In a recent issue of Renaissance Magazine, viewable at: www.njfoundationforaging.org/ren.html, we featured an article and recipe focusing on cooking in a tough economy. The article talked about how to be creative and how to get the most out of money you spend in the store. We thought we‚Äôd continue with this theme is our blog and share with you a way to not just get 2 meals out of one chicken, but 5 meals!
Meal #1 – Roast chicken, stuffing and oven roasted vegetables
Take advantage of the fact that the oven is already on to bake the stuffing and vegetables. For this first meal, if you are a two person household you could split one breast and each take a wing.
While you have the cutting board and knife out,¬†dissect the uneaten part of the bird for easier future meals. Take the meat off the second breast, thighs and drumsticks and cube it up for use in upcoming recipes. The yield is several cups of chicken meat. Everything else: bones, cartilage, and skin goes into a storage bag for soup-making (coming up in another meal).
Meal #2 ‚Äì Chicken pot pies
You can make extra gravy so you will be able to add it with some of the chicken, diced potatoes, peas and carrots to individual pie crusts.
Meal #3 ‚Äì Chicken soup
Boil down all the bones with onions, garlic, carrots, celery and spices for a couple hours until all the meat that was left on the bones falls off and the bones have released their collagen (the gelatinous protein) and you‚Äôve got homemade chicken stock. Strain it, pick out the chunks of chicken, add more ingredients like noodles or rice and new vegetables and you‚Äôve got a pot of chicken whatever soup.
Meal #4 – Chicken Tetrazinni
This is a simple dish to prepare by stirring cubed chunks of chicken into cooked spaghetti noodles with a Parmesan cheese sauce, you can use a store bought jar and even opt for a tomato based sauce if cheese sauces aren‚Äôt your thing.
Meal #5 – Chicken quesadillas
Mix shredded chicken with a bit of salsa, spread over tortillas and sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Fold over and heat on a griddle until the cheese melts.
There you have it: one chicken, five meals! It‚Äôs frugal in terms of money and it‚Äôs also frugal in terms of time. You cooked one ‚Äúbig‚Äù meal which gave you the ability to make four additional meals more easily than if you had to cook more chicken each time. By varying the types of dishes, it seems less like ‚Äúleftovers‚Äù and more like a different meal each time. These are just some ideas for making the most of a whole chicken. Another great tip is to freeze your leftovers, if you will not be eating your Chicken Pot Pies right away, or want to save your left over chicken to do something with it a week or 2 weeks from now, throw it in a freezer safe container and freeze it until you are ready to use it!
What recipes would you use?