Are you looking for a versatile, time-saving, and cost-effective ingredient to elevate your meal-planning game? Look no further than a meal-prepped whole chicken! This kitchen staple is a powerhouse when it comes to creating delicious, nutritious, and budget-friendly meals.
Because I know you love a shortcut, I’m sharing 4 different ways to make the most of a meal-prepped whole chicken, including my favourite recipe for the whole chicken! Whether you’re a meal prep expert or simply seeking inspiration for this week’s dinners, these ideas will make your life easier and your meal time delicious.
If you want great value chicken, get your whole chicken from Saskatchewan-local farm, Pine View Farms. They are graciously giving you 10% off any chicken products until November 15th, so get your order in while you can! #sponsored
4 Ways to Use Up a Whole Chicken
#1: How to Cook a Whole Chicken: Roast Chicken & Veggies Recipe
#2: Chicken Broth
#3: Creamy Enchilada Soup
How to Cook a Whole Chicken: Roast Chicken & Veggies Recipe
Roast Chicken & Veggies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1hr 15min
1 4-5 pound Pine View Farms chicken
2 ½ tablespoon oil
1 ½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 lemon, wedged
½ yellow onion, sliced
1 head garlic
5-10 sprigs thyme, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
3-4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3-4 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup water
Preheat oven to 450F. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet and place in the oven to preheat.
Remove giblets from the chicken and pat the chicken dry, inside and out.
In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, and paprika. Pour half into the inside of the chicken and rub it in. Then, stuff a couple of lemon wedges, a head of garlic with the tops sliced off and the bottom still intact, half the sliced onion, and thyme sprigs into the cavity.
Take the fatty skin between the chicken leg and the opening of the cavity and make a 1-inch slice on each side. Take the chicken leg and pull the widest part (bottom) of the bone through the sliced skin on the opposite side (see image below). Repeat with the other leg. This is to ensure all the goods stay in the chicken!
Drizzle the remaining half a tablespoon of oil over the chicken and rub the remaining half of salt, pepper, and paprika over the entire chicken.
Place the chicken in the Dutch oven and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Then, add the carrots, celery, potatoes, remaining lemon, and thyme to the pan, surrounding the chicken. Cover and cook for approximately an hour or until the chicken is fully cooked to 165 and the vegetables are tender.
Remove from the oven and place the chicken on a cutting board. Let cool for 10 minutes.
To serve, plate the drumsticks and wings on separate plates along with the vegetables and a drizzle of sauce from the Dutch oven. Enjoy!
While the chicken is still warm, pull all the meat off the bones and store it in the fridge in an airtight container for the remaining meals. If you want to go the extra mile for your future self, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
To be able to make the chicken broth, be sure to save all scraps or extras from the onion, garlic, carrots, celery (leaves are best!), and of course, all the fat, skin, and bones from the chicken.
#2: Chicken Broth
Depending on the time you have to make chicken broth, you can make it with the leftover chicken bones and skin from meal prepping two ways.
If you only have a couple of hours and are at home, add the chicken bones, skin, and any leftover vegetables you’d like to a large pot. I suggest that if you have leftover carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and fresh herbs from the roast chicken, use them up! Add 8-10 cups of water, bring to a boil, then let simmer on low for approximately two hours. Remove from heat and strain the broth into clean jars. Allow to cool before sealing and storing in the fridge.
If you have plenty of time but don’t want to keep an eye on the broth, add the chicken bones, skin, and any leftover vegetables you’d like to a slow cooker with 8-10 cups. Simmer on low for 8-10 hours. Remove from heat and strain the broth into clean jars. Allow to cool before sealing and storing in the fridge.
#3: Creamy Enchilada Soup
One of my favourite ways to use leftover chicken is by adding it to already easy meals when I’m in a pinch or a hurry. It’s a perfect protein source to add to your next cozy fall meal! For me, that cozy fall meal is soup!
You can make my Creamy Enchilada Soup in 20 minutes if you already have cooked chicken ready to add in. What’s even better, you can make this soup primarily with leftover ingredients from the Sunday Roast Chicken recipe (e.g., carrots, onion, celery) and canned goods!
You can find the recipe for my Creamy Enchilada Soup in my Fall Meal Plan.
#4: Buffalo Chicken Wraps
One of the easiest ways to quickly use up your leftover shredded roast chicken is by using it in a lunch that doesn't require reheating, like a wrap or a sandwich!
I used my leftover chicken to make buffalo chicken wraps with diced fresh vegetables, crunchy lettuce, and avocado coated in a creamy buffalo sauce. This is an adaptation from my Buffalo Chicken Bowls recipe, also in my Fall Meal Plan.