How to Get Three Meals Out of One Chicken

I have a lot of eaters in my house. Many hungry mouths follow me around all day long making this odd noise. “I’m hungry! I’m hungry!” they whine. It costs a lot to get them to stop making that noise, but I have stumbled upon some strategies and I thought I would share my favorite.

I can make one chicken feed this large family for three nights. How? Like this:

Night One – Roast Chicken with Garlic Baked Potatoes.
Roast the entire chicken with  seven garlic bulbs. Cut the top 1/3 of the garlic bulbs off and sit them in the pan (I use my deep cast iron skillet with a lid) around the chicken. Then drizzle olive oil and salt over all, being sure to cover the garlic well. Bake at 350 degrees until done (one to one and half hours). At the same time, bake potatoes. To serve, cut chicken breasts into medium sized portions for bigger eaters and give the wings to the littles. Squeeze one entire bulb of garlic over each opened baked potato. Drizzle drippings from the pan over potato and chicken. After dinner, remove remaining meat from carcass and put in the fridge. Now make broth with the carcass.

Chicken Broth Recipe
Place chicken carcass, one onion, two carrots and two celery stalks into stock pot and add enough water to fully cover. Place over high heat until boiling; lower heat and simmer until ready to use. (A good crock pot is better than my method, but mine doesn’t simmer well enough.)

Night Two – Shredded chicken in something
On the second night, use the remaining meat (thighs and drumsticks) in some kind of chicken casserole or stir fry. My favorite choices are chicken pot pie or chicken tacos.

Night Three – Soup
Now that your broth has been cooking for about two days, it has sucked out all the yummy nutrients that the chicken carcass had hidden in its bones, grissle and skin (discard veggies and chicken remains – we just want the liquid). Time to make soup. Our favorite is my totally made up tomato soup recipe:

Tomato Soup Recipe
Grate two carrots; dice two celery stalks and an onion; saute veggies in olive oil in a good size sauce pan.
When veggies are tender, add a liberal amount of thyme, basil, and oregano; saute a little longer.
Add broth and two cans tomato sauce. (depending on how much broth there is, I may add enough water to make a enough soup for my whole crew – total needed for us is about about 10 cups of soup) Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer a little while.
Serve with biscuits or grilled cheese sandwiches or oyster crackers or whatever you have on hand.

In this way, I am able to feed seven hungry people three dinners with one chicken.
Do you have any strategies for making your grocery dollar stretch? Do share it!

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