|Juice could be used for gravy, but mine was saved for extra soup flavoring.|
Meal one: Roasted chicken, reserving the bulk of the two breast, using the legs and wings as pieces, plus rice (making two meals worth), steamed carrots and biscuits. (Meal cost estimate: $4.00)
After meal one, once cool, set breasts aside and pick all the meat off the bones. Bring whole chicken. bones and all, to boil on stove in about 8 cups of water, with a large carrot, celery stalk, and onion in big chunks, then simmer until vegetables are soft, and any remaining meat falls of the bone. Pick out and strain large vegetable chunks, fatty pieces, and bones to have a savory chicken stock. Now you will have two large breast, and at least a cup of chicken meat pieces, and 6-7 cups of chicken stock (as water will cook down). I'll dice up the chicken breasts and store separately.
Meal two: Chicken noodle soup, made with the stock, a diced onion, diced large carrot, and diced celery stock, the loose chicken from picking the bones, and 8 ounces of noodles of your choice. I like egg the best but usually just have boxes of pasta in our cupboard. I didn't buy egg noodles so am using spiral rotini pasta. I will cook the whole box though and use half in the soup, and reserve the other half for another meal. Served with homemade bread from bread machine). Besides feeding the three of us on Sunday, this will yield at least two lunch size portions as leftovers.(Meal cost estimate: $3.90)
Meal Three: One of the chicken breasts will be used with rice, intentionally left over from the roast chicken meal, mixed vegetables, and two eggs for chicken fried rice. (Meal cost estimate: $3.40)
Meal Four: The last breast will be used with Alfredo sauce thinned out with a 3/4 cup of milk, the other have of the rotini pasta, frozen broccoli, more garlic and herbs, mixed together, topped lightly with mozzarella, for a cheesy Italian pasta bake.Using frozen broccoli, adding the milk, and putting the cheese on top locks the moisture into the hot dish keeping everything creamy and not dry. (Meal cost estimate: $5.45) Plus 1-2 lunch leftovers.
$16.75 for four meals for three people, $1.40 a serving, not counting leftovers. Had I bought the chicken on sale, even less, though most of the other ingredients were pantry or fridge items bought at low costs and I used what I paid for them in my cost estimation. This was a good exercise so thanks Jane for the prompt. I wanted to find things that were labor and time saving, doing double duty in the kitchen. I'd love to hear how others take a humble item and stretch it into a variety of meals. Vegetarian or special diet ideas would really be appreciated.