Let’s turn one humble chicken into three meals for four

It’s not at all hard to do. That is, as long as two of those folks are not teen aged boys!
We’ll start with a large whole fryer. I can usually find one in the 3 1/2 pound range, 4 pounds if I’m lucky, but size doesn’t really matter. It’s how I deconstruct the chicken that makes everything work.
Sunday’s dinner is easy, just Simple Roast Chicken served with my Simple Pan Sauce and some side dishes. Before we ever sit down to dinner, the chicken is carved up and portioned out. One side of the breast is sliced for dinner along with the two drum sticks.  Kids love those. The rest of the meat is separated from the bone and saved for later in the week and the carcass is popped into the crock pot with some vegetable trimmings to make broth as a bonus. I’m all set!
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Of course, one doesn’t want to dine on that chicken three nights straight. Meatless Monday called for a Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Quiche. Zucchini is at its prime this time of year, so why not take advantage of it? I like to keep Basic Caramelized Onions portioned out in the freezer, so this quiche is a quick and easy meatless meal that makes great leftovers for lunch or dinner.  I make it quite often.
Tuesday it was back to that thrifty chicken. Chicken tacos sounded like a plan to me, so half of the remaining chicken went into Taco Seasoned Shredded Chicken Filling. I did’t want to use the full 3 cups of chicken that the recipe called for, so I adjusted the seasonings to match and it worked out fine. With Refried Beans and Salsa Rice we had more than plenty to eat. There was one problem, though. I dropped the bag of taco shells, turning them into chips. Whoops! What was supposed to be chicken tacos turned into wraps. It’s a good thing I had some tortillas in the pantry.
I often try to plan leftovers for Wednesday. This serves a couple of purposes. For food safety, Sunday’s big meal should all be cleared out by then.  With a clear fridge, I’m ready to take advantage of the new grocery ads and start planning for the weekend. Since Wednesday’s dinner was indeed leftovers, Chicken Salad salads were the perfect lunch.
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Well, that chicken salad polished off the last of the chicken, and we enjoyed every thrifty bite.
Time to move on. Thursday was a busy one, so before we left I just popped some kielbasa and veggies in the slow cooker. When we got home we were greeted by our dinner, Kielbasa and Cabbage. I really prefer this meal cooked stove top, but who can argue with dinner waiting when you get home? No fast food in this house!
Since I was so thrifty in planning our dinners all week, I didn’t feel one bit guilty when we splurged on Friday night’s dinner of steamed crab legs. Besides, they were on sale!
Be thankful for what life gives you.

 

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