Frugal Gourmet: One Chicken, Three Meals

All of my meals are budget conscious, but when whole chickens went on sale for 99c this week, I knew I could really stretch it and make it truly frugal. I spent $8.40 and got an 8 1/2 lb stuffer roaster, and I knew I could make 3 meals of 4 servings each with just that one chicken.

IMG_3120Meal 1: Roast Chicken, Cumin Roasted Carrots & Tossed Salad

You don’t need anything but kosher salt to make a delicious roast chicken, and if you spatchcock it, it’s an easy weeknight dinner. We ate the legs and thighs from the roast chicken with a huge tossed salad with lite ranch dressing and carrots roasted in olive oil, salt and cumin. Simple and delicious!

IMG_3133Meal 2: Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

I used 16 oz. of the cooked chicken breast to make this delicious and refreshing Thai Peanut Chicken Salad, adapted from this recipe.

IMG_3148Meal 3: Chicken, Kale & Acorn Squash Soup

I hope you didn’t throw that carcass away! I used mine to make a delicious chicken stock for a Chicken, Kale & Acorn Squash Soup by using my Instant Pot to cook the bones with some water and some vegetable stock. Then I sauteed onions, celery, two acorn squash and a bunch of kale before adding the stock and simmering for 30-40 minutes. Then right before serving I added the leftover chicken breast. I topped it with some grated Parmesan cheese. So yummy!

I made 3 meals for the week, 4 servings apiece, for about $20 in chicken, vegetables and stock. That’s TWELVE servings for $20! Not bad, right? You can do it too, the possibilities are endless! What are your ideas for stretching a chicken (or any other large cut of meat)? Let me know in the comments!

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