Three Meals One Bird

Going frugal with food is more than just shopping smart, buying generic, and where we shop. It has a lot to do with how we utilize the food we buy. I like to buy my meat in bulk when it is on sale. We don’t eat red meat much around our house so I love to buy chicken in bulk when it is on sale. My favorite purchase is a whole roaster/fryer chicken. You can usually find a pretty good deal on them and they can be stretched to cover you for three separate meals.

Stretching your products out to cover multiple meals can reduce the amount of time you spend in the kitchen as well as the amount of money you spend on groceries. In order to succeed with this practice you have got to plan out your meals in advance. Planning your meals allow you to find opportunities to overlap ingredients  for maximum effectiveness. What follows is a simple meal plan for three meals that effectively feeds my family of three.

The Meals

Day 1 – Beer Butt Chicken Salad

Day 2 – Chicken Pot Pie

Day 3 – Chicken Noodle Soup

Shopping List

1 Whole Fryer/Roaster Chicken
1 Bag of Carrots
1 Celery Bunch
1 Medium Onion (2 if you like onion in your salad.
1 Head Romaine (We get from the garden)
Fresh Spinach (Again from the Garden)
1 Can of beer
Cajun Seasoning
Egg Noodles
Eggs (1/2 Dozen) Only need 1
Frozen Mixed Vegetables
1 Can Cream Chicken Soup
Beer Butt Chicken Holder

Day 1 – Beer Butt Chicken Salad

Preheat your grill for indirect cooking, mine I turn the outside two burners on medium and leave the middle two off. This usually achieves around 400°-425°F cooking temp.

Take your whole chicken and season the outside liberally with your Cajun seasoning, make sure to separate the skin from around the breasts and rub seasoning under the skin directly on the breast meat.

While your chicken is sitting around thinking about its future take your can of beer and crack it open, drink or discard 1/4-1/3 of the beer. I really hope you just drank it. Now I like to put two whole cloves of garlic in the beer along with around 1 Tbs of the Cajun seasoning. Insert the can into your holder then carefully place your chicken onto the holder making sure the neck end is up and the butt end is down. Your chicken should now be standing up. Take one of your carrots and cut so the fattest end will fit in the neck cavity of your bird. This will seal in the steam from the beer to keep your chicken moist. Place it on the grill for approximately one hour or until the internal temperature of the meat is at least 165 deg.

While your chicken is cooking prepare a basic house salad with your lettuce, spinach, some of your carrots, and some of your celery. This is going to be a grilled chicken salad type meal. When the chicken is done carve it and cut the breast into strips or chunks and serve over the salad with your favorite dressing. Reserve the carcass of the chicken, the legs, thighs, wings, and any leftover breast meat.

Day 2 – Chicken Pot Pie

Preheat your oven to 400°F

Cut up one cup of your leftover chicken and place in a 9″ pie pan

Place one cup of frozen mixed vegetables in the pan

Pour in 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup and mix it all together

In a separate bowl mix 1 cup bisquick, 1 egg, and 1/2 cup of milk

Pour the mixture over the ingredients in the pan making sure it is all evenly covered. Place the pan in the oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until the top is a golden brown.

Day 3 – Chicken Noodle Soup

Take your leftover chicken carcass and any other bony pieces you haven’t used yet and place them in a large pot and cover with 8 cups of water. Simmer in the water for 1-2 hours. The longer it simmers the more flavor your stock will have. Add one cup of chopped carrots, one medium onion sliced, and one cup of chopped celery along with a single bay leaf. Simmer it for around 30 more minutes. Now remove the carcass and other bony bits from the broth and remove all chicken meat from the bones and place them back in the broth. I If you have any remaining non bony bits of meat you can throw those in as well. Add 2 cups of the egg noodles and simmer for a final 30 minutes and serve. This recipe is open to interpretation so certainly add some more spices to the mix if you like.

There you have it, one bird feeds you for three whole days and it all tastes great. I would love to hear your favorite recipes for stretchy your food out, let me know what you do.

{ 1 comment }

1 Paul @ FiscalGeek June 25, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I loves me some chicken pot pie. Sharing this one with the wife.

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