How to Turn 1 Organic Chicken Into 5 Meals

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How to Turn One Organic Chicken Into 5 Meals | Reclaiming Yesterday

[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 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. 

How to Turn 1 Organic Chicken Into 5 Meals | Reclaiming Yesterday

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

Dice up some of the leftover chicken and use it in place of tuna in this Tahini Tuna Salad recipe! (or this Avocado and Apple Tuna salad recipe)

Meal 5: “Fried Quinoa” with Chicken 

How to Turn One Organic Chicken Into 5 Meals | Reclaiming Yesterday

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!) 

6 responses to “How to Turn 1 Organic Chicken Into 5 Meals”

  1. Now THIS is how you do meal planning! I love roasting a whole chicken for this very reason — I get so many meals out of it! (I always have a meal of chicken and potatoes — I use the drippings from the roast chicken to make gravy — because it’s my husband’s favorite thing in the world). Then I have leftovers over salads for weekday lunches. I love the suggestion of adding the organ meat to soups, and it makes me slightly annoyed that my grocery store robs me of organ meat by removing them from the birds before selling. WTF, whole foods, that’s the good stuff!!

    Also, thank you so much for linking to my black bean soup! I saw that and was like… OMG, that’s me! Haha! I kept that recipe vegan for veganuary’s sake, but I frequently make it with homemade chicken stock like you suggested. The next bird I get better have giblets, because now I want to use those, too!

    • It makes me so annoyed when the organ meats are missing from my chicken too! I got my bird from Earth Fare, I think the brand was Coleman Organic (have to check) but it had all of the organs + the neck. The soup looks heavenly and I can’t wait to try it!!

  2. This is really nice. Managing your food throughout the week is one of the most important aspects of home cooking, and a lot of people don’t write about it. We go through a lot of chicken at my house, using many of the same ideas.

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