These meals are designed to feed a family of 4 or 5 with little ones. If you have a larger family, you may only get 2 – 3 meals from your chicken, but by putting the broth to good use, you’ll be surprised at just how far you can stretch a chicken!
This is one of the favorite lessons I’ve learned on my journey to a more frugal lifestyle. I believe you’ll like it too!
4 Meals from 1 Chicken:
1) Roasted Chicken – Begin with 1 whole chicken, rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic, salt and pepper. Add 1/2 inch of water to bottom of baking dish for a moist and tender chicken. Bake at 350 degrees, for 1 – 1 ½ hours (general rule is to roast the chicken for 20 minutes per pound with additional 15 minutes for browning). Be sure the juices run clear and that your chicken is cooked through. Cover with foil for the first 45 minutes, then remove foil for browning. (Adjust browning time for larger chickens – 15 to 30 minutes is all that is needed for a crisp, browned top.)
Slice and serve with veggies and potatoes for a hearty meal.
2) Yummy Vegetable Soup – Boil leftover chicken in large stock pot for 2 hours. Add pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper to the water with a heaping spoonful of coconut oil. Strain chicken and bones out of broth, then set aside to cool. Save remaining broth simmering on low. Pick chicken off of bones and store bones in bag. Store chicken pieces in another bag.
Add sliced carrots, celery, corn, peas, chopped onions and tomatoes to broth and cook on low for about 30 min. to an hour, until veggies are all tender.
Serve with fresh bread or corn bread for a delicious vegetable soup.
3) Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole – Boil noodles in a pot of water. Grate 1 cup cheese (cheddar, jack or other favorite). Add leftover chicken pieces to pan with chopped onion and a pat of butter or coconut oil to heat. In a separate skillet, add a TB of butter and heaping spoonful of flour and stir until it begins to brown. Add ½ cup of milk and stir. Continue adding ¼ cup milk at a time until gravy is a thickened liquid (or desired consistency – remember, it will thicken a bit after sitting). Add the grated cheese and stir until combined.
Drain boiled noodles and put them in a large mixing bowl, pour chicken and onions over them and add cheese sauce, then stir it all together. If desired, add to a casserole dish and sprinkle Durkey onions on top. Place in oven to brown for 15 min. before serving.
4) Wholesome broth for soup, stew or dumplings – Add leftover chicken bones to a crock-pot full of water. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes and garlic powder (add salt to taste later). Cook bones on high for 8 hours; continually adding more water to make sure it does not dry out. Store cooled broth in jars or bags in freezer for ready-made healthy and homemade chicken broth. Use for soups such as potato soup, vegetable soup, chicken dumplings and more!
These 4 in 1 meals can be enjoyed during a single week, or frozen for later use. If you have favorite ways to stretch a chicken I would LOVE to hear about it! Please share in the comments below.