By Diana Earnshaw
Well, allowing for the fact that most people would be bored with seven days of chicken, I will show you how it is possible to make three meals for four people (two adults and two children). Maybe have a non-chicken day in between for variety!
I usually buy a medium sized chicken every other week, to provide lots of meals for two of us. For a family of four, buy a big chicken (2.5kg) or if this is not available, make up the weight with thighs or something with bone-in anyway.
Chicken provides a good amount of protein – around 30g per 100g portion. There is a little natural fat and this made up of a small amount of saturated fat with larger amounts of poly and mono unsaturated fats. There are really good amounts of vitamin B6 but there are other B vitamins too. Minerals – plenty of bone-friendly phosphorous as well as magnesium, zinc and potassium. The skin, bone, sinews and cartilage when made into stock, will also provide the substances glucosamine, chondriotin, glycine and gelatine – good for bone and joint health as well as gut health and collagen production.
Whilst chicken meat is fairly low in calories, I am going to suggest that all except the bones are used. This not only makes the chicken go further but also ensures that the nutrition from the skin, fat and cartilage are not wasted. Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest that you eat all of it, but you are going to use it!
Initially, the chicken can be roasted and I’m not going to give instructions for that – or at least not the usual way! Try one of the recipes below for a change.
Rosemary and Balsamic Chicken with Red Onions Recipe (based on) and picture courtesy of BBC Good Food.
Adults get a leg each, children get a wing. Serve with lots of veg of your choice. Save all bones! Put in a bowl in the fridge along with any leftover veg, for later use.
With autumn on the horizon, try this recipe using root vegetables.
Chicken and Roots. Based on a recipe from BBC Good Food.
Again, adults get a leg each and children get a wing. Save all bones and leftover veg.
You now have a carcass and the two chicken breasts left. I suggest you remove the breasts and make the stock now, then you have some to use in the last recipe.
Chicken Stock/Broth (my recipe)
Use some of this in the recipe below and save the rest for “soup day”!
The chicken breasts can be sliced and used in salads or sandwiches, but do try the recipe below, it’s one of my favourites!
Chicken a la King. Picture and recipe courtesy of Kitchen Sanctuary.
So last but not least, the soup! Very often I end up making Minestrone or Mulligatawny as this effectively uses up whatever I have. There are plenty of recipes on the net for these, but honestly, just use what you have! You could also try the recipe below.
Celery and Chicken Soup. Based on a recipe from The Daring Gourmet.
This is substantial enough for a main meal but you may like some fruit and cheese for afters.