How To Make Four Meals From One Chicken
Whether you’re looking to make your food shop cheaper or reduce the amount of food you’re wasting, our guide to making four meals from just one chicken can help.
Depending on where you buy your chicken from and the size of the bird that you choose, a whole chicken generally costs less than £5, so by utilising every part of it you can get 4 meals worth of meat for around £1.25 per dish.
If you’ve never broken down a full chicken before then it’s not as hard as it looks and it can be divided up into 5 portions of meat, plus the remaining carcass and any giblets.
The cuts you’ll need to look for are:
- Tenderloins (these are sometimes also known as mini breast fillets and is the long flap of meat attached to the breast – simply slice it off!)
You can find a handy diagram below that labels each part of the chicken so that you can see what you’re aiming for.
Once you’ve cut the meat away, you’ll be left with the carcass (the bones) of the bird and the skin if you choose to remove it from the meat.
You might also find that you’re left with things like the chicken liver and heart.
This is much more likely if you’ve purchased your bird from a butcher and you’ll often find them in a bag inside the carcass.
As tempting as it might be to get rid of the carcass and giblets, there’s actually so much flavour in them and they can add an extra depth to a wide variety of dishes.
Use the carcass along with some veggies to make a really delicious chicken stock that’s perfect for adding to soups and stews, and chicken livers can be used to make dishes like our Chicken Liver and Bacon Pate.
There are so many different things that you can make with chicken, but we’ve put together a few recipe ideas to help you make the most of your chicken and use up every single part.
We love using chicken breasts in our Fakeaway Fried Rice as a tasty alternative to the fried rice that you can get from the takeaway.
It’s packed full of veg as well, which makes it a really easy way to help achieve your 5 a day and means that you can enjoy that takeaway feeling without any of the extra guilt when it comes to additional calories and Points.
If you’re not in the mood for fried rice, then there are plenty of other recipes on our website that are perfect for using up chicken breasts including our Cajun Chicken Burger and Chicken Kievs.
Chicken thighs are a really underrated cut in our opinion as they’re absolutely packed full of flavour and are super versatile too.
They’re ideal for cooking ‘low and slow’ in dishes like our Chinese Chicken Curry or our Chicken Cacciatore.
If you haven’t got hours to set aside for dinner to cook, then thighs can also be cooked in less than an hour too and we love our Tex Mex Chicken or Baked Spaghetti with Chicken for a fantastic, satisfying midweek meal.
We often remove the skin from our chicken thighs to help save on calories, but if you’re not worried about the extra calories then it’s a really tasty part of the bird and can definitely be left on and enjoyed!
When we think of chicken drumsticks we immediately imagine them as part of a buffet table or a delicious snack, like our Fiery Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks.
They’re great for enjoying as a light lunch, appetiser or even as a weekend snack and the blue cheese dip makes them extra special.
If you wanted to enjoy drumsticks as part of a meal then you can add them to our Chicken Cacciatore alongside your chicken thighs, or make our Sticky Sesame Chicken Drumsticks and serve with some veggies, noodles or fluffy rice.
Like the chicken thighs, we tend to remove the skin from our drumsticks to help keep the calories lower, but you can definitely leave it on if you’d prefer!
Basically a smaller version of chicken breasts, tenderloins are perfect for meals that you only need smaller portions of meat.
We think that their size makes them the perfect choice for recipes like our Chicken and Sweetcorn Pizza Calzone, or even our Dominos Fakeaway Texas BBQ Pizza.
You could also use them in our Chicken Goujons recipe instead of full size chicken breasts. Their smaller size means that they’re ideal for little fingers and great for kids!
Do you have more top tips and tricks for how to use up every last bit of a chicken? We’d absolutely love to hear them, so make sure that you let us know in our Facebook Group!
Our second food planner is the ideal way to plan out your meals and make sure that you’re not only making the most of your food shop, but helping you to save money on it too.