One thing about working shift work is that the days of the week where I want to or can be bothered making a meal in 34 stages with sides and dessert, are few and far between. I like the idea of making a meal that daisy-chains into the next, and then the next. The idea is to start with a large piece of protein and then the next day, use some of it for another meal. Then the next day, a different meal and finally, a different meal altogether! The aim is to get 4-6 meals out of one chicken so why not make Friday night roast night and be set for the weekend and the new week.
Buy a large fresh chicken (1.5-2kg) and roast it for dinner tonight. Try it with 40 cloves of garlic and a coat of butter and sage, or a lemon up its bum with butter and pepper on top, or with white wine and mushrooms. You can bake it or slow-cook it depending on your plans for the day. Make roast veges and a fruit crumble for dessert while the oven is on, so that the chicken will go further. Before it is served, carve it up or strip the meat off the bones. This aids portion control and means you won’t want to eat the whole thing.
- After dinner, put the bones in the crockpot, cover with about 4L of water, add some carrot, onion and herbs and simmer to make a stock. Put the pan drippings into the stock as well if you haven’t already turned that into gravy.
Shred some of the chicken and season with a pinch of paprika, cumin and chili if your family likes it spicy, or parsley and salt if not! Warm gently, and serve with rice, guacamole, corn and salads with wraps in a Mexican themed meal. Add beans to make the meal go even further.
Half of the stock can be turned into soup now. Either use it to make a chicken soup with a small amount of chicken, extra vegetables and some noodles; make chicken and sweetcorn egg drop soup; or use the stock for any soup that you fancy.
Mix what chicken is left with some tinned tomatoes, herbs, and cooked pasta then bake in a hot oven. Add cheese or a cheesy sauce if you’re up for it!
- Assemble dinner 4 and have it in the fridge ready to go the next day.
A big salad with egg, avocado and a fabulous dressing is a complete meal when you add a small amount of chicken to it. Use the dressing on the chicken only before tossing the salad for an interesting change to dressing the greens.
Use the other half of the stock (which keeps for at least a week in the fridge) in the absorption method to cook some rice, and use it to make fried rice for tonight.
Serve the last of the chicken in fritters with a tangy chutney on the side. Other ideas could be sandwiches, cold rolls, chicken curry and lots of other Mexican foods. Quesidillas are particularly popular! You can make san choy bau, nachos or a noodle salad!
Given that it’s now almost a week, freezing anything you’re not going to use within 1-2 days is prudent. Wrap in cling wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer, taking out before you need it.