When there are only two people living in a house you get creative with how you make meals and deconstruct meals. Preparing a whole chicken is one of those things that require some creativity to get the best value out of our money. We pay on average $8 to $10 per whole chicken.
Fauxtisserie Chicken recipe from Our Best Bites or beer can style on the grill, sometimes with a little smoke.
The first dinner is usually the chicken from the grill or crockpot with sides that fit the season we're cooking it. Spring and summer might bring potato salad and baked beans, while fall and winter could bring mashed potatoes and gravy with peas or green bean casserole.
After dinner the night of the cooking, we bone the chicken after dinner and separate white meat from the dark. White meat will be used for sandwiches or a second chicken and sides kind of meal. Dark meat is used for chicken salad, tacos, nachos, enchiladas, pizza, pasta, fried rice, etc.
After the chicken is boned, the bones and skin go into the crockpot. I toss in the veggie trimmings bag that I keep in the freezer, with some onion flakes, carrots, and celery with a good shake of forward spice mix. I add enough water to cover and cover it, leaving it to cook on low for 10 hours. This goes into the crockpot right before bed, then in the morning, I strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. I now have homemade stock for later meals. The spent carcass will now be tossed. The crockpot is the one who really does the work in this scenario. I usually get 8 to 10 cups of stock for the freezer with this method. The stock will go into other meals down the road.
The cost per meal breakdown on the last chicken we made like this a couple weeks ago ended up being five meals at about $1.80 per meal for the chicken. This cost will vary based on the price of the chicken and the number of meals you get from the meat. When the meat isn't the focus of the meal you can stretch it farther in things like pizza, fried rice, or nachos. Wondering what I made with this chicken?
The first night was the grill roasted chicken with couscous tabouli, fridge quick pickle kraut, and homemade bread.
The next two meals were chicken sandwiches, sorry no photos of those. I often forget to photography breakfast and lunch.
The fourth meal was chicken enchiladas, as small pan of eight enchiladas is more than enough for us, unless I'm making a pan for the freezer. Eight enchiladas will actually get us a bonus meal because we eat four the night of and then there are four of them leftover for lunches or another dinner.
The Fifth and final meal out of this bird was the chicken fried rice, and actually, there is another bonus meal here with a portion leftover for lunch as well.
Maybe this will give you some ideas the next time you cook a chicken. Think about the possibilities that are out there before you just reheat the meat.