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How to Stretch a Meal

December 18, 2009

The other day our local grocery store had bone-in, with skin on chicken breasts on sale for $1/pound (super cheap!).  These were all natural chicken breasts at a very good price.  Each package had 3 chicken breasts and the total price was around $3.02 (so 3 pounds of chicken).  I was able to get two full meals and a lunch out of this one package of chicken breasts.  Here’s what I did:

Meal #1 (Roasted Chicken with Vegetables)

Serves 4 people (two adults, two children) – if you have a larger family, add more chicken breasts or more vegetables – or both.

  • 1 package chicken (washed and patted dry)
  • 5-7 medium potatoes (washed, peeled & cut into chunks)
  • 1 package carrots (washed, peeled and sliced into chunks)
  • ½ onion (sliced or cut into chunks, whatever you prefer) – or add more onion if you prefer
  • Lemon pepper
  • Salt
  • Thyme
  • Garlic powder (or use 1-2 cloves minced garlic)
  • Bay leaf 

Preheat oven to 450°.  In a large dutch oven, toss in the potatoes, carrots, onion.  Lay the chicken breasts on top.  Add the spices over the chicken (I leave the exact measurements up to your own preference and taste).  Cover and roast for about 1 to 1½ hours.  DO NOT ADD WATER OR STOCK OR ANY OTHER LIQUID.  The juices from the chicken drip down over the vegetables and it makes its own juices/stock.

Before I served the chicken, I deboned it and wrapped the chicken bones and put them in the refrigerator (for meal #2).  After the meal, I took whatever vegetables were left in the dutch oven and put them in the fridge.

Meal #2 (Vegetable Soup)

  • Leftover vegetables from the previous night
  • Chicken bones
  • Additional vegetables (like green beans, corn, celery, etc.)

Make a chicken stock by filling a 4 quart pan with water.  Toss in the chicken bones, bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for about an hour or so.  Debone the chickens and remove whatever meat you can.  Toss the bones (or feed to your animals if you wish).  Now that you have chicken stock, mash the vegetables with a potato masher or leave them in chunks (again, it’s whatever you prefer).  Add all the vegetables (including any additional vegetables you’d like to add) to the stock and simmer for about 20 minutes. 

You now have a great chicken soup!  Serve with a salad and fresh homemade bread.

Meal #3 (Lunch)

 Take whatever soup you have leftover for lunch the next day (if you work outside the home) or send it with your hubby!

So, 2-3 meals off one package of chicken and some vegetables (potatoes and carrots are pretty darn cheap).  Not bad for making a meal stretch into three! 

Let me know if you have any ideas on how to stretch a meal as well.

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