How To Stretch A Chicken

How To Stretch A ChickenIs there a more popular dinner food than chicken? Fried, baked, fricasseed, or boiled, chicken is routinely eaten at evening meals the world over. We each have our favorite ways of preparing it.

The average supermarket chicken is raised in a small crowded pen with not enough room to stretch its wings. It’s fed a diet of antibiotics, hormones, and/or animal by-products. The antibiotics are to prevent the spread of salmonellosis which is present on most raw poultry.

Of course you’re not limited just to what’s available locally–

Organic chickens have not been treated with antibiotics and have been raised on crops grown in fields free of pesticides or chemical fertilizers for at least three years.

Free-range chickens are allowed to wander in enclosed outdoor pens, rather than being cooped up in indoor pens that encourage the spread of disease.

Natural chickens are minimally processed and carry no preservatives or artificial ingredients. Although antibiotics are allowed, their use is halted far enough in advance of slaughter to ensure their absence in the processed bird.

Learn to slice a whole chicken. Slicing one properly makes it easier to remove all of the meat from the bone. The skeleton can be used to create broth. Boil it in some water until the rest of the meat falls off.

What tastes the best when you have a cold and are feeling under the weather? Why, chicken noodle soup of course. Don’t settle for canned soup with small noodles. Make your own soup with juicy chicken pieces and wide egg noodles. That broth you jarred up will serve as a nice base and best of all it is already seasoned.

Add wide egg noodles and sliced vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions to your soup. When the noodles are tender, add the chicken. Since it is already cooked it just needs to warn up. Ladle up a bowl for the sick and the healthy as a light weekend lunch.

Do your kids carry their lunches to school? Instead of buying lunch meat, slice leftover chicken breast for sandwiches. It will be a nice change from the usual lunch fare.

On the weekends, instead of ordering a pizza or going to McDonald’s, use that chicken. Cube a few pieces to toss on top of a salad with some cheese and croutons. Combine with peppers and onions in a skillet to make filling for fajitas or soft tacos.

Does your family like chicken pot pie? Add some of that chicken, along with vegetables (canned or frozen) and a can of creamed soup to a pie crust and you’ve got an instant dinner that takes less than an hour to prepare. It is a quick meal idea perfect for busy families. A salad on the side will make a complete and healthy dinner.

Chicken-based casseroles can be made and frozen for future meals. The family may be all chickened out for the week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the chicken you have left for future weeks.

Do you still have more chicken? Well let’s keep going with more ideas. Hey, our grandmothers learned to stretch a chicken in many ways and so can we. What are you doing with your chicken after dinner tonight? Try some of these ideas to make that chicken do double and triple duty to save on your family’s grocery bill. The best part is that the new meals are just as tasty as the original dish.

Crispy Chicken from the Freezer

What You Need:

2 1/2 lbs fryer chicken, cut up
3/4 C sour cream
1 T lemon juice
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t celery salt
1 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 t paprika
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 C dry bread crumbs
Aluminum foil

How to Make It:

Combine sour cream and lemon juice in a small bowl.
Stir in Worcestershire sauce until completely blended.
Add the celery salt, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic and mix well.
Place bread crumbs in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a large baking pan with a non stick cooking spray.
Dip chicken pieces into the sour cream mixture.
Roll in the bread crumbs.
Place in a single layer in the baking pan.
Bake 50 minutes or until chicken is tender and brown.
Let chicken cool before removing from pan.
Once the chicken has cooled wrap each piece in aluminum foil.
Freeze for up to 2 months.
Reheat by preheating oven to 450 degrees.
Place each piece of chicken still in the aluminum foil on a cookie sheet.
Bake 35 minutes.
Unwrap from aluminum foil and place back in the oven.
Continue baking 10 minutes or until crisp.

Resource: Healthy Salad Recipes


  1. Mercola says:

    In my opinion, organic chicken is the best choice.

  2. Emily says:

    I always buy organic chickens, it is awful the way chickens are treated – I know any vegetarian will think thats selfish of me as we eat them anyway but not all of us can become vegetarians.

  3. Bluish says:

    Chicken is cheap, if you stay away from the boneless, skinless chicken breasts. If you are cooking for a family, you already know that one of the best ways to save money on groceries is to buy whole chickens. Here are some tips and tricks to stretch that chicken even further and save more money.

  4. pedro says:

    I luv my hens, get them cheap from one of the local grocers. @Emily, you probably mean free-range, not organic. You have to be careful because any of the large farms can slap organic on just about anything and get away with it.

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