It can be easy to fall into the fast food trap. After all, it's quick, easy, and fairly cheap. The problem arises in you really never know what's in fast food. When you cook at home, you can truly control the ingredients.
The key to controlling price, ingredients, and your time is to cook one day, but eat for three. A great way to do this is to work with roast chicken. A roast chicken dinner on night one can easily be transformed into two more amazing meals.
Roast Chicken and Three Nights of Meals
Night One – Roast Chicken Dinner
Instead of reaching for a whole chicken, purchase split chicken breasts that still have the skin. The skin adds amazing flavor to the chicken as it roasts. Plus, breasts cook much faster than a whole chicken. For a family of four, you want to roast roughly 4-5 pounds of split chicken breasts. If the breasts are large, you can cut them in half for better portion control and to reduce cooking time.
Place the chicken breasts on two baking sheets and rub the skin with olive oil. Season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Roast at 425 degrees for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts. The chicken can be served with any side dishes you like, such as mashed potatoes and corn or brown rice and broccoli. Add a side salad and warm bread and you've got a meal.
After you finish your meal, break down the remaining chicken breasts and cut into strips for meals two and three.
Night Two – Chicken Pasta Salad
On night two, all you need to do is boil four servings of pasta. It can be bow tie, spiral, or even elbow macaroni – whatever you have on hand. Once cooked, toss with cold water to stop the cooking and cool the pasta. Mix the pasta with chopped vegetables – again, whatever you have on hand – it might be celery, onion, tomato, bell pepper, etc. Next add in half the leftover chicken and salad dressing or mayonnaise. You can use whatever dressing your family likes. This is just a simple method that allows you to make the most of what you have on hand.
Night Three – Buffalo Chicken Pizza
On night three, turn that leftover chicken into a delicious pizza your family will love. All you need is frozen pizza dough that has been thawed according to the package directions. Brush the edge of the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese. Spread hot sauce or buffalo sauce on the rest of the crust, top with a mix of shredded Italian and sharp cheddar cheese, and your leftover chicken that has been tossed with hot sauce or buffalo sauce. Bake according to the dough's package directions.
Did you ever think you could do so much with roast chicken? When you take the time one day a week to make something that takes a long time, you can reap the rewards the rest of the week. Best of all, no one will ever complain about eating leftovers.