[I made this roasted organic chicken and turned it into 5 meals for Earth Fare!]
To me, the work week can kind of feel like you’re being sucked into a tornado.
A whirlwind of alarm clocks, papers and miscellaneous items flying everywhere, and general mayhem. Until you land on Saturday morning and don’t know exactly what happened.
I GET IT.
I work full time at a non-food related office job, and I know it can be challenging to get something healthy on the table on those crazy week nights.
By roasting an organic chicken at the beginning of the week—and spending just a few minutes planning—you can stretch leftovers into 4 more healthy meals.
The key to stretching out that meat is using every bit of the nutrition the chicken provides, and bulking it up with lots of veggies and other protein heavy plant foods.
Meal 1: Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Broccoli
I like to roast a chicken on Saturday or Sunday night, when I have a little bit more time to catch my breath. I’ve added the recipe for the roasted chicken at the bottom of the post, along with a few tips for cooking the sides (and the organ meats) right along with the chicken.
Did that term “organ meats” just freak you out?
Organ meats are the most nutrient dense part of the bird, and they’re prized in many cultures. If you’re squeamish, I recommend “hiding them” in soup. More about that in a minute.
Meal 2: Chicken and Spinach Salad with Bacon
Serve some of the leftover chicken meat over a fresh spinach salad with sliced pears, red onion, bacon, and blue cheese. Adding lentils or chickpeas will make the salad more filling by amping up the fiber, protein, and healthy carbs.
Meal 3: Chicken Broth Soup with Beans
Save the bones from your roasted chicken and make nutrient dense and gut healthy bone broth (here’s a recipe). You can use your broth as the base for a bean soup.
The broth will provide minerals and some protein, and adding beans gives the soup a hearty feel without meat. I like to finely dice the organ meats from the roasted chicken and add them to the soup just before serving (so they don’t overcook).
Organ meats are a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and essential amino acids. By finely dicing them, you can “hide” them in the soup and stretch every ounce of nutrition from the chicken.
My friend Willow has a recipe for Spicy Black Bean Soup that looks incredible in case you need soup inspiration. Just replace the veggie broth with bone broth.
Meal 4: Tahini Chicken Salad
Meal 5: “Fried Quinoa” with Chicken
Using quinoa in place of rice bumps up the nutrition in this classic Asian comfort food dish. The high protein levels found in quinoa along with the eggs allow you to use less chicken and still end up with a satisfying, protein rich meal. (Get the recipe here)
So are you up for the challenge? Can you stretch 1 organic chicken into 5 meals??
I’m feeling very confident that you can! 👍👍
(We stretched one chicken into 5 meals for 2 people. If you have more people to feed, roast an extra chicken!)
- 1 organic chicken (3.5-4.5 lbs)
- salt, pepper
- Your favorite herbs (I love herbs de provence)
- 1 bag of baby potatoes
- 1/2 of one yellow onion
- Place the chicken breast side down on a work surface. Starting at the tail end, cut along both sides of backbone with kitchen shears (a sharp serrated knife can be used if you don’t have kitchen shears). Open the chicken and push down on the breasts to flatten.
- Separate the skin from the breasts just enough to put a pat of butter between the skin and chicken breast. Rub additional butter over the rest of the chicken, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs
- Slice baby potatoes and onions and add to a pan with a sprinkle of salt and herbs. Place the chicken over the top (I like to add the organ meats to the pan and place the chicken directly over them. They can be eaten with the chicken or finely diced and added to a soup later in the week).
- Roast at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the thickest part of the breast reads 165. Carefully transfer chicken to a cutting surface and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before carving.
- While the chicken rests, pour some of the pan juices into a separate pan and cook the broccoli.
- If you tolerate dairy, I recommend serving this with some feta cheese!
Tip: roast the backbone that you removed and the chicken neck so you can add them to the rest of the bones for making a bone broth later.
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.