If you seen my menu plan earlier this week, you would have noticed that I had chicken for a few meals. I only buy 2 whole organic chickens a month, so it works out to having one every other week. The other weeks I cook beef in a similar way, but that will be another post. Other meals using chicken in my meal plan that aren't mentioned in this post are using frozen chicken breasts. I use Trader Joe's and buy them because they are hormone/anti biotic free.
This is what I plan on doing with one of the 5lb Organic Whole Chickens:(This weeks menu)
- 1st meal:
Put whole chicken, seasoned with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, poultry seasoning, onion, and garlic in the oven and roast. (Do not add liquid, it will make its own.) When its done, remove the whole chicken from the pan, strain the juices and put to the side. Slice off some of the meat for my family tonight(we are really good about portion control and making sure that everyone gets enough but without waste) , and put the rest in the fridge, divided into two portions (I have a family of 5 and there is always enough leftover). Make a roux with butter and flour and add the chicken broth from the pan and make a gravy. Serve with the brown rice and green beans.
- 2nd Meal:
This meal is really simple. All I do is take some salsa or taco seasoning and warm up the chicken with a little but of water. Add to corn or flour tortillas and serve with sour cream and cheese. This meal uses less chicken because its only for me, my 9 yr old, a preschooler and a toddler.
- 3rd Meal:
We prefer to have our soup with more veggies and broth than meat, so the rest of the chicken is just enough for an easy meal on Saturday night! Just what I am looking forward to after a long week. So what I have done that I didn't mention before is to boil the chicken carcass on Friday. I boil mine almost all day to make a very rich stock. If you save your veggie scraps all week in a freezer bag in the freezer, you can add them in to make a richer stock also. Once your stock has cooked for a long time and is finally done, stick it in the fridge(after straining) and leave overnight so you can just take off the fat on the top that has risen and hardened. You can just add your leftover stock, chicken and whatever else you have on hand. I usually add some organic carrots and noodles (which are really inexpensive btw) but you can also add potatoes, peas, rice or whatever you have! The best part? Your crock pot! Use it for this! What's better than having your dinner cooking already on a lazy Saturday afternoon??
Each of these meals was made with minimal ingredients and made from scratch. They each were around $5.00 to make for a family of 5. So for around a $1.00 per person or less, I am able to feed my family healthy meals from one chicken :) I will make my other chicken in 2 weeks and will use the chicken in a different way, but for 3 meals again.
What do you do with a whole chicken and are you using it for more than one meal? Do you buy organic meat?