Two Great Meals with one whole Chicken

You are going to actually make two meals with one bird.  This trick is exceptionally handy on busy nights and helps create lunch or dinner for a few nights after the meal.  When you are in a pinch stop by the supermarket and grab a hand basket.  We’ll work under the assumption that you have some spices at home to help make this double meal.  Ideally this will feed a family of four or five and is a relatively cheap way to stretch a meal.  Go to the rotisserie section and pick out a freshly roasted chicken (check the time it was pulled from the oven on the package, you want the latest time available).  The produce section should be nearby.  Buy a bag of pre-cut small carrots, two yellow onions, and two stalks of celery (unless you want more for a snack or something).  Next you need to find a carton of chicken stock and some Pennsylvania Dutch noodles (usually near the pasta section).  Buy a large family bag of the Steamfresh frozen brown rice.  Check out.

Once home you need to fill up a small sauce pan with about a 1/3 cup of water and add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.  Heat that pan up with half the bag of carrots on medium heat, start this right away because this takes the longest to cook.  Place the bag of rice in the microwave and heat for about 6-7 minutes or whatever the package says.  After the rice has cooked then cut the chicken into 4 pieces (you should get 2 nice sized breasts and 2 quarter dark pieces that include thighs and legs).  Drain the carrots.  Plate the chicken, carrots and rice.  There is meal number one and yes that was easy. 

Now before you dig into the dinner empty the carton of chicken stock into a large soup pan.  Make sure the skin is removed from the chicken carcass and add to the pot.  Fill with water to just cover the chicken.  Rough chop one stalk of celery, 5 pre-cut carrots and one onion and add to the pot with 2 bay leaves.  Put the pot on a burner on medium low heat and now eat your chicken dinner you prepared the family.  Let this cook for about 1 hour.

Now for the chicken soup recipe.  All spices are dried except the garlic which comes out of jar.

1 teaspoon each thyme, rosemary, pepper, salt, minced garlic

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 cups of dried noodles

1 whole onion

1 stalk celery

5 pre-cut carrots

1)  Dice up the onion, celery, and carrot.  Add butter to a large skillet on medium heat.  Add the vegetables with the thyme and cook for about 7-8 minutes until onion is soft.  Remove from heat.

2)  Using a strainer pour the contents of the soup pot into another large soup pot.  This is the broth.  Pick through the chicken meat in the strainer and add what you find to the broth.  Discard everything else from the strainer including the rough chopped vegetables.

3)  Add the cooked vegetables with thyme to the broth.  Add the rest of the spices and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for about an hour.  When there is about 15 minutes left add the noodles.  Now divvy up the soup into containers and refrigerate for dinner the next day or for lunches.

The whole idea here is to create at least two meals for a relatively cheap price.  A healthy chicken dinner one night and homemade chicken noodle soup for lunch the next day or two.  Total cost (assuming you have some spices) is about $12-15 dollars.

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