How to Survive on Lower Cost Meat

They call it the Chook Wars. Recently, Coles and Woolworths are at each other's throat again. This time, fighting to see who can provide consumers with the cheaper roast chicken. So, we are able to get a good family sized chicken roasted with western style herbs. So don't expect it to taste like "roast" (they are actually fried) chicken at chicken rice stalls or the roasted ones at NTUC glazed with oriental sauces or black pepper flavoured. Also, when I mention good family size, it means around 1.4 - 1.6kg, including stuffing unfortunately. Still, it is way bigger than the spring chicken more commonly sold in Singapore, which usually weigh between 500 - 750 g.

Current price for Chook Wars

Makes the spring chicken in SG looks a bit pricey now

Ok. Today's post is for new migrant noobs who can't cook. If you are a fussy eater and cannot cook, you'll probably spend a great amount of money eating out. Though really, if you are a fussy eater, you shouldn't be eating out in Perth at all. Anyway, if you are a fussy eating pissed poor peasant, one way to reduce your chance being miserable in Perth by the end of the first week, contemplating a return to Singapore with your convenient excuse that Australians are racist, you can consider buying a roast chicken from your nearest Coles or Woolies.

Look. A chicken rice seller in Singapore once told me that a regular size chicken will provide enough meat for at least 13 packets of chicken rice. That is the bare minimum a chicken rice apprentice tao chiew has to achieve consistently. So, if you eat the whole chicken on Day 1, that is your problem. Remember, this is a 1.4 - 1.6kg chicken, not a spring chicken. You have no excuse, even if you have the appetite of a pig.

Ok, this $7.90 gotta be spent wisely. If not, you may end up without money to buy a return ticket. That'll be bad. 

Alright, learn to cut up the fucking thing. I have done a sample myself:

The chicken will always come with injured wings. This shows a good fight put up by the chicken before they are killed. So if you are going halal or wish to be an annoying vegan, by all means skip this.

Well, you'll find the bird baked so soft that you can virtually debone the thing without the help of a chopper. All you need to do is to give the wings a little twist, they're out. The drumsticks and "mary land" portion require a bit more care if you want your meat to remain in good shape. Else, you can slide bones out using your hand. It is much easier than deboning a chicken prepared for Hainanese Chicken Rice.

The breast provides the biggest portion of meat. So big that I can shred a full bowl of chicken breast meat and have two upper portion of the breasts saved for another use. That is the reason why chicken breast meat makes up the core of  basic chicken rice meals and drumstick meat is usually charged a premium. The "back" of the chicken also have enough meat to make 1 (or 2?) packet of chicken rice. That part is the hardest to make it presentable if it is to be deboned. However the meat at the back is soft and tender like the drumstick but is normally not charged the premium it fetches.

I was able to feed my family of 2 adults + 2 kids a meal of chicken rice by using meat in the plate (drumsticks) as shown in the pic above. Then I used half of the shredded breast for another meal of chicken porridge for the whole family. The outer breasts was used for chicken noodles for dinner today because I missed my childhood suddenly and thought of the chicken noodles we ate often at Holland Village. Lastly, the last half of the shredded chicken breast to make another serve of noodles for the wife's lunch at work the next day. The portion of chicken I used for each meal was very generous, as compared to the portion used in a standard Singapore hawker meal.

The portion used for my 2 kids was about the same for 1 adult. Thus, with this chicken I created 3 (rice) + 3 (porridge) + 3 (noodles) + 1 (noodles) = 10 meals for an adult without the appetite of a pig. If I had not use generous portions, I was pretty sure I can chop up enough for 15 packets of chicken rice or more. Perhaps when I become jobless in Perth, I should go back to Singapore to chop chicken.

Now the cost of the meals.

Chicken used for each meal = $7.90 / 10 meals = $0.79 per meal
Rice = $0.30
Porridge = $0.15
Noodles = $0.70


Chicken rice = $1.09
Chicken porridge = $0.94
Chicken Noodles = $1.49

Too expensive? Or hiam because meals are 'boring'? Wanna be ngiao ji ngiao lan, go home lah!

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