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One Chicken, Four Meals

Stretch the family food budget by cooking up four meals with one chicken.

This week the Moms Council brings you a helpful tip from member Rebecca Bishop for getting four meals from a single whole chicken.

Preparing your Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 lb Whole Chicken
  • Water to cover chicken
  • 4 whole carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 celery hearts, washed and diced
  • 1 T Salt
  • Pepper to taste

Method:

Defrost chicken if frozen. Remove packaging and rinse chicken in cold water. Pat dry. Place chicken in large soup crock. Fill crock with enough water to almost cover the chicken. Add diced carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Boil, uncovered, over medium high heat for about an hour (or until meat starts to fall off of the bone easily when pulled). 

Remove chicken from pot and reserve the broth.  Let chicken cool until it can be easily handled. Remove skin. Pull chicken from the bone and cut or tear into bite size pieces.  Place half of the meat in a storage container in the refrigerator. Use the other half for the soup recipe below. 

Meal 1:  Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • I/2 of the meat from the boiled, boned and diced chicken.
  • Chicken Broth from boiled chicken
  • 1 small bag of extra large egg noodles (or other favorite noodle).

Method:

Strain broth (optional). Return broth to soup crock and bring to boiling. Add egg noodles and return to boil. Boil gently until noodles are cooked through but still slightly firm.  Reduce heat to simmer. Add diced chicken. Heat through and serve. 

You will probably have enough for two meals!

Meal 2:  Chicken Quesadilla

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Corn or Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • 1/3 of remaining diced chicken
  • Cheese, grated (Colby, Cheddar or Monterrey Jack).
  • Optional Toppings:  Salsa, sour cream, diced onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, salad greens

Method:

Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray or coat with melted butter. Place tortilla in skillet. Cover tortilla with layer of cheese. Spread 8-10 pieces of diced chicken on top of the cheese. Cover with second tortilla. Cook until cheese melts and tortilla starts to get crisp. Press top and bottom tortillas together at edges. Flip the quesadilla and cook until other side starts to get crisp.  Remove from pan and cut into wedges. Repeat to make additional quesadillas. Serve hot, garnished with salsa, sour cream, jalapenos, diced lettuce, diced bell peppers or other favorite diced vegetables.

Meal 3:  Chicken Pita Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 package whole grain pita bread
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • Cheese of your choice, grated or crumbled (I love goat cheese on these!)
  • 1/3 of remaining diced Chicken
  • Optional Toppings:  Any diced vegetables (mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, onions etc.)

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pita bread on baking sheet. Spread several spoonfuls of marinara sauce on each piece of pita bread. Divide chicken evenly among pita pizzas. Add any other desired toppings. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and pizzas are heated throughout. 

Meal 4: Mighty Bowl with Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 Cups prepared brown rice
  • 1 Can beans (black, red, pinto or kidney)
  • 1 Cup cooked corn (canned or frozen is fine)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced.
  • Chopped mixed greens
  • Optional:  Garnish with cilantro, grated cheese and salsa

Method:

Prepare brown rice as directed on package. Heat beans and corn as directed on package.  Dice all vegetables. In serving bowls, layer brown rice, beans and corn and top with diced veggies and chicken. Garnish with cilantro, grated cheese and salsa if desired. Serve with a tortilla on the side.

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