Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How to get Five Meals from one Baked Chicken

Sometimes I will buy a whole chicken when it's on sale. 

Who am I kidding? Sometimes I will buy three whole chickens when the price is right and I will freeze them for later. That's like a gold mine for me because you'd be surprised how many meals I can make from just one of those chickens.

You would think that one large chicken would be just enough for one family dinner, but take it from me, you can stretch it even further. 

How to Get Five Meals from one Baked Chicken

Once you bake your chicken, then you have the task of de-boning it, so at least practice your culinary skills while doing it and shred, chop and cube away!

Now that you've had some fun pretending to be a culinary ninja, here are a few ideas to turn all of that chicken into at least five meals...

  • Cut the chicken breasts into strips and use in a salad (spinach, romaine or arugula greens would work well-add a sliced boiled egg or two)

  • Chop some chicken and make a chicken salad (add celery, sliced almonds, red grapes)

  • Cube some chicken and make a quick pasta dish (make an easy sauce-garlic, butter or olive oil and little parmesan or make a tomato based sauce)

  • Shred some chicken and make quesadillas or chicken tacos (use pepper jack cheese, queso fresco, mozzarella and add cilantro or green onions)

  • Use the rest of the chicken and make chicken and dumplings or chicken noodle soup (add carrots and celery to the chicken noodle soup)

I know one large baked chicken will make five meals because I've done it. The secret is to let the chicken be the star in a couple of the dishes and then just let it "enhance" the other dishes. 

Tip: You can add nutritious bulk to any dish by simply being generous with the addition of a variety of vegetables. 

I hope these ideas inspire you to get creative and see just how many dishes you can make from one baked chicken.

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