Frugal Living » 1 Chicken= 5 Meals

1 Chicken= 5 Meals

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1 Chicken= 5 meals!  There are times when you really need to stretch the grocery budget. Perhaps you had a bill come due that you had forgotten about, or maybe it was just higher than you expected! Here’s how to get five meals out of a single chicken, which is usually available for around five dollars.


One Chicken= 5 Meals

This idea isn’t new to use, one of our longtime (adored!) members, Mos, offered her 1 chicken, five meal plan here: Deli Chicken – 5 Ways Only she took it a step further and just used a Deli Chicken, rather than a broiler/fryer.


What Size Chicken?

There are different types of chicken; for example, a Cornish hen is a tiny chicken that feeds one person. A game hen is a young chicken that weighs less than two pounds, while a broiler or fryer is approximately seven years old and ranges between 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds.

What we recommend is a roaster chicken, which is between 8 to 12 weeks old and weighs an average of 5 to 7 pounds. Generally speaking, this will yield about 6-7 cups of diced cooked meat, plus bones to make a delicious stock for stew.


1 Chicken= 5 Meals

You’ll Need

1 Large, fat roaster chicken. The cost of these chickens average .89¢-.99¢ per pound. So a 5-pound bird will run about $5. If you have a larger family, opt for two chickens to make it stretch further. Here’s how to cook 18 lbs of chicken in about 3 hours flat.

Meal 1: Roast or Grill the Whole Chicken

Roast: Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper and Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325F and continue baking for about 3 hours.

Grill- here’s a sinfully simple Beer Can Chicken Recipe or grilled Rotisserie Chicken.

Air-Fry– Another option is to air-fry the whole chicken. This is by far our favorite method because the chicken only takes 45 minutes to cook and is completely hands-off.


On the first night, Be sure to serve only one side of the chicken with plenty of baked potatoes, copycat stove-top stuffing, and steamed veggies or salad. b101-roast-chicken-5-mealsDon’t put the entire bird out, instead carve the meat off and reserve at least half of it for other meals.b101-stretching-meals


Meals #2-3-4 Variety

The following meals are going to vary according to your own family’s tastes. We’ve included several different ones for variety. Each of these uses about  1- 2 cups of diced cooked chicken. The bulk of the ingredients will be vegetables, rice, and pasta, thereby stretching the meat.

  • Chicken Pot Pie– this only uses about 2 cups of diced chicken, so use the meat from the underside of the carcass for the best flavor.
  • White Chicken Chili (see below)
  • Chicken Tetrazinni – cheat a little, cook spaghetti, add a parmesan cheese sauce, and about a cup and half of diced chicken chunks. Serve with steamed veggies.
  • Chicken Quesadillas
  • Curry Chicken Salad- Chop the meat from the drumsticks and thighs meat well, mix it with mayonnaise, 1/4 tsp curry powder halved grapes, minced parsley, chopped celery, served over a bed of lettuce or as a sandwich.
  • Chicken Bog- use 1 1/2 c. chopped chicken instead of the legs in the recipe
  • Chicken & Gravy over Biscuits

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

White Chicken Chili:

This creamy white chicken chili can be made in a slow cooker to keep the house cooler in the summer, or on the stove top if you’re in a hurry.

1.5 cups chicken broth
1 -19 oz cans white kidney beans
1 large onion — chopped
2 garlic cloves — minced
2 ounces chopped green chiles (canned)
1 teaspoons oregano
3/4 teaspoons cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper — to taste
1 c. Frozen Corn
2 cups cooked Chicken

Rinse and drain the beans. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer gently about 1 hour. Serve in bowls topped with grated cheese.

Budget101 White Chicken Chili

Meal #5 Soup

No matter which 1 chicken, 5 meal plan you follow (there are many out there!) your “Last Meal” will probably always be the same. Chicken Soup.

Southeastern Mexican Stew

When you’ve picked the carcass nearly clean, you can toss it into the crockpot or stockpot and simmer cover it with water. Add a finely diced onion, 2 tsp of turmeric, some finely diced celery and simmer for several hours on low, covered. You’ll have a fabulous nourishing stock that can be used to make soups or stews.

You obviously won’t be able to make ALL of the meals listed in 2-3-4, these are just different options for different tastes. You’ll only be able to stretch 1 chicken into about 5 meals and still have filling, healthy meals.

Now that you’ve read the Meal Plans- take the 1 Chicken, 5 Meal Challenge – what can YOU do with your chicken?

Fellow Bloggers, feel free to share a link to your 1 Chicken- 5 meal plan (just be sure you link back to the Challenge here on the site!)

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