A few weeks ago, I mentioned that my husband and I roast chicken at least once a month and plan meals around the leftovers. This is very cost-effective and easy. We roast two chickens at once because, if we’re roasting one anyway, it’s no extra work to roast two. And it gives us more leftovers to design meals around. Here are the basic steps I followed the last time we did this.
Everything we needed for the first evening’s meal is pictured in the photo above. I unpacked and rinsed the chickens–don’t forget to remove the giblets from the body cavity. Then, I patted them dry with paper towels and rubbed olive oil and salt and pepper over the skin. I coarsely chopped celery, onion, and fresh parsley (on the cutting board above) and stuffed the birds. I also scrubbed and chopped carrots and potatoes, tossed them in a bit of oil and salt and pepper, and placed them in a separate dish. Next, everything went in the oven set at 350 degrees.
I probably should have waited to put the veggies in, since they were done about 45 minutes before the chicken. It was no big deal though. I just took them out and covered the dish in foil.
Once the birds were 75% of the way done (after an hour and a half or so), I put a pat of butter on each to help the skin get nice and crispy and golden. Here’s a picture:
The chickens were done when the thermometer read 180 degrees. I believe it took about two hours, perhaps a little more. I go by temperature rather than time, so sometimes it’s difficult to estimate cooking time.
We carved one of the chickens and enjoyed all the carrots and potatoes as the side dish. It’s a very comforting meal on a winter night.
After dinner, we cleaned up and let both chickens cool on the counter for a little bit. Then we just put the chickens in the fridge. The next morning, I made stock from the leftovers and saved all the meat. I pulled the chickens out of the fridge, removed all the meat, and put the bones in a stock pot. I discarded the skin and most of the really fatty pieces.
Then I added carrots, celery, onion, and salt and pepper to the chicken bones and added just enough water to barely cover the ingredients. At this stage, my chicken and stock pot looked like this:
The chicken went in the fridge, and the stock simmered all day from 10am – 6pm. That evening, we made soup with the stock and some of the leftover chicken. To use the stock, just strain it through a colander into a separate pan and discard all the cooked veggies and bones.
The next night, we made BBQ chicken pizza with leftovers. We also made chicken salad for lunch one day and used up the last of the chicken by making a curry over rice.
You can also freeze the stock for future use. I posted about making soup from frozen stock here.
What do you do with leftover chicken? Do you have other ways of making planned left-overs?