What I do with a whole chicken

About two years ago we started buying whole chickens from a local farmer. I had no clue what to do with them. Through a little trial and error and help from Seth, I've figured out how to get the most bang for the buck out our chicken. Now, I can't imagine not buying them whole. It is such a waste of money and potential meals! I made the following today, from my 6 lb whole chicken. (See this post on where I buy my hormone and antibiotic free chickens.)

1. Cooking the chicken and making broth
Leftover frozen broth
  • I cook defrosted and frozen chicken the exact same way. Put it in a big pan, cover it with water, throw an onion, garlic and some salt and pepper in. Cover and let cook for  2-6 hours. This works well in a crock pot too. 
  • Take out the cooked chicken and after cleaning it, throw the bones and skin back in the pot with the broth. Add 1/4 cup of organic apple cider vinegar. (I had previously left this step out because I didn't like the way distilled white vinegar made my broth taste. ACV is much better though!) Adding the ACV is very important because it helps draw calcium and other minerals out of the bones. Boil and let simmer for another 12-24 hours.  Strain and you have broth. :) If the broth gels (like jello) when cold, it is a good, healing broth! I usually have enough to make chicken soup and then freeze some for cooking rice at another time. 
PB Chicken Soup from allrecipes.com
2. Chicken soup! Today I made a Mexican chicken soup, but this recipe for Peanut Butter Chicken Soup is my fave. If you're not a peanut butter fan, just omit that ingredient, it's still really good! It makes a ton too! We eat the leftovers for the next couple days and I usually freeze 2-3 servings as well. 

3. Chicken salad - I always hard boil eggs and add just as much egg as I do chicken to make the chicken go farther. I love to eat it on top of fresh lettuce instead of on bread for a gluten free option. 

4. With the last portion of my chicken, I put it in a pyrex and freeze it for a quick meal for the next week. Usually I'll throw it in a pan frozen and add some bbq sauce and make bbq chicken sandwiches with it. Really quick and tasty! 

Would love to hear what you do with yours to make it stretch!

My favorite blogger's tips for stretching a whole chicken.

Passionate HomemakingStretching A Whole Chicken for 4+ Meals

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