Three Meals & A Chicken

My mom was an amazing cook.  She was also really good at stretching a dollar.  She enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen and trying out new recipes.  One day she called me up to tell me about how she got 3 dinners out of one chicken.

Three dinners!

If anyone was going to figure that out… it would be my mom.  Just to clarify, these are normal sized portions, not teenager sized, or I would have to rename this post: 1 Chicken, 1 Serving. ha-ha!  🙂

So how did she do it?

Meal One: Legs, Thighs and Wings. Oh My!

Option 1: Set oven to 425 F.  In a roasting pan, she would add rosemary, 1-2 cloves whole garlic, olive oil and pepper to the chicken.  Mix and roast for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Option 2: Sprinkle a light coating of dried mustard over chicken.  On stovetop, add olive oil and set heat to medium-high.  Cook chicken until golden brown.  Slice up half an onion, with thin slices.  Add onion to pan, cover chicken and lower heat to medium-low.  Cook for 15-20 minutes.

Meal Two: Boneless Chicken Breasts

Up until this conversation, my 1 chicken would yield 2 breast servings.  Not my mom, she made 4 breast servings.

One of her favorite ways was to fillet the breast in half and soak it in milk over night.  She said it made the breast more tender.  (Don't have milk on hand?  Plain yogurt or even buttermilk will apparently do the trick too.)

The next day she would turn the oven on to 425 F.  Add olive oil to a roasting pan.  Take each piece, shake off the excess milk and coat each one with breadcrumbs.  Then lay them flat next to each other in the roasting pan.

Meal Three: The Carcass

Don't be so quick to toss that chicken carcass, it makes an amazing broth, that is really good for you to boot.

When my kids were little and got sick, I would make this soup for them.  We call it the Mommy Make You Feel Better soup.  ha!

What I love about this recipe is how easy, flexible and full of nutrients it is.  Not to mention, its made with love.

Here is the recipe:

Start with 1 Pot with a little olive oil on a medium heat.

Add: 1 Onion, 1 Carrot, 1 Celery stick and 1-2 garlic cloves.  Chopped up.  Sweat the veggies for 5 minutes.

Add: Flat leaf Parsley (1-2 T), 1 Bay leaf, pepper and salt (to taste)

Add: 1 chicken carcass and enough filtered water to cover the carcass.  Turn the heat to high bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer and cover.

Simmer for 3 hours.

Strain the broth.

You can add back the veggies to the broth or toss.

At this point you can add in any of the following to the broth:

Vegetables: zucchini, spinach, carrot, celery, mushrooms, kale, cabbage, summer squash, tomatoes, green beans, etc….

Beans: chick peas, cannellini, navy, lentils, etc….

Starches: corn, peas, 1 large potato (sweet, russet), 1/2 cup rice or noodles.

This week is short and sweet.  I didn't want us going into spring without talking about food.  🙂

How do you make your food stretch?