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One Chicken, Three Meals

Cooking a whole chicken feeds your family and saves you money.

Most recipes call for boneless skinless chicken breast, but it can be very expensive. If you buy the whole chicken instead, you can save up to $2.00 per pound. These savings are not just for one meal. With just a few extra steps, your family can enjoy just one chicken in three different and tasty ways.

Meal 1: Roasted Chicken

Cooking a whole chicken is simple and takes just as much time as cooking chicken pieces. Cut the pieces off the bone after cooking to make serving much simpler. Cook frozen veggies, like broccoli, for a quick and healthy side. Add a whole wheat roll for an elegant meal that takes little effort. Find the recipe here.

Meal 2: Chicken Fajitas

After eating a chicken, there is often leftover chicken pieces that don’t make a full meal. Shred the meat, to give your dinner a second life. Bulk up your meals with veggies to stretch out your expensive protein. Find the recipe here.

Meal 3: Tomato Cilantro Soup

After using the chicken for two meals, it may seem like this chicken is done. However, the bones can make a tasty broth. When making the fajitas, save your vegetable scraps. Throw them in a pot with the chicken carcass, fill the pot with water and cooked on low for 8 hours. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches made on whole grain bread. Find the recipe here.

Patricia Wolf, former University of Illinois Dietetic Intern
December 19, 2017