The other day I had my mother and her wonderful caregiver, Nora, over for dinner. I had a whole roasted chicken for us and, needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of meat left. But according to Nora, the best is yet to come!
Nora boils the bones to create a healthy, delicious chicken broth. She’ll then take the extra bits of meat, add vegetables, and create her famous chicken soup. It’s so delicious, and if you think about it, it’s also a very affordable meal.
Buying the whole chicken can create a variety of meals and in the long run may even save you money. But finding the best deal, let alone learning how to cook a whole chicken, can be a daunting task — especially if you don’t consider yourself a Julia Child in the kitchen. Even if you’re a newbie cook, with a little inspiration from Nora, my own money-saving tips, and recipes from around the Internet you too can make several hearty meals for less and have nothing left unused!
From fried to skinny, we’ve got tons more chicken recipe inspiration waiting for you!
1. Your butcher, your friend
Your first step to saving money on a whole chicken is to get to know your butcher. Many stores will mark their meats down at certain times during the day. That’s a good time to buy and your butcher is the person who can let you know the inside scoop on when it happens!
Your butcher is your best bet when it comes to walking away with the best deals on any type of meat, not just chicken. Here’s what your butcher wants you to know about buying meat — and don’t forget to ask them what the best deal of the day is!
2. Stock up during sales
When whole fresh chickens go on sale, buy a couple extra and freeze them. Ask the butcher to prepare them for freezing. You also want to ask and make sure they weren’t previously frozen since you really shouldn’t refreeze meat.
3. Create a broth
When you roast the chicken, add extra water and even a little olive oil to create a cooking broth. The juice from the meat will blend with your liquid and you’ll have a broth for future dishes. Here’s a tip: Lift the skin from the meat and slide some butter underneath. This will make the meat extra moist!
4. Spice up the most popular part of the chicken
The breast meat is usually the most popular part, but can often be the most boring to serve. Mix things up and create new ways to serve chicken breast! Here are 10 recipes that will get you and your family excited about breast meat again.
5. Fry up the drumsticks & wings
I remember as a kid my siblings and I would argue over got the drumstick. Since I was the youngest it was a battle I rarely won. The thigh and drumstick are usually two pieces of meat that are extremely moist, and you can save these parts for another meal. Try cooking up your own fried drumsticks and chicken wings with these zesty buffalo wings recipes.
6. Soup’s on!
You can use the little bits of meat left on the bones to create more than just chicken noodle soup! Try making this egg drop soup with chicken — if you’re following Weight Watchers it claims to be only two points!
7. Learn to love the liver
Source: Simple Seasonal
Believe it or not, many people love to fry up the chicken liver in a little bit of olive oil. There are dozens of other ways to add a little excitement and flavor to the liver, such as serving it with a whole wheat pasta and onions, or try this recipe for liver with leeks and kale for a super healthy meal. Who knows, your kids might actually eat it! (Just don’t tell them what it is beforehand!)