Thursday, October 1, 2009

How To Stretch a Whole Chicken

Has anyone else noticed the price of chicken slowly but steadily increasing? Chicken has always been one of the more frugal sources of protein I use to feed my family, but the increase in price has inspired me to take a look at ways I can stretch one good-sized whole roaster into several meals. Through experimentation, I discovered that I can use one roaster (4 lb. roaster that I bought for six dollars!) into FIVE meals!!! Here is what I did:

Meal 1: Made a Roasted Chicken with potatoes and carrots; served with tossed green salad.

Meal 2: Picked carcass clean; shredded the breast meat and set aside; boiled the carcass for a rich, nutrient-packed bone broth. Used thigh meat and one leg for a stir-fry with veggies and some brown rice.

Meal 3: Made chicken salad with cranberries and pecans with the breast meat.

Meal 4: Served leftover chicken salad sandwiches.

Meal 5: Used the bone broth to make a hearty soup of veggies, noodles and whatever meat was left over from the carcass pickings. We actually ate this for lunch the next day, too!

I have even heard about people using all of the skin from the chicken and frying it for dinner, but I won't be trying this one soon! (I don't like chicken skin!)

I would love to hear how you frugally stretch any kind of meat!


  1. I happened to slow cook a whole chicken today. I threw in some brown/wild rice with veggies around it. I had enough left over to freeze a meal for my husband to take to work with him next week. I saved the carcass and I'm going to make broth tomorrow and then use that to make chicken tortilla soup tomorrow night. Love your ideas, too!

  2. Wow! I'm impressed! Problem is that one whole chicken just doesn't go very far over here!!! We are about a 3 chicken family!!! :) Maybe I could do this with a turkey??? :)