Ways to Use a Whole Chicken: This Meal Prep Idea Will Save You Money & Turn One Chicken Into Four Meals by Dawn Taylor
At least a few times a month I purchase a whole chicken. I wait until it goes on sale (it’s not typically too pricey but every dollar counts) then I cook it and wait for it to cool enough to tear it apart. It’s not for dinner, at least not tonight.
The meat falls right off the bone when it’s still a tad warm. I pull all the white and dark meat off and put it into a plastic container with a tight lid. After that, I get a strainer and large bowl. The strainer sits in the large bowl and the carcass of the whole chicken, bones and all is then dumped right from the baking dish into the strainer with all the juices from cooking. The bowl catches all the juices and bits from the chicken and is then transferred to a food container with a lid.
Why all this work when it’s not for dinner? It is going to be added to dinner at a later date – or dates. Forget Hamburger Helper, this is chicken helper. It’ll save you money, yes, but so much time! And it’s healthier than many convenience meals.
Tonight I cooked a 5-pound whole chicken and will easily use it for four meals looking ahead. Here’s some ways I use the chicken:
Chicken Stir Fry
You get the idea. Endless possibilities! The broth can be used just like chicken stock for cooking. When I purchase it, it usually is a dollar or two and loaded with sodium. Here's a few more tips:
- Budgeting: The cost of that 5-pound chicken? $3.62 on sale.
- How to Cook the Chicken: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes per pound until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Alternative to Chicken: Whole turkeys work great as well but it’s a little more time consuming if you buy a large turkey. Same thing, wait for a sale and you’ll get several meals from one turkey.
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