As I mentioned in my meal plan, I had a large group of people over for dinner last night and was able to stick to all of my rules! Success! I even made a dessert with no refined sugar (just sucanat
) and I don’t think anyone noticed.
Since we’ve been getting our meat from a local farm, we use much less chicken than we used to. We get one large organic chicken every other month and so far I haven’t had to buy additional chicken from the store. I’ve learned to stretch one chicken into many meals. I can make 5 different dishes, but we usually have leftovers, so I can get about 8 meals out of one chicken!
The first thing I do with my chicken, is cook it and make stock.
I stick my frozen chicken (no, I don’t ever thaw it in advance) in a large stock pot and fill it up with water, add some onions and other random veggies I have on hand (most likely carrots and celery), add a pinch of sea salt and cook it on the stove for a few hours. When the chicken starts to fall apart, I know it’s done. I will strain out the liquid and save it-that’s good stock! Then I take apart the chicken and shred the meat. I will divide the meat into 5-6 portions and freeze them. Then, I add the bones and skin back the pot, fill it up with water and simmer for another 2-3 hours for another batch of yummy stock! You can freeze the stock in smaller containers and just thaw as needed!
I loooove chicken salad. I will just take one of my baggies of chicken from the freezer and thaw. Then I add a few TBS of mayo, some celery, grapes and slivered almonds. Add some salt and pepper and you have delicious chicken salad. You can serve it as a sandwich, or on lettuce. Sooo good!
Another great way to stretch another baggie of chicken, is to make fried rice. I usually make brown rice and stick it in the fridge (or freezer if I’m in a hurry) because cold rice makes better fried rice! Cook 2 eggs in a wok or skillet, add some veggies (peas, carrots, peppers, broccoli..etc) and cook for a few minutes. Once the veggies start to soften, add your rice and chicken and some soy sauce. Just cook until heated through. Yummy!
My next meal was tortilla soup. This is a great way to use up some homemade stock as well as shredded chicken!
Here’s my recipe:
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. cumin
5 cups chicken stock
1 can pinto beans (drain and rinse)
6 oz. shredded cooked chicken
2 tsp. cilantro (optional)
1-2 tsp lime juice
salt to taste
cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
Heat large sauce pan over medium heat with a little butter and saute onion, celery, tomato, basil and cumin until tender. Add broth, beans, and chicken. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, for 3-5 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Season with lime juice, salt & pepper. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream.
I whipped up some chicken and black bean tacos. Because of the beans, you are able to stretch your chicken even farther because you don’t have to use as much. I added salsa, cilantro, avocados and sour cream to my chicken and black beans. So good and easy!
And finally, nothing is more delicious and comforting than a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup with rich, homemade broth. I usually make this on the day that I’m cooking my chicken because it requires a lot of stock (and I don’t want to use up my freezer to store that much stock). Just add shredded chicken, stock and veggies (onions, carrots and celery) and noodles. This week, I’m going to attempt to make homemade whole wheat noodles to follow my real food rules. Yum!
Do you have any other tips for stretching a chicken?