It's so easy to make 3 meals from 1 chicken. Who says cooking healthy and on a budget has to be boring?
First we will roast the chicken with potatoes and carrots. Next we will make chicken salad. Finally we will turn the bones into chicken soup.
3 Meals from 1 Chicken:
One-Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken with
Potatoes and Carrots
Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches
We will use the leftover meat from last night's dish to make today's chicken salad.
If you've never picked meat off a chicken before, just remember that there's a lot of secret hiding places where you might not expect to keep finding meat.
And don't throw away the bones, we'll be using them for our third recipe!
Chop all the chicken into small pieces.
There are lots of ways to make chicken salad: I like adding chopped apples and/or grapes for a little sweetness, and mustard and lemon juice for a balanced tang.
Other options include celery, carrots, cucumbers, almonds, pecans, sweet bell peppers, banana peppers, green onions, and parsley. For the sauce, you can add mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
I usually just eyeball these amounts, but here are some rough measurements (assuming you have about 2-3 cups of chicken):
- 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I like the Primal Kitchen avocado mayo because it doesn't contain unhealthy seed oils)
- 1-3 teaspoons mustard
- 2 stalks chopped celery
- 2 large chopped carrots
- 1 small chopped apple
- 3-4 tablespoons chopped pecans
- juice of half a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
You really can't mess chicken salad up, it's so easy! Add or subtract from the lists above.
My favorite way to eat chicken salad is on croissants with some fresh lettuce or spinach. Substitute toasted sourdough, your favorite type of bread, or crackers.
If you're gluten free, this chicken salad would be great on top of a salad, on its own with a fork, or paired with your gluten free bread of choice.
Potato chips are a delicious side, or heat up some of your leftover potatoes and carrots from the night before.
Bone Broth Vegetable Stew
Homemade bone broth is so easy to make and so good for you.
It's a natural source of collagen, an important nutrient for your skin, bones, muscles, and pretty much every organ in your body. It promotes hair and nail growth, skin regeneration, helps you sleep, and promotes anti-aging properties. You can buy collagen supplements but the best source of collagen is from animal fats, hence bone broth.
This is a great chicken recipe to make on a day when you're at home getting things done around the house. It has to cook for a long time but doesn't require constant supervision.
Making the Broth:
If there's any meat left on the bones that didn't get eaten already, set it aside to be added to the soup. For added flavor, roast the bones on a sheet pan at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes then place the bones in the largest soup pan you have and fill the pan with water until all the bones are fully covered. You can add vegetable scraps that would usually end up in a compost pile, like celery stalks, onion peels, and the ends of carrots. Or you can add whole chopped carrots, celery, and onion.
You want to add something acidic to the broth that will draw out the collagen from the bones. I prefer apple cider vinegar but lemon juice will do in a pinch. Add a couple tablespoons or a splash. If you're worried about this affecting the taste, don't worry: it will disappear in the boiling process.
Bring the broth to a boil then set to a low simmer.
I used to only cook my broth for 4 hours and it tasted ok, but I learned recently that it will be much better if you let it go for 8-10 hours (no longer than 10). When it's done, pour into a large pot with a strainer over it to separate everything that's not broth.
Bone broth is so tasty on its own, sipped in a mug, or you can easily turn it into a more hearty soup.
Making the Soup:
In a separate pan, sautee garlic, ginger, onions, celery, potatoes, and carrots in olive oil and stir until browned. Add vegetables of your choosing: green beans, mushrooms, butternut squash, peas, zucchini, kale, spinach. Add broth. Season to taste with salt (you may be surprised by how much salt it needs, but keep adding it until it tastes delicious!), black pepper, and lemon juice.
You can add a little heavy cream or coconut milk for extra flavor and thickness.
Other options: noodles, rice, lentils, beans. This soup is perfect for customizing if you are cooking for picky eaters or just going off what's in your fridge or pantry. Serve with a toasted baguette, crackers, or popovers.
These recipes will become an easy addition to your meal plans. You'll be delighted to know how easy it is to cook 3 meals from 1 chicken. These 3 chicken recipes are always tasty options and are friendly to your health and your budget.
Comment below with your favorite chicken recipe!