Last Sunday, I roasted a chicken. (I realize I’ve already discussed this at some length.) In that post, I mentioned that one of the things I love about roasting a chicken is getting so many meals at one fell swoop.
Using up the entire chicken is something I worry about. Because I’m cool like that. But it feels so terribly wasteful to be throwing away cooked chicken that you just didn’t have time or inclination to eat. I live by myself (not counting the furry beasties) so any chicken-eating is my own responsibility. And while I always get the smallest chicken I can find (3-4 lb), sometimes it’s a struggle to finish it by the 4th day.
Here are some sources I consulted. (Why do I suddenly feel like this should have hanging indents?) I’d put’em at the end, but they help me and I don’t want you to miss them.
Trent at The Simple Dollar (fantastic site, btw) gives his advice on how to use a roast chicken (and the financial benefits of roasting chickens)… and while good information, it’s a little broad for me. I think he assumes a larger eating group than one. He (and every other blogger who’s ever mentioned chicken) urges making stock with the leftover carcase. He’s right… make the broth. It’s easy and infinitely useful. He’s gives clear instructions on his site–you can also crockpot it if you’re so inclined.
Kristen at CheapHealthGood is also somewhat helpful. She says she can make 17 meals out of one 6 lb chicken, and maps out what she does. She’s not extraordinarily helpful because her recipes seem a bit more complex than I wanted to tackle. Also, her shopping list kind of annoyed me- Trent at The Simple Dollar does this too- they divide the amount of product they use by the total cost (so 1/4 cp of slivered almonds costs, say .73¢ in the “recipe budget”… but unfortunately, the store is going to want you to buy the whole $6.00 bag.) allowing her to “purchase” a lot of items within her 25$ budget. It’s a completely logical way to break down recipe costs, but is a little frustrating when you are counting your pennies.
Here’s what I did–not because I think any of these choices were particularly inspired (I’m a college student in finals week. Quick and easy are crucial to my sanity), but because sometimes ingenuity in the kitchen is just too difficult, and it’s nice to know what someone else did in the same situation. And so, without further ado….
How to use up a 3.5 pound chicken (by yourself):
Meal 1, day 1 [Lunch]: Hot chicken, straight from the oven, sliced and dipped in honey mustard. Ridiculously delicious. I was going to make a sandwich, but it was too good to stop eating and get out the bread. So I ate it like this. And I am not ashamed.
Meal 3, day 2 [Lunch]: cubed, in huge salad with tomato, red onion, feta and (a little too much-ok, a lot too much) Greek dressing. Yum!
Meals 5 &6, day 3 [Lunch and Dinner]: Curry apple chicken with rice. I forgot to take pictures–in return, here’s the recipe. (Adapted from Allrecipes, follow the link for their version.) My version (at bottom) was much faster–and was delicious, as the repeat engagement six hours later indicates.
I have to admit that the dog got a bit, and had there been some biscuits in the fridge, I would have had enough chicken left for a few breakfasts. But a 3.5 lb chicken cost $4.00, I got 6 meals and a quart of stock, I had everything I needed for each of these recipes in the house, and I didn’t spend more than 5 minutes prepping any meal. Good stuff.
Curry Apple Chicken
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 small onion, chopped
- 2 apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 cup hot chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Saute apple and onion in butter or margarine until tender. Add curry powder and saute 1 minute more. Add flour and continue to cook 1 minute longer. Add stock or broth and milk; stir well.
- Salt and pepper chicken breasts to taste and lay in a single layer in a 9×13 inch (or larger) baking dish. Pour sauce mixture over chicken breasts and bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until chicken is done.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Make your sauce, using above instructions.
- Spread cooked cubed chicken in baking dish of choice. Pour sauce mixture over and cook till warm through (I left it in about 15 minutes–as long as it took my rice cook.)
- Enjoy! Quicker than you could get takeout. How cool is that?