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Greenly: 5 Meals, 1 Chicken

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Here’s your complete guide to getting the most out of your chicken.

There’s nothing quite like settling into the week by roasting a chicken on a Sunday night. The warm, homey smell coming from the oven not only means I’m just minutes away from a satisfying meal, but also means there’s plenty more protein-packed dishes for the week to come, too!

Sound too good to be true? It just takes a good quality, pasture-raised bird — and some creativity. Once you’ve got the basics of roasting down, you, too, will enjoy a sequence of tasty meals that unfold as Monday turns into…Friday. Here’s just an example of what I did last week:

Roast Chicken with Bread Salad
If you don’t already have a favorite roast chicken recipe, I urge you to try this one. The chicken turns out so juicy and tender every. single. time.

Chicken Tacos
After Sunday’s dinner, I take the time to remove all the leftover meat from the chicken, which makes tomorrow’s dinner a snap. To complete the taco, I sauté green onions, warm up tortillas, and garnish with quick pickled radishes and smoky sour cream (sounds fancy, it’s just a chopped chipotle chili in sour cream). A simple cabbage slaw rounds out this simple taco night perfectly.

Wheat Berry Salad
For lunches, I love easy-to-pack grain salads. Simply cook up a grain of your choice (in this case I used wheat berries), bulk it out with seasonal roast veggies, and top with shredded chicken leftovers. If you’re in need of an extra punch of flavor, dress the salad with an easy vinaigrette.

Ribollita Soup
While there’s no actual chicken meat used in this dish, using homemade chicken stock in this hearty, veggie-packed soup makes it a seasonal go to. Once I’ve removed any leftover meat from the chicken, the bones go straight into the stockpot along with water and a few aromatics, reducing away into a rich stock. If I’m not quite ready to use the stock that day, I strain it into a freezer bag, so it’s ready for next time.

Beans & Escarole
Make the most of every drop of your bird. After you’ve roasted the chicken, strain and save any unused lean drippings from the pan. They’re delicious tossed with pasta or risotto, or in this case, sautéed beans and greens.

The good news is that making the most of your chicken can save you lots of time and money, and it cuts down tremendously on potential food waste. Looking for even better news? All of these ideas work with your Thanksgiving bird, too! Turkey tacos anyone?

How do you make the most of your chicken? Share your tips with me below.

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About the Author
Natalie Ghio
Natalie Ghio
Besides composting, I love traveling, yoga, exploring new flavors, supporting local farms, and cooking for friends at my home in Brooklyn. more
  • Teresa B. 7 years ago
    good ideas
  • Wendy K. 7 years ago
    Nice idea; with today's economy and the need to shop smarter this is awesome! TYVM
  • Donna C. 7 years ago
    Just a little left over chicken lots of veggies, some broth soy sauce and seasonings, and you have great stir fry.