Works for Me Wednesday: Using a Whole Chicken

I am participating in a Works for Me Wednesday for the first time ever. Who’s excited? Well, you should be. Mine is about this amazing little thing called a whole chicken. And the even more amazing thing called saving money!

Some day I will have to explain how Tim and I went from a couple of DINKs living it up in an affluent suburb to one-income-and-a-bun-in-the-oven in a little house out in the country. That’s another blog post. But for now, I will say that part of that transformation has included whole chicken.

I like whole chickens because they make several meals for very little money and effort. The money thing is important, yes, but so is the effort part. I like cooking, but I hate spending hours in the kitchen chopping and dirtying lots of dishes and cleaning up afterwards. So if something is easy, there is a good chance that I will make it more frequently than something that takes a lot of my time and effort.

Yesterday I put a whole chicken in my crock pot with some onions and spices, set it on high for 4 hours, and had an amazing fall-off-the-bones chicken dinner. I served with with freshly baked bread hot from my bread machine, and cooked up some brocolli in the 12 minutes before Tim got home from work. Delicious, healthy (if you don’t eat the skin, which we don’t), and easy as pie.

After dinner I picked the chicken off the carcass and put it in a rubbermaid thingie. I separated out the bones and put them in another rubbermaid thingie. This morning I woke up and threw the chicken bones in my crockpot with some chopped celery, carrots, onions, spices and water and tonight I will have a lovely chicken broth that I plan to use in soup recipes in the future.

I froze the leftover chicken bits and am now scouring for ways to use up leftover cooked chicken. We have at least 3 meals’ worth of leftover chicken, and I am dreaming of all the yummy things I can do with it.

So, this Works for Me Wednesday is dedicated to the wonder of whole chicken. It took me forever to finally overcome my fear of (yuck) touching the raw chicken (the skin is gross) and also my perception that cooking with a whole chicken would be time-consuming or difficult. It’s not at all. And the yuck factor — well, I figure I am going to have my arms elbow-deep in all kinds of grossness once Sam arrives, so I best get used to it now! And, in all honesty, it wasn’t as gross as I feared it might be.

And did I mention that whole chickens are cheap? The one I used yesterday was $0.72 a pound. And I am going to get several meals and meal bases out of this thing. Love it. And it works for me!


4 responses to “Works for Me Wednesday: Using a Whole Chicken

  1. So glad you’re participating Alissa!

    I do the same thing with the chicken in the crockpot. For me, it helps that it cooks 8-10 hours on low, so it can cook while I’m at work. If usually works out to at least 4 meals for us- roast chicken, chicken pot pie, chicken tetrazinni, and chicken tacos/quesadillas. As you said, it’s a budget helper for sure!

  2. Wonderful to have you. Welcome to the group.
    Can’t wait to hear of your transition from suburb to country one income household.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Love your blog!

    Come and visit me and learn how you can download books to your mp-3 player for free.

    See ya there!

  3. I love WFMW! I like using the chipper chicken*, too. I’ve had to get over the yuck factor, also. Well, it’s still yuck, but I’m over it. Kind of.

    *Name that movie! 🙂

  4. Just came across your blog today and love it! My husband and I are planning to transition to a one-income family and move to the country as well when our little one arrives, and I can’t wait to hear more about what you guys did to make it happen.

    We have been trying to budget without my income so that it will be a little easier when our baby comes and I stay home. I have also recently discovered the wonderful whole chicken in a crockpot thing! I usually cook it on low for 8 hours or so while I am at work like Joanna, and have my husband add chopped carrots, celery, and potatoes while he is home for lunch. I usually use the leftover meat for chicken pot pie, chicken salad, or a quick pre-cooked add in for a stir-fry or something. I haven’t tried making broth though, I’ll have to try that next time!

    Oh, and I like to slather it in butter and garlic before cooking 🙂 not as healthy, I know, but really yummy!

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