; a bit of cooking bacon cooked until crispy; trimmings from a beef or pork joint

In other words, these little fritters are a great jumping off point for all kinds of delicious meals. Improvise, free wheel and invent!

 

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The dreaded chore of school packed lunches - can you feed a hulking teenager for 30p a head?
Lentil flour and the simplest bread I've ever made
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