Frugal Family Meals: 1 Chicken, 3 Meals

With a growing family of 6, it is always a challenge to make a meal stretch further than one sitting. I usually try to eke a leftover lunch or two out of one dinner, or we take leftovers from the week and have a day of eating from the fridge. It’s always interesting to see the combinations we can come up with when all we have to eat are leftovers!

One of the easiest ways to make a meal last is using a whole chicken. You would be amazed at how much meat there is on one bird! We typically buy a 3-pack of chickens from Costco (just the regular ones, though depending on your location, the organic birds are often available, and bigger!) once a month or so and make them stretch quite easily. It’s not only a frugal way to eat, but also very tasty.

These are 3 of our favourite ways to use 1 chicken for 3 meals.

Frugal Family Meals 1 Chicken, 3 Meals

Roast Chicken and Vegetables

A simple roast chicken in a Dutch oven is so mouth wateringly delicious and comes together in under 2 hours.

Prepare your whole chicken by making sure the goody bag often stuffed inside is removed (unless you like eating that stuff :D). Wash the chicken (skin on – keeps the moisture in!) and pat dry with a paper towel.

Oven Roasted Chicken

Place a few garlic cloves, about 1/2 cup chopped carrots, celery and onion inside the chicken. Rub inside and out with olive oil. Sprinkle all sides with Dutch Kip Kruiden chicken spice rub (SO DELICIOUS!) or salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Make a few slits in the skin and rub some spice under the skin.

Place some of the chopped veggies on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Place chicken on top, then fill remaining space with the remaining veggies. Drizzle with olive oil.

Cover and cook the chicken at 425 degrees for 1 – 1/2 hours.


Curried Chicken Salad

Curried Chicken Salad

This recipe is very similar to the leftover Turkey Salad – only this time you’re using chicken!

Chop up 4 cups of leftover chicken into pieces, add 1 chopped celery rib, 1/2 cup cranberries (optional), 1/2 – 3/4 cup mayo, salt, pepper and curry (to taste). Mix together and serve.


Chicken Stock = MULTIPLE Meal Options!

Healthy Chicken Stock

1 chicken makes about 2 1/2 quarts of chicken stock – that’s more than enough to make a hearty chicken soup or lentil stew.

Place remaining chicken bones – fat, tendons and all the liquid and drippings from the roast chicken – in your crock pot. Add some chopped onion and garlic. Cover to about an inch from the top with filtered water and add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.

Place crock pot on low for 12-15 hours (the longer the better! Sometimes I even do 20 hours, though others do only 8). Drain off the liquid, saving the chicken parts for a second batch.

Cover again with water (if the amount of chicken has decreased to fill the crock pot less than half, reduce the amount of water) and cook again on low for 12-15 hours.

Store chicken stock in the fridge to make chicken zoodle soup (substitute wheat noodles for zucchini noodles), lentil stew, or freeze in ice cube trays for future use. If you make your stock without onion and garlic, you can even add a cube to your morning smoothie for an extra healthy boost.

What are your favourite ways to stretch a meal?

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Lauren Mirecki
I am a saved-by-grace, failing-forward, wife and graduated homeschool student turned homeschooling mom of 4 residing in Ontario, Canada. I am passionate about teaching my children the truth of God's word through how He is teaching me, our school lessons and experiences as a family. My days are best spent together with my family, at home, or in the outdoors, learning how to be more creative, serving and encouraging others, and striving to see and give all glory to God.
Lauren Mirecki
Lauren Mirecki

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3 Responses to Frugal Family Meals: 1 Chicken, 3 Meals

  1. This looks crazy good!!! YUM!

  2. […] sure what to bring? Pick up a chicken meal from Costco, or buy a whole chicken and roast it in the oven with some veggies and serve with rice. Soups and stews with a loaf of […]

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