August 13, 2022

Diamond Dishes: Why whole chickens are the holy grail of cheap eats

On the ultimate quest for cheap eats, whole chickens always win. They’re inexpensive, and each one can stretch into three meals.

Of course, this depends on the number of people you’re feeding and the size of their appetites.

We begin by roasting one whole chicken with vegetables. Double the recipe for larger families.

The first meal is sliced chicken breast with roast veggies. Add crusty bread to schmear with roast garlic and sop up the delectable juices.

Next, pick every morsel of meat off the bones, reserving the bones and 1 1/2 cups of chicken to make chicken soup. Use the remainder to make a “round two” meal.

Roast Chicken And Vegetables

Servings: 4 for 3 days

Ingredients

6 large potatoes

6 large carrots

1 large onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 (5 to 6 pound) whole chicken

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 head garlic

Procedure

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the vegetables, put them in a large roasting pan, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken and reserve for another use, or discard.

Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together and brush the chicken with melted butter. Liberally season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the veggies.

Separate the garlic into cloves and scatter amongst the veggies. Place the pan, uncovered, in the oven and roast for 75 minutes, or until the temperature registers 175 degrees in the thigh. Remove the chicken, tent with foil to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

For “round two” I suggest making chicken pot pie using leftover veggies and refrigerated pie crust or chicken and potato casserole.

Finally, let’s make chicken bone broth. The wonderful thing about chicken broth is that it’s made from things you’d normally throw away.

Use your freezer to store chicken bones and the cut ends of veggies — carrots, celery, onions, garlic, herb stems — until ready to use.

Chicken Bone Broth

Servings: 4 for 3 days

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup each onion, carrot and celery

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 cups chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 (12 ounce) package egg noodles

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

Salt and pepper

Procedure

Thinly slice the vegetables. In a large stock pot, heat the oil. Sauté the veggies for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add broth and poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for about 5 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Add egg noodles, simmer for 10 more minutes. Add shredded chicken, heat through and season to taste.

Patti Diamond

Patti Diamond

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal Meets Fabulous!” at www.divasonadime.com. © 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.