I love eating well, but I often don’t have time to cook a magazine-worthy recipe for every meal. So, I like to find ways to cook just once and get several meals out of it! There’s a surprising amount of meat on a whole chicken, so here’s how to make one bird go a long way.
First, I roast a 3-4 lb whole chicken (using the instructions in Cooking with Whole Chicken) in either my crock pot or dutch oven.
1) Fresh from the pot, I carve and serve the thighs and/or drumsticks with a couple of side-dishes such as stuffing, rice, salad, biscuits, broccolini, or roasted root vegetables for dinner.
2) Once the bird has cooled, I peel the breasts and tenders off of the remaining carcass (they come off easily using just my fingers). I save these in a closed container in the refrigerator to shred/chop and use as a quick, easy protein for salads or sandwiches in lunches throughout the week.
3) I separate the wings from the carcass, and save these in the refrigerator for a 5-min reheat in the pan or microwave for a satisfying snack in between meals.
4) I peel off the scallops and smaller bits of meat from the back of the carcass, and store these in the refrigerator (or freezer, to save up a larger amount) for use in pasta sauce or casserole. There’s still a lot of meat left on the carcass after parting it out — don’t let it go to waste!
5) Save the carcass itself. The bones left after separating all of the meat can be saved in the freezer (or thrown straight back into the pot you used for roasting!) to make Bone Broth. Bone broth is an excellent way to replace store-bought chicken stock in your home cooking, adding extra flavor and mega nutrition even to meatless meals such as Squash Soup, Bean Chili, and more.