Kitchen Magic Trick: Cook Once, Eat All Week

Amy Kuras

roast chickenEven people who love to cook don't necessarily love it all the time, and happily welcome shortcuts (without resorting to terrifying Sandra Lee-like Frankenfood). One of the best ways to make the slog a little easier is to cook once, eat twice (or more).

And one of the best ways to do that is with a big ol' chicken. Roast a chicken on Sunday, and you'll not only have a terrific dinner, you'll end up with enough meat to make a few more meals throughout the course of the week.

Of course, the trick to this is to cook a big enough chicken that you have some leftover chicken meat -- depending on the size of your family, maybe six pounds or bigger. Once your meal is done, strip the meat from the bones and seal it in an airtight container until you're ready to make your next chicken-focused meal. What to cook? Here are some ideas:

Chicken croquettes: Old school, but they're ready for a revival.

Chicken pot pie: This recipe is from Martha Stewart and is lightened up with phyllo dough instead of pie crust, but there's nothing to stop you from using pie crust instead if you like it. .. and you get to skip the first step!

Chicken enchiladas: Mix the chicken with black beans, corn, peppers, onions ... whatever sounds like it would work for you, roll it up in tortillas, pour half a jar of salsa in the bottom of a pan and tuck your enchiladas in, and pour the other half over the top. Top it with cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 or until the enchiladas are hot and the sauce is bubbling.

And of course, there is the low-hanging fruit: chicken salad, slicing it up and making a chicken Caesar with lettuce, Parmesan and Caesar dressing, and chicken sandwiches (try it with bacon and tomato or Brie with honey mustard ... yum).


Image via vauvau/Flickr

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