1 Chicken= 5 Meals

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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 $5.

One Chicken= 5 Meals

1-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.

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.

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

To 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.

To Grill- here’s a sinfully simple Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Rotisserie Chicken

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. Don’t put the entire bird out, instead carve the meat off and reserve at least half of it for other meals.

b101-roast-chicken-5-meals

Meals #2-3-4

The following meals are going to vary according to your own families 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 1/2 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

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!)

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. FULL DISCLOSURE HERE
About Liss 3990 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.

26 Comments

  1. i loved the idea of 1 Chicken, 5 meals so here is the menu plan I came up with

    1 Deli Chicken (it was 4 lbs), roasted potatoes, broccoli
    Chicken Corn Chowder
    Chicken and CousCous salad
    Adobe chicken sandwiches (I used the chipotle mayo recipe here and just mix chicken chunks and chopped pickled jalapeno peppers)

    It’s only 4 meals because I chopped it all up and separated the meat and that’s what I had enough for. Well, I guess I can make broth/soup from the bones, but I’d rather let the racoons have the carcass.

  2. i usually buy the rotisserie chicken from the deli for around $6. I use the meat for meals and when we’ve used up as much as we could I add the carcass to a pot of water and make my own broth from it. I freeze celery when I have some leftover (usually the core), when adding the frozen celery to broth it breaks down quicker and you get more flavor for less.

    I use ice cube trays to freeze it and then put the cubes in gallon size freezer ziploc bags. I did this with scraps from pork I had and used the broth for ham and beans. My husband said it was the best ham and beans I have ever made!

    • I usually buy the rotisserie chicken from the deli for around $6. I use the meat for meals and when we’ve used up as much as we could I add the carcass to a pot of water and make my own broth from it. I freeze celery when I have some leftover (usually the core), when adding the frozen celery to broth it breaks down quicker and you get more flavor for less.

      I use ice cube trays to freeze it and then put the cubes in gallon size freezer ziploc bags. I did this with scraps from pork I had and used the broth for ham and beans. My husband said it was the best ham and beans I have ever made!

      I prefer to roast the chicken myself to take advantage of the flavorful juices that are lost during the rotisserie process.

    • Excellent ideas! broth made with the carcass then turned into a soup with or without meat is also an idea.

      Exactly what I was thinking! ‘Why not some chicken veggie (w/or w/o noodles) soup made from the carcass!’

  3. what great ideas. the picture made me laugh as it reminded me of a commercial running now…probably an ad for rol-aids or something like that. i’ve been a fan of the rotisserie chicken for a long time but i certainly see where a little planning ahead will be great for me.

    also, today i heard the phrase “chicken bog” used. never heard it before and yet, here it is on your menu.

  4. i use to do this when there weren’t as many people in the house. now we have 9 people eating each mean and one chicken makes one meal. I do buy at least four roasting chickens each month for chicken soup, chicken salad, chicken and dumplings, chicken pot pie, etc.

    I get ham to last a few meals though. We do one night with a full ham dinner, followed by ham sandwiches, then a pot of bean soup. I usually make a large enough out of bean soup to freeze 3 gallons and have an extra three meals already prepared for later.

    Same with chili and spaghetti sauce. This is when my canning pots get the most use, until this year.

  5. this is awesome. i have 4 chickens in the freezer and 5 turkeys. I will use these ideas for all or most of them.

    Thank you.

  6. i have made 4 meals from a chicken: cut the chicken into quarters and then use each quarter for a meal as follows:
    1 chicken and dumplings
    2 chicken and rice
    3 chicken and noodles
    4 chicken soup
    To really save a bundle, watch for chicken leg quarters to sell for .49 a pound and stock up!

  7. these are such great chicken ideas, i did something similar with my turkey from thanksgiving 1) I have my Thanksgiving meal 2)we have stuffing waffles with turkey and gravy 3) We have Turkey salad 4)We have turkey pot pie and Than 5) Turkey soup! I always buy a bigger turkey than I need so I have enough meat to make My Turkey Caldo (soup) also if you don’t want to buy a whole turkey after the holidays my grocer chops up the whole Turkeys and sells them for $2.50 a package for two breasts or thighs or drumsticks.The soup is the best and I freeze half the batch as to have it available when we get sick or have a cold!:lets-eat:

  8. thank you for this post! i recently found a whole chicken on sale for $4.89 and bought 3! Knowing that I have some very tough weeks to get through…

    It is great to see so many uses for my $14.87!

  9. maybe it’s me and i’m not getting something, but you mention meals 2,3,4 you won’t be able to make ALL of and they are only variations or options. How do I get the 5 meals out if one chicken? Sorry.

  10. You make it stretch by dicing or shredding the chicken and using 1 1/2 cups of meat, bulking up on vegetables and/or starch. I like to buy Mahatma yellow rice, use chicken broth instead of water as directed on package (I add a little extra broth because I like it wet) seasoned with some salt, pepper and granulated garlic or one or two bouillon cubes and shredded chicken simmered until rice is done. I serve it with frozen mixed vegetables and homemade buttermilk biscuits.

  11. I use to collect all the remaining meat off the chicken+small parts of the skin. I mince them thinly. Then I mince onions and I cook them in some oil. I add them to the chicken with minced olives, capers, garlic, pepper, and a little bit salt, then I cover it all with mashed potatoes and cheese on the top. I put them to the oven just to let the cheese get a golden color. Children love it.

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