Many people have their favorite ways of eating or preparing chicken, but there are many healthy chicken meal ideas that will allow you to stretch your chicken so that it lasts longer, and save money. When cooking a whole chicken, you can do wonders wit those leftovers. Here are some easy chicken meal ideas that will be appealing to your family.
1. The first thing you can do with a chicken is just cook it up with some seasonings. You can cook it whole on a grill, in a crockpot, boiled in a pot on the stove or in the oven in a pan. However you cook your chicken, make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. The juices should also run clear.
2. Make a broth out of the bones. Boil the bones in some water until the rest of the meat falls off. You can season the broth with the herbs and spices of your choosing. After it cools, pour it into jars for storage. You’ll be able to keep the broth for a few weeks. Use it to flavor soups and casseroles (perfect for these cold months ahead).
3. Slice the meat for sandwiches or make chicken salad sandwiches. Do your kids carry their lunches to school? Instead of buying lunch meat, slice leftover chicken breast for sandwiches. For a chicken salad, mix with mayonaise, chopped celery, fresh basil and some sliced grapes for a delicious and easy chicken salad.
4. Chicken is perfect when chopped and added to a salad. This is a healthier alternative to ordering a pizza or hitting up the fast food place. Cube a few pieces of chicken to toss on top of a salad with some cheese and croutons.
5. Make some fajitas. Combine chopped chicken pieces with peppers and onions in a skillet to make filling for fajitas or soft tacos.
6. Chicken pot pie has never been easier or cheaper to make on those bitterly cold evenings. Add some of that chicken, along with vegetables (canned or frozen) and a can of creamed soup to a pie crust, and you’ve got an instant dinner that takes less than an hour to prepare. It is a quick meal idea perfect for busy families. A salad on the side will make a complete and healthy dinner.
7. Chicken based casseroles can be made and frozen for future meals. The family may be all “chickened out” for the week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the chicken you have left for future weeks. Make your casserole ahead of time, and freeze. Then you have a meal that you can pull out and cook for those days that you just don’t feel like cooking.
8. Chicken noodle soup is a favorite in our house. It’s especially good for when someone in the house has come down with a cold. Cook a whole chicken in a crock pot over night, or boil on the stove for an hour with herbs, spices and veggies. Pull the chicken out and separate from the bones. Place the some of the chicken pieces back in the soup (refrigerate or freeze the extra), add noodles and cook until the noodles are soft. There’s just something about a hearty chicken noodle soup that makes the world seem right, don’t you think?
And if you are just dealing with leftover chicken pieces, add them to a pot with your bone broth, veggies, herbs and spices. Let it simmer for a while to create some heavenly flavor and then add in the noodles for the last 15 or so minutes.
Buying a whole chicken is a great way to save some money, because you can stretch it out into many meals. What are some of the ways that you stretch your chicken? You can leave a comment by clicking here.